Two years ago at my last SMC Seattle event as President, I talked about following one's passion and the power of doing so. That is what I, and the entire SMC Seattle board, did when building SMC Seattle into the amazing group it became. Passion can overcome a lack of experience and talent, as someone with passion works harder, learns better and leads others to greater heights. Passion is contagious.
Well today my professional passion has changed. Social media and the hopes I had for it changing the way companies market and do business are fading away. It appears that many of us that went through this social media bubble are feeling the same way. Don't get me wrong, social isn't going anywhere; it's just not achieving everything I hoped it would and transforming the way business is done. Social for me was always more about a consumer centric philosophy than the technology. Unfortunately social media didn't force companies to implement that consumer centric philosophy and instead most continued with marketing as usual tactics pushing sales and focusing on CPM's.
One thing that hasn't changed for me is my passion to change the way marketing is done, to stop yelling at people and to focus on consumers and what they need by working with them not against them. From now on, instead of just using social media to do this, I will be changing the way integrated marketing plans are developed and how brands view their customers. That is my passion, and is what will be the foundation for my next adventure as I start my own agency, 47Harmonic in January of 2014. Social will still be a big part of this, but the problem I am looking to tackle is going to take a more integrated approach to fix it.
Over the past three years at Spring Creek Group, I have been lucky enough to be a part of something special, and placed in situations to work with some of the biggest brands and agencies in the world. Most of all, I will be forever grateful to have been a part of the Spring Creek Group family, and anyone that has worked there knows I am not joking when I call it a family.
Never have I seen a group of people rally together like the group at Spring Creek Group. This group of talented people has made it through a huge layoff, a sudden death of a manager and office leader, along with the upcoming closing of the Seattle office. Through all of this they have stuck together, taken care of each other and done everything with grace and class. Best of all, they have continued to put their clients at the core of everything they do and have continued to deliver industry-leading work. I don't know of any other group of people that could have made it through this series of events in such a positive way.
I must admit I stayed on a little longer at Spring Creek than I should have. My passion for only doing social has waned this past year, and the drive to do something new and on my own has been bugging me for months. That said, I stayed on because of the amazing team, and because of the unknowns of breaking out on my own.
But if I have learned anything, nothing ever goes as planned. The best plans are there to help you deal with the unexpected changes that will arise, not ensure a perfect course. I know that applies to what I am launching as well. I am confident I have developed a better a way to do marketing, a way that puts customers at the center, demystifies the media landscape and is extremely efficient. Even with a better approach, I know there is much competition and the economy still isn't great, so I know this won't be easy.
Following one's passion is never easy, and I am rather sure I am in for the hardest challenge of my life, but I'm ready.
I am glad I gave up on the easy route and focused instead on what I wanted to do, what I feel God is calling me to do, and not on the path of least resistance. I have had a few offers to work for other companies in Seattle and options to move to other markets, and for that I am extremely grateful. I know I am not making the financially sound decision to pass on them, but I must do this, and I must do it now. The desire inside me to do this is busting to get out.
I will explain more details over the coming weeks of what 47Harmonic is and will be doing, but know one thing: this won't be marketing as usual. My goal is to not be just another agency. I won't do things like others do; I know first-hand they don't work. Instead 47Harmonic will be about breaking silos, blowing up funnels and developing marketing programs that work with consumers and benefit brands for doing so.