It is interesting to see how fundamental behavioral change almost always require a catastrophic event. It happens like that on every level – whether on a personal, a company, or a societal level.
On a personal level, most people will only fundamentally change their diet and exercise routines after experiencing a catastrophic event – a stroke, a heart attack or a coronary bypass. In fact, some study suggest that two years after a coronary bypass, 90% of people will revert back to their old diet habits. Maybe that event is not catastrophic enough.
On a company level, Apple and IBM would probably not have been able to become what they are right now had they not had a near-death experience.
And on a societal level, look at what happens to our oil-dependency. We know that we could wean ourselves from fossil fuel dependency in a decade or so, but serious talk about this possibility did not happen until oil prices reached levels that became painful for all of us – individuals, companies and government. And if oil prices decrease enough we could well find ourselves back in a situation where we are all fat and happy with cheap oil and not planning for the inevitable fact that we are not only going to run out of it, but that we are also ruining the environment in which we live by using it.
So if fundamental change requires a catastrophic, near-death experience, have we yet reached the point where marketers will change the way they market, or are we just not there yet? Companies shut off marketing budgets as if they had no impact anyway – and the average CMO tenure is clearly an indicator that companies think marketing is no longer working. But is it enough to fundamentally change the way we think about marketing?
What do you think?