The Pivot

As I’m launching Empatico, I’m running into people who react with a “You’re doing…what?”

I used to get that in the early days of digital strategy and marketing. Over the years people were able to construct their own boxes to place that in, such as:

“Oh, you do Web sites.”

“Right, you make Facebook pages.”

“Got it, you mean like those Google Ads I see.”

Those reactions were more right than they imagined. Lots of digital marketing work (and other marketing to be honest) is about creating “stuff.” Sadly, whether the stuff is solving a problem or working as well as it should is secondary to getting something done that’s in a marketing plan, somewhere.

My reaction to that is to pivot, from Digalicious to Empatico. What this does is to provide my clients and me with a better framework at solving the problems that matter: customer problems, workflow problems, and business problems. The framework might result in digital marketing. Taking the user perspective was always the best and most effective part of digital work.

It’s just not enough anymore. In a sense, all marketing is now digital in that it doesn’t make sense to separate it out in marketing campaigns or in marketing agencies. But that unique user perspective that drives great digital is still needed everywhere.

My pivot is a continuation of my best work: a human-centered design approach with a heavy emphasis on empathy and innovation. The difference is that this framework provides tools to work on challenges like new business models or new customer programs. The framework is phenomenal at teaching people how do this in their organizations.

That might be the biggest difference in pivoting from the old to the new. Whether it’s digital marketing or teaching teams to work more creatively together, the human-centered design thinking at the core of Empatico is more replicable and teachable than the old service for hire model.

Most of all, it focuses on what really matters: people. That’s you, your customers, your workmates, and your bosses. In an era of big data and big automation, it’s easy to lose site of people. But we are what drive those other things. We are the ones making decisions that impact all of the businesses and organizations where we work. When we start doing things that don’t matter to the people most important to us, that’s usually when we run into trouble.

And when we design solutions to people’s problems, they work with us and maybe, just maybe, they like us enough to tell other people about us.

That’s the real pivot -from the 4Ps to the 1P, people.

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