There’s an old saying about the definition of insanity. No matter what Merriam-Webster says, the saying goes that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

As clever (and totally true) as this saying is, all too often this seems to be the approach businesses take to marketing. A strategy that was used 5-10 years ago isn’t going to cut it anymore. Heck, your strategy from a year ago may not even cut it anymore. Times change, trends change, technology changes, tastes change, and people change.

Successful businesses constantly need to evaluate their own internal strategy. What’s working? What isn’t? Where can we improve? Where can we grow? How do we make it happen?

At Roundpeg, we dedicate time every week to our internal strategy. We look at our numbers and ask ourselves these kinds of questions in an effort to not only operate more smoothly internally but to bring new clients into the fold. In turn, some of these strategies can then be applied to our existing clients. It’s a win/win for everyone.

All too often, I see businesses relying on old and outdated strategy, tactics and thinking, eschewing spending time evaluating themselves. In the time we live in, this is simply not an option. If you want to thrive in the modern, tumultuous, digital business world – you need a game changer.

What’s a “Game Changer?”

At a recent Roundpeg strategy session, this term came up several times. It really got me thinking.

When people hear “game changer,” they often think of some grand invention – the iPhone, Netflix or that little plastic table thingy they put in the middle of you pizza to keep it from being crushed. But that’s not the case. A game changer doesn’t have to be some big, radical change. It can be as simple as a change in strategy or way of thinking.

Struggles with visibility and lead generation aren’t going to be solved by running the same old commercials you’ve been running on TV and radio for the last 5 years. Shift efforts to embrace strategies like inbound marketing or Google AdWords to make yourself more accessable: game changer.

An outdated image and aesthetic that only plays well with a disappearing demographic isn’t going to be solved by staying the course. Revamp your branding kit, web design, and/or social media to accommodate and attract a new audience: game changer.

Hurdles with internal communication and organization preventing you from serving your customers to the best of your ability aren’t going to be cleared by shrugging your shoulders and “working around it.” Find stronger methods of communication and organization through tools like Insightly or simply gutting your current system: game changer.

Don’t be afraid to challenge the norm. A game changer doesn’t have to be some million dollar, once-in-a-lifetime innovation. A game changer is anything forward-thinking that challenges the conventional, the comfortable or the old.

New Ways of Looking at Old Things

However, a game changer doesn’t even have to be something new. It can just be a different way of looking at something basic and familiar. When evaluating your internal strategy, don’t just think of new tools, look at what you already have at your disposal.

Take the band The Academic, for example. This small, unknown band from Ireland became an overnight internet sensation a couple weeks ago. Cracking into the music biz is hard and it’s even harder if you can’t stand out. Not satisfied with taking the “normal route” of playing small shows in hopes to someday become noticed, they changed the game. How? They took to Facebook Live, an easy-to-use, free tool that everybody has access to.

Identifying an audio/video delay with the recording, the band recorded a live session of a song by layering different bits of vocals and instruments on top of one another one at a time. I was so intrigued by the video and even more blown away by the simplicity of it. Here’s the result.

Don’t be afraid to change the game

This video spread like wildfire. Today, the video has over 1 million views on YouTube alone. It reached the top 10 in trending videos the day it was released. It has been shared countless times over social media and has helped the band explode to almost 50,000 followers on Facebook and almost 17,000 on Twitter.

Whether they can hold on to this exposure or not, this one video has probably changed the fortunes of the band forever. It was all possible because they refused to be satisfied with where they were and they had the vision to identify an opportunity. Best of all, they were bold enough to try something different using something familiar.

Now, am I suggesting you try to become the next viral sensation? No, that would be crazy. But, I am saying you should take a page from these guys’ book.

Even if you are comfortable with the position your business is in, never get complacent. There is always some way you can improve, internally or externally. Continue to evaluate your internal strategy, your marketing plan. Look for opportunities to get better, ways to be innovative.

Those that stand still and don’t dare to be different are doomed to be left behind by the competition who is. Are you ready to get better? Maybe all you need is a fresh set of eyes and a new outlook.

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