So here it is, its Wednesday March 12th, 2014, a beautiful sunny day here on the west coast of Canada. I fetched my snail mail this afternoon, I opened an envelope addressed to me. No, it wasn’t bills or bad news, it was…well, I wasn’t sure what to think. Most of the world knows who Mayor Rob Ford is, if you don’t know who he is, he is the Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, and is a binge drinker, along with host of other issues. There’s a much deeper story, but I don’t have the time, the patience, or the space to write it.
So, in the mail today I got a direct mail piece, they used Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com), so, a card, I have never done business with them before, or know anyone who works for them, so they’re soliciting via the shotgun approach. This card was from a financial firm in British Columbia, getting the card was fine, but what was on the cover….well…. rather than me say it, I’ll show you:
Now I understand what they’re trying to do, but I felt like they were going for the cheap humor, potty jokes. The question, “What do employee benefit renewals and elections have in common?”gets lost in seeing Mayor Rob Ford’s picture to me. Call it shock marketing, hoping the negative will be a positive conversion experience. The sell inside the card, I removed the company name & phone number. Here’s the inside message:
Would you consider this a good direct mail piece, would you use the picture of Mayor Rob Ford as your cover, is this a good marketing idea or bad? Would you do business with this company? What is your gut reaction, impressions? Remember, perception is everything.
When I was a little boy at the age of 5, I lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands. We moved from Vancouver, British Columbia to the Northern Tundra, it was a sad day for my Mother & I, oh ya, my brother too. It was at best an adventure, it wasn’t a lifestyle improvement. I can remember riding with my Dad in his truck from Queen Charlotte City to Masset on many occasions, what was weird about it was, you couldn’t make that drive without hitting a deer with the truck. You couldn’t own enough freezers to store all the meat, so Dad would have to report most of these incidents to the game warden. This happened everyday! The interesting thing about it was, everyone in town knew it had happened. Queen Charlotte City is not a big town, so news traveled fast.
I told you that story to tell you this one. The greatest impact living in an isolated part of the world was not how bad it was, but how these small communities all over the island pulled together. I mean it was beautiful country, there was so much natural in everything that happened, but the real treat, the healthiest thing for our community, was how business conducted.
Remember when you could order items from the Hudson Bay, Eaton’s and Sears catalogue? It was fun, it was easy, it was drop shipped to your door, except if you lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Oh you could make your orders through each of these company catalogues, if you didn’t, Christmas didn’t happen! Worse yet, you couldn’t get new clothes, well not unless you went down to the trading post and picked up something someone else owned at one time.
Business was much more difficult back then, or at least getting what you needed to survive, let alone having any luxury items. The most memorable thing for me living there, was when you would make your orders, wait at a minimum of one week for the ship to come in, that’s right, a freighter would come filled with belongings, food, clothes, all kinds of things, even equipment. The whole town would gather down on the main dock and wait, BBQ’s were out, music was playing, everyone in town gathered like a family reunion. Imagine waiting a week to get your food, maybe two weeks because of bad weather. I can remember some tense times when word got out the ship was delayed. But it was a great memory, a happy memory, the towns people helped each other, we all knew each other, and we made sure our neighbour was looked after.
Today, 50 some years later, we appear to be heading right back to a time such as then, without the ship of course. Social Media has brought us back to a place where we have to care for one another, connect with each other, build a relationship with each other. We had to build trust then, and we have to build it again today. Back in a time when big business did not have the same control as it had between now and then, we the people have control once again. We are gathering together to meet, to help each other, to collaborate, and make sure our neighbour is looked after. History is repeating itself, mostly in how we used to do business. Today we hold Tweet Up’s, big social events, and speaking events, all for the purpose of coming together as a community, or communities. We are going back to ordering from catalogues that are now web applications, Apps, Smart phones, websites like Amazon, and it gets drop shipped by the big ship UPS or FEDX, or whomever you prefer. These companies we order from are now asking us what we want, how we want it, and how fast can we get it to you. We are going back to small town rules, where you can’t hide, you can’t lie, and you can’t get away with shinanagan’s and stay in business.
The Future Of Business is all about people, it’s taking us back to a time like the depression, back to a time when we did all that we could for one another. History is repeating itself, are you part of making the world a better place, are you part of this history taking place? I challenge you, be the change, you be the voice, you be the reason the world is a better place, you help make history repeat itself.
- The Future Of Business – Change Is Coming, And Lots Of It. (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Social Is A Feature Not A Platform (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – The Future Of Shopping With PayPal (owengreaves.com)
The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech, (SRCTec), was founded in 2006 and is supported by key Regional strategic partnerships, including Chilliwack Economic Partners (CEPCO), City of Abbotsford and Community Futures for South Fraser.
The role of SRCTec is to actively attract technology companies to the Fraser Valley Region, which includes; the City of Abbotsford, City of Chilliwack and City of Mission, located just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. SRCTec has exclusive responsibilities for economic and educational development specific to the high tech sector.
SRCTec will focus on attracting investment to the Region from the high tech sector including information technology, information services and telecommunications / wireless technology based firms.
SRCTec provides a single point of contact for the high tech industry, and a doorway to the comprehensive information and resources in the Region. High technology organizations will find that SRCTec understands their business, and that the Region has a range of advantages. This coupled with development factors will assist in establishing operational and research facilities.
SRCTec is a not-for-profit organization governed by an operating Board of Directors and supported by sponsors, the community, and our high calibre Advisory Board.
My disclaimer, I used the text from the SRCTec site, also, I’m on the Board of Directors and can’t promote this initiative enough 🙂