Redefine from ground zero. How to measure your success

Thoughts, ideas, insights to focus Cayman’s businesses on continually assessing and even reinventing themselves to compete in our rapidly changing world.
A short while back, I was in a meeting with a marketing organisation with a significant (eight figure) marketing and promotions budget.  Sensing my frustration in some areas, I was asked to tell them, in 15 words or less, what I wanted to see them do.

As a Twitter addict, I kicked the brain into “140 characters or less” mode, let the cogs turn for a few seconds, then said:
“Reassess from ground zero how we measure success” 
I was frustrated at the common method of starting with last year’s plan as a basis, then adjusting for this year.
In marketing (and travel in particular) there is not enough recognition of how much the ground has shifted beneath our feet. Social media will change and can’t be predicted, but what it already tells us is that (as I have blogged several times recently in different ways) the customer is in charge, so, whether you call it “Inbound Marketing” or something else, you’ve got to shred last year’s plan and look for something completely new!
Thanks to two tweets from Josiah MacKenzie of, his thoughts spurred me out of a recent blog drought for this. He wrote:
“I get this feeling even the Internet people don’t *really* comprehend how much the web changes how business is done.”
“If we really understood how much the Internet is changing the game, we’d invest a LOT more”.
Josiah, if I were a Cajun chef, I’d say BAM!
Now, how do we get people to really comprehend it? How about going to hotel/destination/travel/hospitality marketers and starting the planning process by saying:
Show why we shouldn’t spend ALL of our marketing budget on online marketing and promotions.
Start the meeting with a blank sheet of paper with a budget total at the top, then, without reference to last year’s plan, start filling up the bucket with spend on various areas in order of preference of online and online related marketing and promotions. Only when you’ve exhausted that do you move on to print, TV etc.
The world has already shifted beneath the feet of the marketing world, they just haven’t realised it yet. Those who do realise it soon (whilst remaining “Cutting Edge, not Bleeding Edge”, as per thoughts in a recent blog on will be the big winners. Those who don’t? Marketing road kill.


Reinvent or Die by McCallum Solutions Tom McCallum