What if we applied abundance thinking to marketing? How might that look?

Lately, I’ve been reminded of one of my favourite books, “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. Their ideas have sparked a profound reflection on my life, and I’m considering how this might influence my approach to marketing.

In the book, the authors discuss the shift from a “world of measurement”—where we tally our worth and success through comparisons and competition—to thriving in a “universe of possibility,” which encourages exploration of creative potentials without the constraints of predefined metrics.

In my line of work, it’s easy to get buried under metrics, KPIs, and measures of marketing success. But getting too consumed by that sucks the fun out of life.

What if we shifted our mindset? What if we looked beyond the spreadsheets and focused on abundance?

Over 10+ years in marketing, I’ve discovered some interesting truths:

  • Not everything is measurable.
  • Attribution is nice to have, but can we ever be 100% confident that our tools and assumptions accurately pinpoint what actually leads to a purchase?
  • Brand is a real thing. Neglecting the impact of brand awareness and market perception on sales means missing a crucial element of how business operates today.
  • Humans are remarkable BS detectors. A failure to respect this in how you market—whether it’s AI-generated posts, unengaged online “communities,” or impersonal chatbots—will inevitably hurt your brand and cost you customers.
  • We buy off energy. For example, have you ever hired somebody simply because you felt something when reading the copy on their sales page, or after meeting with them and getting a sense of “I want to work with this person”?
  • Hiding things (your product, your process, your people, your clients) is working against you. Many of us appreciate “try before you buy” – we want to SEE and EXPERIENCE something before we buy it.
  • Genuine connection and networking have value. When done respectfully and showing genuine care for the other person, it can lead to great opportunities. However, a recent experience with a big-name tech platform in our industry, which I’ll keep anonymous, showed the darker side of this. They had multiple salespeople connect with several team members, and even called or SMS’d some of us (creepy, since we don’t know where they got our numbers).
  • Dare to experiment, be bold, do something different, challenge industry norms. I once did a complete website redesign and positioning copy rewrite for a client who wanted to attract a higher level of clientele. However, they never went live with it. So, the messaging on their site doesn’t speak to the clients they’re trying to attract. What got you here won’t get you to where you’re going.
  • Strategy is important, but execution is where magic happens. It’s one thing to plan boldly; it’s another to take those plans off the paper and put them into action. As one of my amazing mentors taught me, “You don’t learn until you launch.”
  • Company culture plays a pivotal role in marketing success. If you have a slow-moving culture, grounded in legal and regulations, don’t expect to generate fast-moving marketing like a startup that lives by the “fail fast” mantra. Adjust your expectations based on your internal culture, and if your culture does not match the desired pace of change, then you need to shift your culture.
  • Marketing goes beyond the marketing department. Consider the complete buyer journey and all relevant touch points with your company. For tech/SaaS businesses, we’re talking marketing, sales, product, and customer support. All interactions are opportunities to deliver better and to sell more. Growth is stifled when internal teams act as separate entities rather than as one unified team working towards the same vision.
  • Find and communicate your big idea(s). David Ogilvy once said, “It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” Marketing should focus on shifting perspectives on what’s possible, or sharing an insight into where our world is headed.

“It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” – David Ogilvy

Embracing a “universe of possibility” has transformed how I engage with my fractional CMO clients, teams and projects. It’s not just about innovating; it’s about creating a space where everyone can contribute uniquely and significantly.

This approach fosters collaboration over competition and innovation over imitation.

As I continue to grow as a leader, I’m committed to nurturing this mindset, believing in the untapped potential of ideas and people. Let’s measure our success not just by the numbers, but by the possibilities we create and the barriers we dismantle.

Does any of this resonate with you, or am I being too idealistic? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

See you next week,

Anf Chans ☕

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(This newsletter was drafted with the help of ChatGPT-4 and edited by yours truly. Image by Dall-E.)

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