Thought Catalysts: Tom Fishburne on Staying Focused

June 30, 2016 Tom Fishburne, The Art Of

There are leaders and then there are followers. Generally the idea is to be the former. 

But perhaps it's worth a shot to look at this phrase the other way around. Maybe to be a leader, it's worth being a follower. 

The people who lead the way with awesome ideas and unique talents did so by acquiring knowledge and applying it in new and interesting ways. We all need to learn stuff to lead stuff. And those who do it best inspire others to act. 

They are Thought Catalysts. Here they are as told by the keynoters giving us lightbulb moments from The Art Of


Marketers love chasing the shiny new thing. It seems like every week, we learn about a new technology, social network, or media platform that promises to be the next big idea in marketing.

We sometimes get so enamored by the shiny new thing that we forget the fundamentals that the business goals come first. The shiny objects that we come across are only worthwhile in terms of whether and how they enable us to reach those business goals. The value is in what the shiny new thing enables, not the shiny new thing itself.

Last year, a marketing friend was asked, “What’s your Snapchat strategy?” Not only did the question automatically assume that Snapchat was a fit for the brand, the question implied that the brand would develop a new strategy for Snapchat rather than ask how Snapchat could enable or amplify the brand’s existing strategy. The question put the cart before the horse.

Any successful marketing program takes sustained energy and commitment. The cost of perpetually chasing the shiny new thing hits all of the other priorities that have to be put on the back burner to make room for the shiny new thing. If we try to do everything, we won’t do anything particularly well.

Of course, brands can’t stay static and our best laid marketing plans have to be adaptable. It makes sense to assess new marketing opportunities as they come along. But we have to keep that exploration in context. There are no magic bullets in marketing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how marketers should navigate the shiny new things that come along.


If you want to read more of his posts, check out Tom Fishburne's page on The Art Of. If you want to know more about The Art Of and any of its brands, ask your questions here

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