“I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. … [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.” – Jeff Bezos
Customers desires don’t change much over time. It’s the tactics used to help them achieve their goals that are constantly shifting.
Bezos is speaking in the context of B2C, but what does that mean for B2B marketers?
B2B customers will always want to get results while minimizing risk. B2B customers will always want to feel they’re getting great value relative to their cost.
Those two things will not change in the next 10 years.
In life, you’ll want to make more money, take the next step, and stay healthy.
Those three things will not change in the next 10 years.
What This Means For You
At work, ensure that you are always working towards those things that won’t change in 10 years. Think long term, not short term. Work backwards, and figure out how you can work towards those initiatives in your day to day duties.
Show your boss this Bezos quote, and ask your boss what you think won’t change in 10 years and see what they say. Better yet, ask your bosses boss. If they haven’t been thinking about these things, it’s probably worth mulling it over for a few hours.
How can you create systems that will always ensure you’re working towards those things you care about today and you’ll care about in 10 years?
For me, it’s putting aside at least 10% of what I make in a savings account, always trying to focus on innovation at work while ensuring we’re working towards things that will be true in the next 10 years, and doing 25 pushups and situps per day while eating one meal with a lot of vegetables each day.
Going inch by inch while keeping it simple and attainable has worked for me.
What will work for you?