Are you using new technology with an old mindset? (Or, how the Germans nearly won World War II)

Little Horse on Wheels (Child's Toy)Creative Commons License Sharon Mollerus via Compfight

How fast can a tank go? 

Fast enough to win the beginning of a war.

After the end of World War I, the German army was basically reduced to zero. When they began to rebuild, they were able to do so with a fresh set of eyes.

One of the big innovations of World War I was the tank. Of course, the French and British had tanks as well. 

France, Britain and Germany all had access to the same technology – the tank. But because of tradition, the French and British saw tanks as simply, horses on wheels. 

The Germans, on the other hand, had a fresh perspective: a tank was a fast-moving war machine.

Both sides had the same tradition of footsoldiers first, followed by cavalry. 

But here’s the problem: footsoldiers move slowly. 

The British and French responded by slowing down the tanks. The  Germans responded by speeding up the soldiers, by putting them in vehicles and getting them into an area fast. And thus was born blitzkrieg – lightning war.

It caused the German army to be more responsive to their environment and able to take advantage of opportunities.

And that’s what we’re facing in marketing today.

As marketers and communicators, do we risk using new technologies with an old mindset?

 Social media was build for peers to connect and communicate with each other. It can handle broadcast, but it’s not using the technology to its best potential. 

And sometimes it’s not that we as marketers or communicators are old-fashioned or traditional. Sometimes forces within the organisations we work for make us try to fit old ideas into new possibilities.

What are some of the challenges that keep businesses from adopting a new mindset?

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