It’s Funny Because it’s True

Tom Fishburne is the king of marketing humor. And while that’s a bit like being the richest person in Monopoly, it’s still something. (At least better than being the poorest person in Monopoly.)

Monopoly comparisons aside, Marketoonist should be on your daily website bucket list. Tom is brilliant, and has a knack for capturing the frequent absurdity of modern marketing departments. His recent COVID-19 wrecking ball marketoon puts another check mark in the win column. It perfectly captures a discussion that’s taking place in thousands of conference rooms (or conference apps) around the world.

To quote Homer Simpson, “it’s funny ‘cause it’s true.” It’s also funny because, as slightly awful as this sounds, we like to laugh at other people’s misfortune. It’s funny because we’re not in the conference room.

Or, are we?

COVID-19 has shown itself to be a wrecking ball, tearing a swath of destruction through our societies, healthcare systems, and economies — including businesses large and small. Coronavirus  isn’t just a minor remodel. We’re not installing new mini blinds and then going back to business as usual. There is no more “as usual.” COVID-19 has permanently changed the way we do business, now and in the future. It’s a wrecking ball, not a remodel. And as Tom correctly points out, a fundamental outcome of the pandemic must include an acceleration toward real digital transformation.

My hope is that you’re already well on your way to making the business changes necessary to thrive in the 21st century. You realize your customers have changed. They’re connected, informed, and empowered. They expect you to know them across every touch point. They’re using modern channels to engage and communicate. You’ve eliminated organizational silos and have created enviable end-to-end customer experiences. 

If you’re still in the “digital transformation is years away” stage, well, it’s time to get moving before the COVID-19 wrecking ball does even more damage to your business. It’s not too late, but you’re running out of time. Because digital transformation is no laughing matter.

Otherwise your competitors won’t be laughing with you, they’ll be laughing at you.