Stop. Someone stole my imagination.

Recently, I have seen quite a few people (usually competitors) ‘hijack’ adverts and company posts on LinkedIn and Facebook to either promote their own business or criticise the company posting / advertising in the comments.

What are you doing? Do you think that comes across as professional? I assume someone stole your imagination at birth or that your sales targets are too high for your little brain to handle? Perhaps you work for a company so void of class and creativity that it’s all you’ got?

It seems that some sections of marketing and sales have evolved into a bit of a bun fight on the front line. Cheap online platforms that give everyone a voice (no matter how stupid) are grating away at our concentration levels and blurring truth, lies and reality. It’s also unblocking internal ‘etiquette’ filters as to what some people are prepared to say just to get noticed within 140 characters.

The good will out, of course. As long as the good guys keep talking the walk and sharing the stories of why they are great. Good marketing (esp. B2B) is about sharing the narrative of the organisation and demonstrating personality (brand). Some companies are very good at this, even through challenging times. But, in true playground form, jealous playground bullies appear to steal the packed lunch your mum lovingly made you.

Strong and consistent narrative should be the lifeblood of an organisation from top-to-bottom, as United Airlines are demonstrating (how not to do it) this week. If you aren’t who you say you are, someone will no doubt be standing close-by with a camera-phone to tell their version of the narrative you thought you had control over.

This starts by investing in your internal story. Your team need to believe it and actions speak SO MUCH MORE LOUDER than words. Then you can build a team strong enough to attract the like-minded customers and contacts your business needs to flourish – remembering you don’t need to be all things to all people.

But, if you are one of those people so concentrating on your competitors and what they are saying and doing, you need to understand a simple fact – you are actually letting your own business erode.

Why not concentrate on doing good things within your own organisation and developing YOUR narrative rather that try and hijack someone else’s in such a cheap manner?

Either that or go find some other bell-end-ery to spend your time on, the grown-ups are busy.