We Killed Our Sacred Cow
What is the common thread?
More to the point, the year end, and the start of a new year, is a good marker for an ending or a start. And that is exactly what we have done at Massive Media.
Our business started in 2009 and its only ‘raison d’être’ was as a sales representative office for HCP/Aboard, USA based publisher of the in-flight magazine, Cayman Airways Skies. We were a shoestring outfit. The founder was the only employee for the first year and it ticked along nicely. Over the years we have had full-time and part-time sales reps working for us. However, at its core the company remained a one trick pony with no other source of revenue other than the sales representative commissions we earned. In short, our future was completely dependent on the future relationship between the publisher and the airline. Not a sustainable position.
One year ago we did something about it. We began the process of change.
In January of 2014 the direction of Massive Media was altered. We expanded into graphic design, website development, marketing strategy and social media management. The change was led by two talented additions to the company, Rich Dyer and Pavel Vondra. It was very much like a startup in the first quarter of 2014 as we worked together to define our branding, adjust our public facing marketing, and launch what was essentially ‘Massive Media 2.0’.
Was it scary? Were we afraid?
Hell yes! There was no roadmap. We had developed a business plan and worked up projections, but at the end of the day, in the quest to grow, to improve and to change you have to face that fear and act anyway. We are glad we did. It reminds us that often the bigger the knot in your gut produced by fear of a future action, the more you should do it. In our case we surpassed our year targets by mid-year, and finished the year discussing staffing growth.
In 2014 we worked for charitable causes (Derek Haines and Six4Hospice, National Trust), did really fun self-promotion activities (Chicken Foundation and Cupid’s Brand Guidelines) and in the process we were retained by some incredible clients (Campbells, Digicel, SteppingStones, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Island Companies, Azure Realty and OneTradeX to name just a few).
Success inevitably leads to change.
In solving the challenge of being a single source of income company, we had created such a successful ‘new’ business that the old just did not fit as well anymore. Everything related to our magazine advertising sales function was facing pressure from the new growth.
That feeling was back. The knot of uncertainty. We had to change. In November of 2014 we informed the publisher of Cayman Airways Skies that we would not renew our sales agreement for 2015. The decision was difficult, not least because this had been the reason for our startup so many years ago. However, it was the right decision. For us. Now. It frees up time, allows us to focus on what is now our core business. More than anything this change squarely places us in the digital agency space. We no longer have a toehold in print. There is nothing we do that is not 100% within our control. It is now completely our business.
On January 1, 2015, we killed our sacred cow and we could not be happier. What sacred cow is holding your company back?