What Albert Einstein Can Teach A CMO

Albert Einstein, Al to his close friends, developed a few theories here and there, perhaps you’ve heard of a few of them. He is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.

Using some of his famous thoughts, let me discuss some of the challenges and opportunities of digital marketing and customer experience.

1. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

This quote, along with the infamous “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” speaks directly to the fact that far too many marketers are stuck in the past. And when I say “past” I am not referring to many, many moons ago. I mean, three to five years ago or even more recent than that.

The speed at which new technologies and innovations are occurring is mind-blowing and if you are not keeping up, you will be left behind. It’s that simple.

2. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Along with “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” what Einstein is telling all of us, including we marketers, is that we must never lose our imagination; we must never stop pushing; never stop dreaming. As children, our imaginations are free to go wherever they want, yet as adults, we tend to rein them in.

Don’t. Keep dreaming. Keep imagining. You’ll be a lot smarter for it.

3. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

The important thing is not to stop questioning.”  That’s another one of Al’s thoughts and together they pretty much direct all of us to continually ask questions; never accept the status quo (see #1 above.) And never lose sight of his choice of adverbs, either. His use of the word “passionately” is not by happenstance I assure you.

4. “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Slow down. Pace yourself. There’s no law that says all the great ideas you have to implement them all at the same time. Take the time to plan everything out, work with your team, and so on. Yes, I realize time is very often of the essence but if you plan accordingly you will have the time to do it right, whatever “it” is.

5. “It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.”

You may be surprised to see this one on the list but the lesson here is you should be able to tell your story; your team’s story; what you plan to do, why you plan on doing it, and how you plan on doing it, and so on in a very simplistic way. This is not physics, and it’s not rocket science, either. It’s digital marketing.

6. “It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.”

A person whose behavior or views do not conform to prevailing ideas or practices. That’s the definition of a nonconformist. And in today’s world of marketing, another word bandied about is “disruption.” Be a disruptor. Be a nonconformist. Challenge traditional ways and means.

7. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

At the end of the day, trust your gut. Trust your instincts. They’re what brought you to where you are in the first place. Of course, the numbers, AKA data, do not lie. I get that. But never lose sight of that little voice in your head. The one that’s “independent of any reasoning process” as the definition of intuition goes.

The reason I bring up data via the last quote is, as I mentioned, the data does not lie. And there is obviously no shortage of it. Marketers the world over have more data at their fingertips than at any point in history. The challenge is what to do with it.

This post originally appeared under the title of 7 Albert Einstein Quotes and What They Mean For CMOs. 

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