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Business Fracking 2.0
by Andy
August 11, 2016

Economic indicators can be interpreted many ways – especially during Presidential election cycles. One party’s triumph is the other’s punching bag. Democrats will proudly cite today’s U.S. unemployment rate, which stands at an impressive 4.9%; but, Republicans will respond with “Yeah, but where’s the growth?”

Fracking-Hydraulic-FracturingIn theory, when at or near full employment, wages should rise and production should soar to take advantage of consumers’ new purchasing power.  Add in the Fed’s expansionary monetary policy and growth should be rampant by now.

Sadly, the market has ignored theory. Some economists see our stubborn growth as a precedent to an impending recession. Others see it as the standard for years to come.

Robert Gordon, Professor of Economics at Northwestern, penned an interesting piece in The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/2atrLyW). He points out that dot-com transformation and business process optimization are, by and large, complete. Add in debt-ridden college grads, massive under employment, rising medical costs, stock market vagaries, delayed/declining marriage rates and it’s easy to understand our market stubbornness. Throw in Brexit, terrorism, Asian and European slowdown — and the prospect for robust domestic growth certainly faces headwinds.

I want to posit a growth strategy during stagnant times. I call it ‘Business Fracking’ — getting incremental opportunity from the same hole.

Arguably, consulting firms created Business Fracking 1.0, or ‘business process optimization’ as it’s better known. These frackers helped businesses saddled with decades-long processes see the economic light of doing things differently. Optimized supply chains, market segmentation, aggregated cost centers, outsourcing, robotics, digital transformation, etc. These efforts worked wonderfully until the Great Recession hit leaving us to stare at that same, slow-producing, albeit optimized hole.

Now, how do you now squeeze more results, better results, new results from that investment?

It’s time for Business Fracking 2.0.

Business Fracking 2.0 is a communications technique used by tech companies.  Historically, these firms do an outstanding job of explaining where the category is going — sharing smart foresight supported by data and trend lines — and then explaining why they’re best prepared to succeed in that future. They fan the flames of enthusiasm and opportunity, then position themselves as the singular compass that can guide them to it. This is how start-ups raise money with napkin scribble, and how the big firms seed their new product launches. Category vision followed by the big sell.

Business Fracking 2.0 has now spread beyond tech with GE and Goldman-Sachs reaping the benefits. Visit their websites to see issue-based, vision-forward communications. You have to dig to find out about the products and services they sell.  Now check out their stock charts.

Yes, these are massive companies with long track records, but their Business Fracking 2.0 strategies are right out front for all to see. Yet most Fortune 100 firms are slow to fully embrace it. And the smaller the firm, the less they frack.

The frackers will tell you: the growth is out there, waiting to be extracted. So get fracking.

3 Responses to “Business Fracking 2.0”

  1. Andy –

    Here is a little Canadian fracking humour for you and your readers to enjoy from a CBC show called “This Hour has 22 Minutes”.



  2. Absolutely key to building an inbound marketing capability.

  3. Great read Andy, as always very relevant to our current times. I will check out some of the websites you mention. Reading your post prompted a couple of thoughts of how to rethink what we are doing, thanks

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