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Shooting for the Moon… and Sticking the Landing

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If you’ve ever watched one of the hundreds of crime dramas on TV or tuned into a true-crime podcast, you’re probably familiar with the ideas of genetic fingerprinting and DNA profiling. More often than not, fingerprints and DNA are used to crack a case and lead to the right culprit. But the science behind DNA fingerprinting? It didn’t even exist until 1984. In fact, the inventor of the method didn’t think it was even possible. 

Time and time again, mainstream society and experts in their own fields have proven to be notoriously bad at predicting which risks will pay off and what is in the realm of possibility. As another example, look at Alexander Graham Bell who, strapped for cash, offered to sell his telephone patent to Western Union for just $100,000. Western Union turned it down, stating that “The idea is idiotic on the face of it.”

What seems impossible or idiotic today can become commonplace tomorrow. It just takes a little bit of grit and self-confidence. Ivonne Kinser, the Head of Marketing for Avocados from Mexico, and both she and the company have a knack for taking risks and betting on the seemingly impossible. What do those bets look like, and how have they paid off so far? Find out on this episode of Business X factors.   

Main Takeaways:

  • Be a (Calculated) Risk-Taker: People are often encouraged to start before they think they’re ready and to not let any opportunity go to waste. While sometimes this is a good strategy, it is almost always better to make a calculated bet and be sure you know what your ability level is and what you hope to achieve with any project. With that knowledge at the very least, you can come up with a plan that might be bold, but has a better chance of working out than if you jumped in blind. 
  • Separate the Signal From the Noise: Companies have to evolve constantly to stay innovative and competitive, but still too many find a model that they repeat over and over even though the industry has begun to outpace them. But it’s not enough to just keep pace, you have to constantly try to stay ahead of the trends so that you can be riding the highs of a movement while others are trying to get started. To do this, keep an eye on the trends and separate the noise from the signal. Take advantage of trends to cushion the business, but build your foundation on the forces at work, such as the technology that will be sticking around for years to come.    
  • The Long Game: In today’s world, businesses are often focused on short-term goals, this month’s P&Ls, and what the stock price is doing. Applying long-term thinking is probably the better strategy, though, because it allows you to prepare for whatever will come your way. By coming up with very long-term goals, and then focusing on collecting the data and implementing the technology to keep yourself informed on as much as possible, you future-proof yourself and your business.

 

Key Quotes:

“I love taking risks. I mean that adrenaline of the risk and just getting into the unknown that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I love it. The uncomfortable, that’s my comfort zone. I thrive in it.”

“I overestimated my capacity and my drive…. But the big lesson is you can have whatever you want. You can be the strongest tryer. But you need people, you need other people to lend you a hand and take you through and show you the ropes and give you a chance. And New York is tough and it’s a very, very, extremely competitive space and city and market. And it’s just, I was not ready. And the big learning is sometimes you have to be patient and wait until you’re ready, because if you’re not ready, you burn your opportunity.”  

“We’re very innovative, but we’re also performance-driven. So how can you guarantee performance and still be innovative? There’s a huge risk-taking in between those two. The element that you can find there in our organization is a very research-driven organization. So even though we don’t know exactly what is in front of us, we have a very, very good understanding of the market, the consumer, the brand.”

“We’re competing with anyone with a digital campaign for the Super Bowl because we’re competing for the attention of the consumer and whomever dominates that conversation is the winner. So, I’m very hands-on, especially in that campaign, looking at why. There’s tools that are telling almost in real-time who is dominating the conversation. And if I see anyone going close to us, then choose another tactic or move money from somewhere else to this… There’s a lot of changes to adapt to what the market is telling you that is interesting and relevant for them. “

“We have to be very, very clear all the time, what is the difference between forces and trends? Because we need to play in both, but we need to be able to differentiate where are we in one or the other one? For example, trends I could say, non-fungible tokens, that’s the trend, but the force is blockchain.”

Bio:

Ivonne Kinser is the Head of Digital Marketing and Ecommerce for Avocados From Mexico. As the director of digital marketing, she pushes the limits of innovative thinking and is constantly disrupting norms and driving Avocados From Mexico toward digital success. Prior to taking her role with Avocados From Mexico, Kinser was a Director of Digital Marketing & Public Relations for Haggar Clothing Co. and an Advertising and Marketing Manager for American Airlines.

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Episode 17