Look for synergy all around you…

There are a lot of buzzwords floating around marketing departments all over the world. It doesn’t really matter what industry you’re working in either, you’ll still find the regulars. But every once in a while, a situation comes up where one of those buzzwords really makes sense in a specific context. Enter “synergy” and the topic of this entry.
Synergy is an old word. No, not 1997 old, but really old. 1660 old. It apparently shows up in the bible in some early form and originally comes from a Greek word that means working together. It started getting used in the broader, non-theological, sense in the 1920’s and entered the world of corporate marketing in the last few decades. It came into my mind recently as we (my team at Entercom) worked to expand our green/environmental/sustainability platform called 1Thing. The platform has launched in about a dozen cities and has gotten some nice traction, but it still has plenty of room to grow.
We often seek out partnerships and resources that are uncovered by the people in our local markets. And often, these resources end up being some of the most innovative or creative or unusual. I love seeing someone recognize instantly that the possibility of synergy exists. There’s something about that discovery that is both exciting for me and manages to pull up a sense of accomplishment for the person that finds it.
That is exactly the case here. Someone in one of our markets recommended a site that we looked at and realized would be a great partner. As things unfold, and we continue to do our research and due diligence, I believe this particular discovery will be a great fit for the 1Thing platform. This potential partner represents the true possibility of synergy; in my mind, we can make each other better. So check back later. When the agreements are signed and the ink has dried, I’ll reveal the synergy that we uncovered, and you can judge for yourself if it’s real, or just another example of an overused buzzword.
And that brings me to the point of this entry (which is not contingent on the outcome or true viability of the previously mentioned partnership). As the title suggests, make sure you look for synergy all around you. You might find that it comes from someone on your team, from some piece of information you are (very) briefly exposed to over the course of your daily life, or from someplace entirely unexpected. But keep your eyes and ears open and don’t be so quick to cast doubt. If you pay attention, you may come out better as well.