Wednesday, January 30, 2008


In reality, marketing can be a scary endeavor for most professionals. We always revel over the great ideas and success stories in marketing and advertising. However, we fail to realize that for every success story, there are the others – for what it’s worth.

Last week, I made a long-overdue trip to visit a good friend in the retail business. He’s paid his dues through hard work with some our nation’s finest corporations. In spite of his battle scars and war stories, he still believes in success, and he never walks away from a good business challenge. My career hasn’t been noteworthy thus far, but to know him and work with this guy always gives me hope that maybe one day I can get on the right corporate track.

During my visit, we began talking about an old friend, and we both agreed that one of his biggest faults was his strategy to make a million decisions for what actually only required one decision – a sort of high-powered machine gun approach to solving a business problem. The upside of this approach is that you discover the answer to take the company to new heights. The downside to this strategy is that you also discover the bomb that puts the company in the tank. Eventually, you hope for a wash, which sums up failure in the world of profit and growth.

As for my friend and mentor, I admire the fact that he never hesitates to execute a strategy, and he sticks to the decision. I wouldn’t call him a marketing sniper, but more of an efficient commander, who uses the appropriate weapons for the war at hand. As marketing professionals, we are called to “pull the trigger”, because no one else will do it. If you can’t do it, you may hurt more than just yourself.

Here’s to those who think first, but not too long, and pull the trigger at the right time with the right amount of bullets.

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