Friday, May 25, 2012

Don't settle for doing your best.

         Winston Churchill said, "Sometimes doing your best isn't good enough. Sometimes you need to do what's required."

          Good marketing never ends. There's no finish line. There are always changes, if not from the competition, then from the target market.

           The iPhone changed cellphones forever. But it also changed us --- our expectations of cellphone technology, our appreciation of design, our relationships with friends, family, and business associates. Now that Motorola has reintroduced the Razr as a thin smartphone, do we care about slimness anymore, or do we have a better, newer list of priorities? And how will Motorola change now that it's been sold?

           Economists are constantly being asked when things will get back to normal. Maybe they won't go back. Maybe there's a new normal, bifurcating between the highs and the lows. We in marketing can't keep doing the same old thing even if it's new.

          We've all been taken by social media. At the same time, new information is emerging about the limits of technology and the capacity of human nature to conquer all. We use social media and we love it, because it puts us more in control and keeps us more informed. Yet it may not be as persuasive in the ways we marketers had hoped. General Motors just pulled its $10-milliomn out of Facebook advertising, but kept its free pages.

          As marketers, we have to stay several steps ahead, and there's only one way to do it. Keeping up with your customers.

           Ford made a crucial mistake --- a classic marketing error --- in the 1950s. Research had told them they needed another full-size make to compete with Buick. But in the five years it took Ford to come out with the Edsel, the market had changed to smaller cars. The Edsel was dead on arrival. And today, Buick
barely has a pulse.

          It seems that doing your best isn't always the best you can do.

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