Marketing is Now Complicated.

Marketing is Now Complicated.

We all can think of a favorite TV ad that through it’s creativity, set itself apart from all of the other drivel we have seen over the last few years. These ads were spectacular because they usually surprised us by piercing a stereotype we held sacred or taking us somewhere mentally we had not thought to go. This, of course, was before social marketing broke onto the scene causing real marketing anxiety.

The point is that we encounter great marketing concepts all too infrequently. Marketing, unfortunately, is usually built with cookie cutters. Why? Human nature plays a big role here. Let’s face it, coming up with good, new ideas is painful and many times unrewarded. Creative ideas don’t come along every day. They must germinate and be nurtured just like seeds. The time frame can be as short as several days or as long as several years. And, at the end of the gestation period the idea may turn out to be still-born. On the other side, a new idea will decay quickly unless there is someone willing to accept not only the different idea, but also the increased risk and cost of the new concept. New ideas can be a difficulty in every industry, and when there is a big price tag attached, most managers will probably opt for the cookie-cutter.

When an industry is fighting to recover or a player in that industry finds that the industry has taken an entirely different road and is taking a lot of the market with them, this may be a good time to look at non-cookie-cutter programs. When we are desperate, we often see things a little differently than when we are fat, dumb and happy.

Well, we are in a place like that now. Many industries are struggling to stay on sales track while moving from old media to new media. Banking services have moved online, but the banking industry is still located on main street. The housing industry is struggling with this recovery, as it never has before. Housing has found itself in the middle of a new subdivision in 2011 where there are few buyers and fewer maps or signposts to help. Print media and their customers, the reading public, are finally face-to-face with the internet monster that they have pictured many times, but did not prepare for. When you are charged with understanding these changes and responsible for executing million-dollar decisions in the face of these changes, it can be very sobering, and even a little scary.

What can you do to keep on track?

Don’t try to make the new marketing decisions all by yourself. Rely on your associates and staff to give you perspective. This is what consultants are for. These changes are really opportunities. Ask yourself: what should I/we be doing differently now?

  1. Don’t be afraid to consult people outside your immediate setting, office. The best investment mind I ever came across was a druggist who happened to be a great thinker.
  2. Get to know your customers better. Ask them how you can help. If that doesn’t work, offer them some help for free. You will be surprised by their response.
  3. Get to know your customers better. Ask them how you can help. If that doesn’t work, offer them some help for free. You will be surprised by their response.


Geoff Wood is the principal at
GeOFF WoOD Marketing located in
San Francisco. Call or email us at

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