Don MacNeil is the former Marketing Director of Windsor Jewelers and long-time on-air radio professional.
Is it just me, or…
Everyone Doesn’t Think The Way You Do
In all of my school years the course that had the greatest impact on my life was required-in-freshman-year, Sociology 101. Used creatively, the principles of “Soc” explain nearly everything in life, save maybe String Theory.
Along about week 5 of that course we were introduced to the principle of, “Barriers To Entry” which, this will surprise you with its stunning simplicity if you’ve never heard it before, is the way all professions purposely make it difficult to join them. Think about it: mind-numbing med school…barrier to entry to the medical profession. The harrowing, exam-filled process of becoming a licensed realtor? Barrier to entry…so just anybody can’t sell you a house.
Ever notice too how every profession seems to speak its own lingo? You thought it was just cute verbal shorthand, but actually…barrier to entry. Through industry jargon, interlopers are spotted immediately.
Where am I going with this?
Marketing, or “advertising”, has no barrier to entry. And this is important.
Important because while you’d never consider cutting someone open or attempting to wade through an ocean of property closing documents, chances are you don’t even blink at the prospect of directing your own advertising dollars…or authoring your own marketing message.
And may I be blunt? Because those of us who do this for a living have seen all the mistakes and made a few whoppers of our own, one of our major functions is standing between you and a repeat of any of them. As the boss, you have the power to do irreparable business harm to yourself, including placing your ads in publications you peruse, TV shows you watch and web sites you visit, when what you’re really doing is caving in to the temptation of seeing yourself online, on TV or in print. Meanwhile, all of those media reps will stand back, smile, and take your money.
No, you need the perspective of someone “out there” with the rest of the world, who sees you the way we do.
Disciplining yourself to throw aside Everyone thinks the way I do could easily be the key to both your survival and/or future success.
But wait, there’s one more: I started this business and I’m going to trust only my own intuition because no one cares more about this place than I do. You may be right. It all goes back to auditioning your marketing guys. If they never challenge you, trouble could easily be ahead. I advised in an earlier column and I’ll say it again here: if, after evaluating a succession of marketing firms you’re still the smartest guy in the room, keep looking.