Inspiration becomes the golden rule

Nov 01, 2006

Well, I’ll tell you them for free (or rather, as there isn’t the space here, for the price of a stamped-addressed A4-sized envelope).

To be honest, they’re absolutely worthless. They’re not even secret – most have been around since Dr Gallup in the 1940s, and David Ogilvy in the 1960s, a set of strictures developed to impress upon potential clients that their agencies had taken on board current (and now outdated) psychological studies.

But knowing every golfing technique doesn’t make you Tiger Woods: in fact, too strict an application can rein in natural flair (‘Well done Mr Woods – but do you know you can improve scores 30 per cent by holding your feet like this?’).

What, too, if you’re learning these techniques from someone who’s never actually applied these techniques, has never even played, let alone attained a proficient standard?

Yet most teachers of marketing techniques, although good at quoting successful campaigns, have very rarely been involved in creating them. They simply rely on the implication that these techniques somehow naturally lead to similar campaigns.

It’s like expecting a specification list to miraculously develop into a fully-designed and manufactured car. (‘Well done Aston Martin – but sales would soar by 35pc if you just included an off-side glove compartment light…’)

As Albert Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge. All the successful marketing campaigns you see being referred to again and again rely on an imaginative strategic positioning, invariably developed by talented, experienced people who’ve put a great deal of time and effort into its creation.

In fact, most ‘marketing techniques’ were made obsolete even as they were being written, mainly due to the publication of Trout and Ries’ Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, which set out the overriding importance and incredible effectiveness of ingenious strategies.

Once you’ve developed a strategic positioning, a great many ‘marketing techniques’ frankly become irrelevant, playing very little part in the campaign’s success.

So what’s the tenth Golden Rule of Marketing? Get yourself an inspired strategy – then you can safely ignore most of the other nine rules.

Tel: 01296 730230
The Business Centre, Padbury Hill Farm,
Padbury, Buckingham

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