Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Search For Silver Bullets

In my 25 years of thinking about marketing-related problems, a number of observations have impressed themselves upon me so that they have now become personal marketing principles. Among these I include the well-worn maxim, "There are no silver bullets."

I know that a lot of business people wish there were indeed a silver bullet, a top secret marketing tip that they might be privy to. This would help them find relief from having to do any further homework, any further study or thinking or work.

When you stop and think about it, virtuosity in any endeavor is the result of a hours of practice, preparation and sweat equity. Some people have natural abilities, but unless sharpened and honed the most gifted musician, athlete or sales professional will falter.

Applying oneself to think from a marketing point of view is not natural to many of us. It is a skill, however, that we can learn.

Unfortunately, most books on marketing are an attempt to chronicle universal truths that apply to all businesses. They do not and can not necessarily address all the particulars of our specific situations. Each of us in a different set of circumstances. Thus we must each do our own homework to think through how this principle or that applies to one's unique situation.

A friend once observed that successful people do the things that are necessary, not just the things that are enjoyable. "It is interesting," he said, "that by doing these necessary things routinely and developing skills in those areas, they become enjoyable or at least not unpleasant."

So it is with finding business and marketing solutions. We must invest time to think, to gather information, do our homework... and execute.

This not only applies to business, but across the board in a hundred applications. A silver bullet solution will not revive a stale marriage. A silver bullet solution will not restore a broken relationship with one's children. A silver bullet will not make you rich, if you want to go there. Whereas it's true some people do win the lottery, the reality is that it does not teach us anything that we can pass on so that others can replicate our success.

When you reach for the stars pay attention to where you're walking so that you don't accidentally walk off the end of the pier.

Have a very special day.

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