Is Great Marketing Really Great or Just Lucky?

Common wisdom says marketing students and professionals alike should study the steps that are taken by high-performing organizations to understand what they do well and how they could do even better. Surprisingly, that actually might be a very real mistake.

Great image

The reason for this is two-fold:

1. it’s nearly impossible to qualify, let alone quantify, what makes for a truly successful best practice as it relates to marketing; and

2. the production of great ideas is both art and science, and it requires just the right message for just the right audience at just the right time for just the right product, etc., etc., etc.

To prove my theory, just think about those things that have been truly successful in the last five years. Can you think of connecting points that they all had in common other than they caught the market’s attention and soared? Consider great literary works such as “Good to Great,” “Built to Last,” and “In Search of Excellence.”

These world-class works were absolutely a huge success. But was it because they followed a formula or best practice that led them to their success? Absolutely not!

So what makes for a great work vs. a lucky strike? I would argue that whatever your organization’s goals, evaluating and improving your ability to understand your key customers is the key. You can do this through continuous two-way interactions that will guide you to discover what they consider a success. This ongoing customer understanding will lead you to your success.

Plain and simple, there is no formula or best practice covering marketing triumphs. They all have to be discovered and created anew for each organization and selling circumstance. And as the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” But that might be a fable, too!

Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

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