Key Lesson from Marketing 101

There’s a wonderful book from the late 1990s, Who Moved My Cheese? Cheese is used as a metaphor for something related to our livelihoods – our jobs, our relationships, our industries, for example. It tells an interesting story of dealing with change, how change can be embraced or shunned. In the end, change is generally unavoidable. Lesson learned? Expect change and adapt, or one day you’ll find yourself (or your company) left in the dust.

A Marketing 101 course covers a lot of ground, running through theory and strategy, research, analytics, marketing platforms, and dozens of tactics to consider for a given company to use. As marketers in the day-to-day for our clients every day, we know that what works today will change. Yellow Pages, anyone? That was the top tactic, consuming a large chunk of a diversified marketing budget, for some of our clients in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Why? It’s the tactic that caused their phones to ring and brought in 50+% of their business.

One key lesson from a Marketing 101 course withstands the test of time, and simply does not change: A business succeeds only when it has something to sell that people want or need, and are willing and able to buy. You can have the greatest employees in the business, the best website, the lowest prices, the greatest value, the highest ratings, and reviews, and the happiest customers…but if you don’t have a product or service people need and want to purchase, your business won’t be viable for long.

So, while you’re keeping an eye on the many, many facets of running your business (operations, marketing, sales, HR, etc.), never lose sight of what you’re offering, and make sure you continue to align your offerings with what consumers demand, or will be demanding as time goes on. Take the time for ongoing reviews of where you are, and where you need to be, so you won’t wake up one day to find that your “cheese” has been moved.

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Quote of the week:

Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision, and change.

Richard Branson