A Tale of Two Teams
Troy Polamalu is one of the most versatile safeties in pro football. A deeply humble and religious man, he's just as likely to pray for his opponent's health as he is to knock the snot out of them or return an interception for a touchdown -- and attribute it to "luck." Historically, he has played more like a linebacker with the range of a safety, but this year, he's played more like a safety who can hit like a linebacker. When asked if he prefers playing this way more than he enjoys playing as he did in previous seasons, in what can only be described as vintage Polamalu, the Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro safety said, "I prefer winning."
The result? Partly as a result of Polamalu's 40-yard interception return for a touchdown in the AFC Championship game against the stout Baltimore Ravens, the 14-4 AFC north and conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers are heading for their 7th Super Bowl, and their 2nd in 4 years.
A Texas Ranger throws a tantrum
Michael Young is a gifted baseball player for the Texas Rangers. He's also well-paid. He makes over $6 million per year.
I don't watch baseball, but I've heard on ESPN Radio that he was a phenomenal 2nd baseman who acquiesced to being moved to shortstop, where he also played very well.
But when the Rangers asked he move to 3rd base, to make room for an up-and-coming shortstop team management might help the team win, Young had enough. He asked to be traded rather than move to a position he didn't think he could thrive in.
In what I doubt is a coincidence, the Rangers finished the 2008 season with more losses than wins. Young reluctantly agreed to move, but reports say he isn't happy about it.
Are you Michael Young or Troy Polamalu?
Are you married to your tactics, or would you rather you (or your clients) simply win?
There is no panacea of marketing. A lot of marketers in this space -- who read this and other blogs in our blogroll -- believe in what they do. They look at the landscape of traditional marketing and witness account executives and brand creatives who go on exotic "business" trips on the client's dime and put out tv ads (sometimes even entertaining, award-winning work) that simply don't solve the client's problems.
They resist pushing the client over to another tactic or medium because that's not what they do. That is handled by a different department, and pushing it off will mean fewer exotic business trips, or less money for their team's expense account.
Maybe the right solution is being handled by a different agency altogether, and they're too worried about their own survival to countenance the loss of revenue to a rival agency.
The same can be said of more "progressive" marketers, too -- those who so fanatically believe in Internet advertising or social media and modern Internet technologies that they eschew all traditional methods of communication.
The right solution is the one that helps your company and your clients succeed. If you haven't considered alternatives to the tactics you offer simply because you don't offer them, then hire someone who can. You can decide what to do about it later.
Your clients will appreciate (and reward) your dedication to their well-being. - Cam Beck