February 12, 2009

Silver Bullet Seduction

Marketers are always looking for a silver bullet, a magical answer.

And yet most business success is not the result of quantum events, it is the result of incremental improvements in products and services.

McDonald's, perhaps the most maligned company in the world, has had 55 consecutive months of same store sales growth, an 80% increase in profit, and a 6% growth in its share price last year -- when the stock market lost 1/3 of its value.

How have they done it? No silver bullets. They've focused on doing everything a little better.

Which leads me to the great "silver bullet" of this generation: the overselling of everything digital. Listen to this.
Adweek, Feb 8, 2008:

Forrester Research believes today's ad agencies are not well-structured to take on tomorrow's marketing challenges, needing to move from making messages to establishing community connections.

... it believes shops need to be organized around communities, not disciplines. What it is calling "the connected agency" would not only know certain communities but also be active members of these groups. Pushing messages would give way to encouraging voluntary engagement, and ongoing conversations would replace time-based campaigns
Can you imagine if McDonald's had listened to this baloney 55 months ago and pulled its "time-based campaigns" (advertising) and, instead, "encouraged voluntary engagement, and ongoing conversations"(social media.)

You want to be more successful? Do everything just a little better. Train your people; improve your products; clean your stores; provide more value; make better ads.

Don't be seduced by flavor-of-the-month silver bullets.

No comments: