20 June 2009

The Marketing Platypus

Everyone has heard the analogy that a camel is a race horse built by committee. If a committee builds a camel, business owners who want to do things themselves usually build a platypus.

There is no more definitive proof of this than when you check your mail at the end of a busy day and see the unaddressed admail in your mailbox. You see some of the most unprofessional misfirings in marketing. Many times, I bring these into the office for the entire group to see (and get a good chuckle). Nothing says home made logo, like a home made logo.

A platypus isn't good for much if you're competing with race horses, or even with camels for that matter. This sounds contradictory, but in marketing, sui generis is usually what you are after, but being unique in the amateurish and nonsensical arena won't get you on top. There are times when an unpolished or kitschy approach can work for marketing, but this takes planning and strategy, not just blind luck and a duck beak.

A while back I wrote a blog called, Heed the Advice, it spoke to the fact that you have to listen to the advice of experts. This came from a lesson that I learned and was not meant to be an endorsement by any stretch, unlike this posting (insert smiling or winking emoticon here).

There are some things you might like to experiment with or do as a hobby, all too often we see companies that treat their marketing this way. Marketing is not a hobby, you either live it and breath it or you don't. Having said that, there are some business owners have a knack for it, understand the importance of marketing but, they know when to bring experts to the table to execute or refine their ideas - there's no coincidence that these are the very same business owners that are successful in what they do.

If you are serious about growing your business, hire a marketing professional - but before you do, make sure they can make race horses. Have a look at their track record, make sure they can build successful campaigns and bring creative approaches to the table.

At the end of the day, we build race horses for customers. Sometimes we end up with a camel but never a platypus.

From the opening credits of Dogma, a film by Kevin Smith:

Remember: Even God has a sense of humor. Just look at the Platypus. Thank you and enjoy the show.

P.S. We sincerely apologize to all Platypus enthusiasts out there who are offended by that thoughtless comment about Platypi. We at View Askew respect the noble Platypus, and it is not our intention to slight these stupid creatures in any way. Thank you again and enjoy the show.

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