Nearly 2100 years ago on March 15, only a year after he had been appointed a perpetual dictator, Caesar was murdered by assassins whom he knew very well. He had been warned many times of their intent, which is why the saying, Beware the Ides of March, went down in history. The ides fell on either the 13th or 15th of the month in the ancient Roman calendar.
Why did the master of the Roman world--having been clearly warned about impending danger--elect not to worry? He was a military genius, an incomparable strategist! But the very man who proclaimed, "I came, I saw, I conquered"--got conquered.
Must the mighty always fall? Are there any warnings you have received about the health of your business-- and ignored? Beware the IDE's of marketing!
I is for Ignoring Information
Didn't Caesar believe there was a conspiracy against him? Did his emotional ties to those such as Brutus prevent him from mistrust? Whatever the case, if he had listened to those who warned him, he might have died of old age. Likewise, to avoid being murdered by the competition, an executive needs to carefully consider all information pertinent to the well being of the firm. Here, we can learn from the Japanese. Every major industrial group in Japan now has its own research institute whose main function is not technical research but research into knowledge, that is, to bring to the firm awareness of any important new knowledge, not just in marketing, but in technology, management--whatever--developed anywhere in the world. These think tanks have emerged from the Japanese insight that leadership throughout the developed world no longer rests on financial control but on who knows the most.
Could your organization have a think tank? Why not? People who are responsible for specific information gathering could come together once a month to share their discoveries. In the information age, what you don't know CAN hurt you.
D is for Deathwish Marketing
Deathwish Marketing is a term coined by agency professionals Kevin Clancy and Robert Shulman in their book, The Marketing Revolution. They define the malady as marketing efforts which emerge from errors such as
• Basing key marketing decisions on judgment alone... "This is the way we made the decision last year."
• Watching the competition for guidance. (They could be wrong.)
• Demanding short-term results... Fast reactions are sometimes necessary, but following a process is what increases the odds of success.
• Creating marketing programs that build consensus within the firm... but don't address real customer needs with real solutions.
• Seriously considering far too few viable target markets, positionings, creative options, pricing levels, etc.... Tunnel vision based on untested or limited assumptions.
Consider your options! You could get your wish.
E is for Egocentric Efforts
Caesar enjoyed wearing a laurel wreath. Whether he was resting on his laurels we cannot say, because he wore the woven leaves not just to show he was a hero but to conceal his baldness. In either case, it made him a sitting duck. The moral? Be conspicuous for customer service. Stand out for helping your clients win laurels, not for your own feats.
Now you know the IDE's of marketing. Avoid them-- You have been warned!