April 13th, 2010
Almost every company has a chief of marketing mulligans (CMM), the person responsible for its indecipherable value proposition, or brand. Who’s your CMM?
The CMM is the exec who habitually treats marketing like a second cousin to sales, the one who believes any shot at branding suffices — just to get something out there — because there’s always time and money for a do-over. Shareholders disagree.
In golf, a mulligan is a “do-over” shot, used in casual games by lazy players. This kind of play is against the rules and never allowed in competition. It gets worse: I’ve seen many a duffer putt one foot short of the cup and then record his score for that hole — assuming he would have sunk the ball on the next stroke.
Would you invest in a company run this way? You already do. Most companies are run this way.
Real marketing, like real golf, is about precision and accuracy — not mulligans. At the Masters Tournament in 2010, Tiger Woods sealed his fate for fourth place on the 14th hole of the final round, with a bogey (one stroke over par) instead of a makeable birdie (one stroke under par). How? He rushed his shot. No do-over allowed.
Did you ever rush a marketing campaign and score a branding bogey? Of course. Did you get a do-over? Of course. Did that haste cost your company needless money, time, and marketplace impetus? Of course.
When you give a member of your staff five minutes to report his status, you expect a sharp, crisp delivery — in your language and style. You expect efficient communication: maximum information in the fewest words. The opposite annoys you, right?
Customers also expect efficient communication, in their language and style, from you. Really, they do. This is the key to strong branding and high-profit sales.
I’ve had this typical conversation countless times with CEOs:
Rudov: “Gee, I’ve looked at your homepage and can’t, within 15 seconds, fathom what you guys do.”
CEO’s response: “Yeah, I know. It’s a problem. But, we don’t have time or budget to fix it. It’s a low priority for us right now. Besides, I think most people know our business.”
Low priority? No time or budget to fix a major problem? Most people know our business? Such is the vernacular of underperformers. This pervasive “mulligan” attitude — Hey, it’s close enough — leads to branding bogeys and, hence, lost or inefficient sales.
Rx from The WhiteNoise Doctor™
Every shot you take — in golf or marketing — has consequences. Never play with the presumption of a mulligan, a do-over. Instead, aim to win from the first stroke.
Marketing is not subordinate to sales; it’s the driver of sales. The objective of selling, as in golf, is to reach the goal — closing the deal — with the fewest strokes. Mulligans are costly, the CMM is hitting bogeys, and the shareholders are keeping score.
About the Author
Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.
© 2010 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.