Life’s Been Good
Great song. Fits my story too, but mine ain’t finished yet. Or wasn’t as of the time of this post.
Picture this: It’s August of 1977. A 14 year-old boy who’d been listening to Wolfman Jack on an AM radio gets bussed to another town to finish his high school education.
The boy gets thrown out of a class for fighting on the first day of school and the only class for that period, that has an opening, is Mass Communications.
The school is starting a radio station that has enough power to reach all the way to Highway 41, about 1/8 mile away. The radio station is run by the teacher of this Mass Communications class.
The teacher recruits the boy to his radio team because A) he likes fighters, B) the boy reads Rolling Stone, C) the boy’s dumb enough to say yes.
The boy finds The Eagles and yes, I capitalized that on purpose.
They rule. Period.
The boy finds Hotel California. It still rules, too.
The boy hears Joe Walsh play guitar for the first time. He still rules and rocks, as well.
Fast forward to 2008: The boy, now a man, who sells for a living and coaches sales people for fun … and a small profit … gets a message from the Universe that Joe Walsh, Master Guitarist of the First Order, had hidden a sales and marketing lesson in one of his songs.
The man searches for days and days before he comes across it. He then has to decide whether or not to share it with the world. And whether or not to charge for it.
Well, the man figures, life’s been good to me so far, so I’ll just set it free and hope for reciprocity.
So here’s what Joe said that only a select few marketers have ever known:
“I’m just looking for clues at the scene of the crime …”
Now I guess you want me to decipher that for you, don’t you ?
Well, here’s what corporate marketers messed up a few decades ago. You have to design, test, tweak and deploy a marketing campaign from ground zero, not from the 30,000 feet view.
Before the days when corporate wonks started sitting in high rises, the sales and marketing types were out in the field, they were there talking to the customers and they got immediate feedback that hadn’t been watered down by salespeople fearful of losing their job or hurting the feelings of some marketing manager that knows nothing … but is married to the bosses niece.
Now days, everybody wants to view a situation from the 30,000 feet view and that’s not where the usable intel is. It’s down on the ground. Before it gets passed up thru several levels, before it gets watered down, before it gets altered, before it gets made politically correct and before it becomes almost worthless.
I’m a ex-military guy and we were taught to assess a situation from where the action is. After intel moves thru several hands, it’s not as good as it was when it was fresh.
If you want to stop making mistakes in your marketing, get down in the trenches and get usable info, instead of worthless words.
Ask people for their opinion, without telling them why you are asking them.
Talk to people and bring up your product or service casually.
I give my coaching clients places to go, people to see and things to do that make good intel available to them.
Here’s a hint: It ain’t a google group, it ain’t a forum and it ain’t always online.
The view from 30,000 feet is distorted, out of focus and not the best one, so don’t keep using it now that I’ve let the Genie of Truth out of the the bottle.
Columbo didn’t get his info from 30,000 feet, he went to the scene of the crime.
Rockford didn’t fill his files from 30,000 feet, he went to the scene of the crime.
Mike’s Big Message: Quit looking for ways to think outside of the box. Go to where the box gets used and look for clues there.
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