Are You a Marketing Superstar?

May 27, 2014

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What’s a Marketing Superstar?

There’s a lot of misnomers about what it takes to be successful at marketing. Some companies throw money at the problem, some outsource to specialized firms and others pretend their marketing doesn’t need any help at all. If you fall into that last category, I invite you to reconsider. For marketing to be successful it needs to be responsive. By responsive I mean willing to adapt, versatile and proactive.

One of my favorite business quotes is “embrace the inevitable.” This isn’t a somber or downer quote, but rather an invitation to recognize change for what it is and embrace it. As a business owner or employee you stand in the middle of an ever-changing media and social landscape. Inventions of today have profound impacts on what consumers expect tomorrow. Businesses that change to consumer values survive and thrive. Others that hold religiously to outdated models and methodologies are shattered on the hardened resolve of increasingly empowered buyers. I’ll share one classic example with you: Blockbuster.

Blockbuster’s Story

Blockbuster is truly a sad story. It’s humbling to watch a corporate, multi-billion dollar giant sink to its knees and utterly disappear just because of an unwillingness to change. For most of its history Blockbuster was a giant. At its peak in 2004 Blockbuster enjoyed 60,000 employees and roughly 9,000 stores across the world. It was purchased in 1994 for a whopping 8.4 billion dollars. At its demise in 2010, Blockbuster sold at auction for a mere 235 million dollars. So what happened? Blockbuster failed to embrace the inevitable. The inevitable– the takeover of online video streaming and monthly subscription services offered by companies like Netflix. In 2000, Blockbuster declined the opportunity to acquire the struggling Netflix for $50 million. The future stared Blockbuster in the face, and Blockbuster politely turned it down.

Moral of the story? To be a marketing superstar, don’t be afraid of change. Embrace the inevitable and capitalize on it. Don’t just accept the inevitable for your company–embrace it.

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