Proven advertising ideas to get more people to buy from you, visit you or know about you. Not to mention plenty of tips on creating successful copy, layout and images. All filtered through the thick haze of classic rock lore.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

All Things Must Pass: The antidote to "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

Nothing makes a good marketing pro cringe more than the phrase : "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

This favorite phrase of too many managers and business owners praises complacency, and complacency is a strategic no-no in a marketplace that's constantly changing. It puts an unnecessary ceiling to a company's growth and competitive edge. This phrase is also the twin sister to "We've always done it this way." Meaning, we're fine the way we are. We don't have to change. We're doing well.

But there are countless stories of successful companies that went under because they stayed the course while the marketplace, the customers and the times have changed. So your company's marketing plan frequently has to be reviewed and revised. New ideas and new ways of communicating to your target audience must always be embraced. That's why we always have to test new ideas, new creative and new strategies with the currently successful ones. Because what's successful today may not be successful two days from now.

So the next time your client or boss says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," think of George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass." Why? Because no organization is immune to what could be a fatal challenge. Even the greatest and most influential organzations can pass. And perhaps history's greatest example of this is Montgomery Wards.

One of the oldest retail institutions in the U.S., Montgomery Wards began in 1872. It changed the way America sold things. It created the catalog, direct mail and even Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. It had hundreds of stores in 31 states. It was a household name. And in December 2000, Montgomery Wards went bankrupt after 128 years.

If Montgomery Wards could go from being the poster child of the Industrial Revolution and Big Business to the poster child of "All Things Must Pass," then how can we be so complacent to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." For us to stay vibrant and viable, we must be committed to always review, react and, if necessary, revise our marketing plans.

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