You know who Peter Drucker is, right? He was (and probably still is) the godfather of management theory and practice.
And if Peter Drucker gave you some great advice, would you dare argue with him?
Don't be crazy, of course you wouldn't. Even if he is dead, I'd still be afraid of finding a horse's head in my bed tomorrow.
Which leads me to a rather disturbing discussion currently on our Two Hat Marketing Network* group on LinkedIn.
Actually, it's a non-discussion, evidenced by the glaring LACK of active participation. And this disturbs me. Let me explain.
I'm keenly interested in helping my clients, audiences, and readers grow their businesses. I truly want them (and you) to succeed. As a Gunslinger, I strive to be that outside force that causes massive and positive change. I don't hew to the masses and spew out common pablum and marketing speak. I don't kiss my clients' or anybody else's butts. I think people and companies need to be whacked on the side of the head...shaken out of the mental, day-to-day doldrums that grasp so many of us.
Why do I feel this is needed? Because the real shame of business today is its blind acceptance of low productivity and efforts in those areas of business that actually make a difference.
Marketing and Innovation.
If you've followed me for any time now, you know I'm a Marketing and Innovation evangelist. Put those two together with Branding and you've found my happy place. I love working on and talking about Marketing, Innovation, and Branding. I think those three legs of my own Gunslinger's bar stool are the most important factors in any institution's success.
Let me emphasize that again:
MARKETING, INNOVATION, AND BRANDING ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT
FACTORS IN ANY INSTITUTION'S SUCCESS.
Most people agree these are extremely important, but the befuddling fact is that most, repeat most, organizations do not put these very high on their action list. But we should, shouldn't we? Marketing is that daily function that fills the funnel. Innovation is that daily function that separates us from the competition. These aren't "nice-to-do-today-if-I-have-time" things. They are essential to our future success.
Back to my LinkedIn group non-discussion. I asked the question, "What do you do every single day to generate new business and/or new customers?"
How many responses have I received? Three. Just three. Two of them gave me specific, excellent answers to my question. Seven days went by with no further comments, so I added,"I find this very interesting. Either the rest of you don't have a daily routine for drumming up new business or you don't want to share it."
The third was a brave, honest response, "Silence sometimes means shame. It is in my case. Shamefully I don't have a conscious daily routine. I'm also interested in hearing from the people who are faithful to their daily prospecting efforts, but in how they do it during their busy times to avoid the peaks and valleys of sales." There have been no further responses.
In his riveting, 576-page 1974 classic, Management, Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, Drucker wrote:
There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.
(And) because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two - and only these two - basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are "costs."
(Note: this key section was also included in Drucker's more recent The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials))
Gold! This is gold, I tell you! Marketing and Innovation aren't just important, they are THE ONLY TWO BASIC FUNCTIONS of any business!
Then I heard Nido Qubein speak back in 1986. He was talking about the typical swinging pendulum of feast or famine so many professional speakers go through. You market like crazy for three months. Then your calendar is full for three months, so you stop marketing because you're so busy. Because you stop marketing your calendar is empty the next three months, so you market like crazy. The pendulum swings back and forth, back and forth.
Nido (we are now BFFs, so I can call him Nido) said, "The most important time to market yourself is when you are at your busiest. You MUST make time to market when you are busy and when you aren't. You must market all the time...every day."
More gold! Pete (we aren't BFFs, but he's dead, so he can't get mad at me) and Nido sent the message and I saw the light. I became a born-again Marketing and Innovation Evangelist! (I later added Branding, because I painfully learned there was no such thing as a two-legged bar stool.)
I know we all get caught up in a To-Do list that is crammed with Urgent matters. Like my honest respondent said, "...I'm also interested in hearing from the people who are faithful to their daily prospecting efforts, but in how they do it during their busy times to avoid the peaks and valleys of sales..."
As Nido pointed out, you simply cannot allow the peaks to interfere with what are the most important factors in your success. We all get done those things we decide to get done...those things we deem as priorities. But for some unknown reason, most of us don't put Marketing and Innovation at the top of those daily lists. I want to change that.
I've decided I'm going to fight the good fight. I'm doing more webinars - some free, some not. I'll be holding a very way cool conference in Seattle this Summer, I am creating new products (books, ebooks, CDs, online, etc.), and maybe even some coaching or mastermind groups for my new M.I.B.E.'s (Marketing, Innovation, & Branding Evangelists).
Want to join me in my crusade? If you do, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the message, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
No, wait, that doesn't make sense, don't write that. Just tell me you want to get better at Marketing, Innovation, and Branding. It'll be fun and we'll all make more money. And BTW, if you do send me an email, I'll send you a password to watch my recent webinar, "From Improvement to Innovation." It was awesome! Eric Sullwold said, "I watched almost all of it." And if you already saw it, well...watch it again.
* Please join us in our small, but mighty group on LinkedIn. Click this link: Two Hat Marketing Network.