If marketing is applied properly, it simply cannot fail.
Those are the words of one of South Africa's greatest marketers - former Toyota MD, Colin Adcock, who proved time and time again that the whole idea of marketing is to make sure that things like advertising, PR, branding, packaging, pricing and so forth aren't left to chance. That they are guaranteed to work.
His sage advice should be very welcome in these troubled times of recession and despondency. Except Adcock wouldn't have been despondent, he would have been gung-ho optimistic about the success he could have while his competitors were being despondent and battening the hatches.
The problem with marketing is that in the good times one can get away with murder. One can cut corners and still be successful. One can look around for big ideas and not worry too much whether they will work or not because in good times most ideas do.
But, when it comes to the crunch, it's a good idea to forget about that big idea and rather start applying marketing in its strictest form. As a checklist of everything you are doing to make absolutely sure that risk is being eliminated.
Using marketing properly means that no ad or PR campaign, branding, new product development and so forth will go ahead unless it is guaranteed to succeed.
That was Adcock's point. Marketing isn't about risk. It isn't about taking chances. It isn't about gambling.
It is about making sure things are going to turn out the way you want them to.
About Chris Moerdyk
Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk
is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on moc.liamg@ckydreom
and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk