The title is abbreviated from a popular line in the movie, “Rush Hour”. The scene involves a villain threatening to detonate a bomb strapped on a little girl. Then, the hero and the little girl call the villain’s bluff. Spoiler alert: the girl lives. The scene reflects what often happens in great marketing departments. Marketers wield great influence. They grab their target’s attention. They are responsible for communicating objectives, expectations, and consequences. But, they often fall short of actual execution.
For a business actually to execute its objectives, marketing’s role must be closely examined.
Ideas or Results
Marketing is sexy. Brilliant people come up with creative ideas. Marketing plans are intricately designed. And, marketers’ ability to communicate a business’ story is unquestionably essential. At best, the ideas that influence and determine the marketplace’s perception are indistinguishable from magic. Nevertheless, the customer must make a decision, then execute. To facilitate an actual transaction that creates value, someone must act. A sale must be made. While an enterprise’s power may be demonstrated through clever marketing, someone must take action for business activity to happen. Pushing the button creates the desired result. Consequently, sales results trump marketing ideas.
Communication or Transaction
Essentially, marketing is communication. For marketing purposes the consequences for the customer must be clear. Choose our better product, or you will suffer the fate of being less attractive. Understand our superior features or be banished to a world of inferior technology. The ability to articulate the advantages of selecting a specific product or service is the primary weapon that marketers wield. Effectively communicating the unspeakable horrors of being inferior leads to success for many businesses. Nevertheless, the success is only secured following a completed transaction. Nothing happens until a sale is consummated. Transactions require more than great communication. Money must exchange hands!
Awards or Sales
But, what about the accolades associated with great business ideas reaching the marketplace? Trade associations, publications, and universities regularly give awards for great marketing ideas, concepts, and presentations. These awards are based on outstanding efforts. But, a business leader once told me “Efforts are applauded. Results are rewarded.” Marketing awards are applauded. Sales results are rewarded. Successful sales pay for the marketers’ power lunches, seminars, and memberships. Awards definitely demonstrate the enterprise’s brilliance and power in their marketplace. The trophies look fantastic in the office. However, sales successes insure that the lease is paid and the lights are on so that guests and customers can admire the trophies.
Successful businesses get customers to push the button. Once the customer gives a firm “yes” to the sales activity, then the magic really happens! Commitments are made. Agreements are signed. Services are performed. Goods are delivered. Money is exchanged. Commission are paid. Payroll is made. Success is declared!
Successful enterprises keep their business priorities in order. They sell. Indeed, they communicate. They advertise. They present. Such marketing activities resemble placing explosives around the hostage. The marketplace knows exactly what might happen. But, success only comes by execution. A transaction must occur. A sale must be made. To truly seize victory, an explicit action must happen. Go ahead, push the damn button!
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond