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« More vs. enough | Main | The first law of mass media »

'Where to' might not be as important as 'how loud'

Here's what they say to you when you graduate: "What are you going to do now?"

And here's what they say to you when you're about to leave on vacation: "Where are you going?"

In marketing (and thus, in life) it might be a lot more important to know, "How are you going to do the next thing?" or "How are you going to do your vacation?"

Direction is drilled into us. Picking the right direction is critical. If you don't know the right direction, sit tight until you figure it out.

The hyperactive have trouble with this advice. So they flit like a hummingbird, dashing this way and that, trying this tactic or that strategy until something works big, then they run with it.

What we're seeing, again and again, is that both of these strategies rarely work.

Organizations that sit tight tend to get verry comfortable with sitting, and they don't move when they need to move. They want proof that the direction is the right direction, they study it, consider it, test it, and the next thing you know, they are fourth in a three-person market.

Organizations (and leaders, and followers) that flit have a similar problem. They're so good at flitting, so happy with it, that they continue to flit even when a decent path shows up. (Classic Dip behavior). No direction is perfect, so we play with a strategy for a while, but you know what, flitting is more fun, so we go back to that.

The alternative is to do your best to pick a direction (hopefully an unusual one, hopefully one you have resources to complete, hopefully one you can do authentically and hopefully one you enjoy) and then do it. Loudly. With patience and passion. (Loud doesn't mean boorish. Loud means proud and joyful and with confidence.)

No flitting, no waiting for proof. Just consistent, overwhelming performance in pursuit of a vision you believe in. That's far more important than which direction you chose in the first place. And yes, I think it's a marketing decision, because the market embraces 'how.'

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