Monday, April 05, 2010

Lessons from Zombies?

From the THINKing Blog:

What Marketers Can Learn From Zombies

Posted: 17 Mar 2010 12:16 PM PDT

A great creativity technique is to fill in the blanks “what ______ can learn from ________.” Then select two disparate items as I have for this post: What Marketers Can Learn From Zombies. It pushes you to think about things differently. So, let’s give it a try.

Zombies are relentless, mindless, slow-moving, flesh-eating beings usually found roaming in mobs. What lessons could a marketer draw from zombies?

Lesson 1 - Zombies are relentless. They have but one mission: find flesh and eat it. Nothing stops them. Marketers too often are fragmented in their approach to the market. They hit a roadblock and swerve. Usually that change of direction takes them away from their objective. Like a zombie, be true to your mission.

Lesson 2 - Zombies move slowly. There is a fine line between too slow and too fast, when it comes to marketing. For instance, marketers often trot out a marketing tactic and when it doesn’t immediately gain traction, they move on to the next thing. Most marketing tactics require time to become effective. At other times marketers hang on to the tried-and-true and don’t give new things a try.We should try to find some balance, and always - like a zombie - keep moving.

Lesson 3 - Zombies eat only one thing. As a wise marketer once told me, you are what you eat. This means that you need to find the clients that are right for you and the way you do business. If you find the right clients, you’ll find more of the right clients. But if you get the wrong customers and don’t weed them out, they will bog you down and you will attract even more of the wrong types of customers. This is a nightmare for all concerned. So, don’t be an omnivore. Focus on a single food group.

Lesson 4 - Zombies roam in mobs. Since zombies are slow, it makes sense for them to move in a mob. It takes a mob of slow zombies to take down a quicker, more agile non-zombie. This is the way IBM grew to prominence. Their phrase for this approach was “number 2, with power.” In other words, let someone else innovate and then come in to overwhelm the competitor with great numbers. Here’s the downside of mob movement: everyone gets something to eat, but not much. Being smarter than the average zombie, I’d zig while the zombie mob was zagging. As an example, marketers today have beaten the green, eco-friendly movement to a pulp. A smart marketer would find a novel way to grow his business and let everyone else fight over being environmentally friendly.

What other lessons can we learn from zombies? You tell us.

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