Three meditations: something to think about, a “how-to” resource, and a marketing deep dive. Ommmmmm.

Something to Think About

One "How To" Resource

I loved Dave Kellog’s post about marketing metrics for a board meeting.

I recommend the entire read, but particularly liked his “the CMO is the quarterback of pipeline” metaphor.

A Marketing Deep Dive

Marketing Jiu Jitsu

Marketing Jiu Jitsu

In the late 1980s I was in Jr. High and High School.

This was pre-Internet.

Household computers were just becoming a thing.

It was a glorious time.

One of the biggest foreign influences in the U.S. was Japan.

The Japanese economy was on a tear, its “Miracle Era” was underway and Japanese GDP per capita was blazing past most western countries.

There was speculation that Japan’s delayed post-WWII economic boom was unstoppable.

Anime like Robotech and Battle of the Planets were on American TV.

The NES was making its way into living rooms everywhere.

And Robert Mark Kamen—the screenwriter behind the Taken and Transporter movies had just written his first blockbuster, The Karate Kid.

As a result, I was into martial arts.

I took every karate class I could find.

There was a karate class Tom Robb taught at the Orem Rec Center, Shotokan with Fred House’s group at the Provo Boys and Girls Club, Tae Kwan Do, Tae Ki Do, Ha Wrang Do, Kung Fu, Chin-Na, Tai Chi, Japanese Jiu Jitsu (the Gracie’s were just bringing BJJ to the U.S. back then), Aikido, Krav Maga, and American Kenpo.

I read Stephen Hayes’s books on Ninjutsu, Ed Parker’s Infinite Insights to Kenpo series, and Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do plus much older works like The Art of War and The Book of Five Rings.

I watched David Carradine in King Fu (the reruns, I’m not that old). I watched classic movies with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris as well as Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude Van Damme. And my friends and I rented every old kung fu movie we could get at Blockbuster.

Now, I did not master all of these arts.

I “sampled” most of them.

And I noticed their classes were mostly structured the same way.

Students would be taught basic moves, moves were put in sequences for training (kata), and combined to form techniques against specific attacks.

But beginning students often approach these new skills as a library thinking if they could master a practiced counter to every scenario, they would be untouchable.

But if you went to a tournament, you would never see a technique executed to completion the same way it was practiced in the dojo.

The techniques as they are taught don’t apply quite that way.

For real application, you have to spar.

Sparring requires you to adapt in ways that cannot be taught any other way.

Prussian Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke wrote, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.”

Mike Tyson gave us the modern version going into his bout with Tyrell Biggs, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

No matter how good your plan is,  it isn’t good enough to guarantee the outcome.

You go out on the field with a play in mind, and sometimes have to call an audible.

Why?

Here’s the deal.

Real life contains an impossibly complex number of variables.

And one of the most complex things you can face is another person.

In Marketing Warfare, Ries and Trout rephrase the saying as, “No plan survives first contact with the customer.”

One of the things I love about being a fractional CMO is seeing so many companies.

And this principle holds.

You develop playbooks.

You have techniques in your repertoire.

You practice your marketing Jiu Jitsu and you make a plan.

Then you make first contact.

And everything changes.

Winning requires both the plan AND the ability to adapt when it inevitably falls short.

The good news?

 

Both the plan and the pivot are skills anyone can learn.

Until next time… namaste.

 

Chad Jardine, CEO

CMO Zen

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please consider sharing it with a friend. If this WAS shared with you, you can subscribe yourself at cmozen.com/newsletter.

 

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