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When a project is starting to come together, we al…

May 10, 2005

When a project is starting to come together, we all experience a few mixed emotions. Will it succeed? Did I think of everything? What will my audience think? What will my management think? Is my resume up to date?

Natural feelings to be had. They contribute to what I think of as the marketing high and the marketing low. The high really is a giddy feeling, a sense of joy and enlightenment. It means that you walk through a crowded airport and (a) see your ad on the wall, (b) here someone talking to someone else about your product, (c) see your product on the cover of a magazine, and (d) get the phone call from your boss congratulating you on the big win. Unlike so many other endeavors, a marketing win is very visible to the world at large. If you are the guy who launched the iPod, you are feeling pretty good. If you are the guy that launched the Newton, you are hiding your head.

The marketing low, interestingly enough, has many of the same events with a very different outcome. You walk through the crowded airport and see your ad on the wall and realize the product is not available at all in the color shown. Everyone is talking about it because of the news coverage over the lawsuits against you for illegally sampling music for the ad. The magazine cover includes the headline “10 Biggest Marketing Mistakes”. That phone call from the boss begins with “You are fired” and goes downhill from there.

Either way, sometimes I think that marketing people just can’t win. The tide can turn against us so fast that it makes the head spin. Today’s hero is tomorrow’s consultant.

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