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Monday, 17 January 2011

New book and course coming up - plus a good joke that's unfair to Americans

I have some new stuff for you soon - a new book, no less, which is really not new at all. (Yes: all marketers ARE liars).

Plus a new course, which you may like.

First, though, what is unfair to Americans? Well, it's a joke sent me by my Aussie partner Malcolm which goes like this:

The Marketing Departments of two rival American and Japanese companies decided to hold a boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance levels until both teams felt they were ready to demonstrate their prowess.

The big day arrived, and the Japanese won the race by a mile. The American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found, so they hired a consultant to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action.

The consultant's finding: The Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering; the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering. After a year of additional study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consultant firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough people were rowing on the American team.

So as race day neared again the following year, the American team's management structure was completely reorganized. The new structure: four steering managers, three area steering managers, and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.

Again the big day dawned, the race began, and the Japanese team won by TWO miles. Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.

Why is that unfair? Because it applies to big marketing departments in every country I have visited.

It took
one large energy company we dealt with 8 months to get a mailing out. The fact that they had eight people attending the first meeting should have warned me. And a lunatic arrangement whereby half of them worked the first part of the week and the rest the second part is almost a pure recipe for chaos.

Depressingly, as soon as marketing takes hold in less advanced countries, they all ignore the principles, but can't wait to import the bullshit.

Things are even worse
in the somnolent Groves of Academe. One world-famous business school in London that asked me to work with them seemed unable to even organise a meeting. And when they got me to come and do a seminar ... well!

What is this book I mentioned that isn't really new? It is a compilation (with tasteful improvements) of my 51 helpful marketing ideas. I did it because people rave about the ideas ... then often confess that they don't get round to reading them.

And what is this course I mentioned? It is an interactive course (yes, really: it asks you questions and you reply) based on my book Commonsense Direct and Interactive Marketing, designed in particular for professionals (lawyers, accountants and so on).

You know, I detest the word "exciting" but I am excited.

The course was created by people who specialise in learning techniques, and charge about $30,000 for putting something like this together. It is based on the different ways in which we all prefer - and find it easier - to learn.

To be honest I have been so busy that it took me weeks after the course had been created to look at it. When I did I was astounded. I thought it was really excellent. Anyhow, shortly you can be the judges.

The book has taken a year to put together - and of course I have lost all ability to judge it. We just have some of the illustrations to finalise, and then I shall launch it on a defenceless world.

More in a few days on both - probably the course first.

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