Ready, Blame, Fire!

Ready, Blame, Fire!

Myths & Misses in Marketing

by Ira Blumenthal

Author Ira Blumenthal chucks conventional business wisdom (the myths) while challenging readers to learn from the past (the misses) in this fast-paced book that communicates real marketplace truths to open-minded executives courageous enough to courageous enough to engage in course correction.


Product Details:
     Hardcover: 180 pages
     Published: September 1998
     ISBN-13: 978-1882180950
     Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
     Average Customer Review: 4 stars

Myth 1 - It Won't Happen Here

This is great. This is forever. It won't happen here. Accidents, failures and business tragedies only happen to the "other guy" or another company. Why do we buy a smoke detector after a fire? It can happen here. It does happen here, and if preventive measures are not put forth, it will happen here!

Myth 2 - The Future's Out Of Our Control

There's clearly a future for those who plan for it (or create it). Peter Drucker's words of wisdom ring loud and clear, "If you want to predict the future, create it!"

Myth 3 - Follow The Leader

Robert Frost wrote, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I . . . I took the one less traveled on and that has made all the difference." Most great works of art, industry and science came about because someone looked at the world differently. Learn from the leaders but don't necessarily follow the leaders. Follow your head and heart instead.

Myth 4 - Bigger Is Better

"Big" anything can be intimidating, scary, awesome, impressive and even breathtaking. After all, "big" is powerful. "Big" has seemingly unlimited resources and "big" crushes "little." Myth! Myth! "Big" can also be inflexible, headstrong, obstinate, rigid and clumsy. Focus on "better" not "bigger." After all, it's not the size of the company, product or brand that matters. All that matters are big results and big, positive customer satisfaction.

Myth 5 - Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

The key to the future of business development is not separatism; it's collaboration, communication and alliance. "good fences" separate neighbors, separate companies, careers and serve as an impediment and barrier to real growth. "Strength in numbers," through strategic alliances, is the way to win the war for share.

Myth 6 - The First One "In" Wins

Howard Johnson's was the first major sit-down restaurant chain in the U.S. Today, they barely have a pulse. Xerox produced the first PC. Today, they are not even a player in the PC market. Woolworth's "five and dime" closed its doors after over one hundred years of retail operations. By exception, the "law of first" may apply to certain niche industries and categories, however, other than public relations value and a place in history, being first generally guarantees you absolutely nothing in terms of long-term business excellence and success

Myth 7 - Back To Basics

In short, back to basics simply means "...let's do more of the same!" Oftentimes, it's the "basics" and "more of the same" that got a company in the mess it's in. It is very likely that the dying words ... the very, very last words of each chief executive who ever went down with a sinking corporate ship were, "This is not the way we've done it."

Myth 8 - Business Is Complex

We talk ourselves into believing that operating and building a business is a very complex process. Hey, there's management, operations, administration, finance, production, distribution, purchasing, human resources, logistics, technical services, marketing, sales and on and on and one. Read The Emperor's New Clothes for insight and context. Business is more simple than it appears. After all, there is really only two activities in business ... selling and supporting the selling. Period!

Myth 9 - Close Enough Is Good Enough

In our high-tech world of exactness and preciseness ... close enough is not good enough. If the 1991 Persian Gulf War taught us anything, it should have taught and introduced us all to a laser-driven approach to air warfare called "The Smart Bomb." The "Smart Bomb" was oriented toward perfectly hitting its well-defined target. Shotguns get close, a rifle gets closer but in an age of absolute technological preciseness, "smart bomb marketing" is the only acceptable initiative. If it is not a "direct hit" today, it's not a hit!

Myth 10 - Value Means "Cheap"

"Hey Mom, you can buy these shoes at two for the price of one ... great value, no?" No! "Let's run over to the Burger Barn. They have `value pricing' there. You can get a cheeseburger for $.39. Now that is value!" Wrong! "Value" does not mean cheap. Value should, at least, mean meeting customer expectations. Leading companies, however, raise the bar on this definition and view value, better yet, as exceeding expectations.

Myth 11 - The Best Offense Is A Good Defense

Generally, one scores by shooting and possessing the ball. Although it happens on occasion, typically defense doesn't score. The best offense is not a good defense. The best offense is a great offense that controls, manages and moves the ball (business) by focusing on scoring through achievement and performance.

Myth 12 - Watch The Competition Closely

Legendary cartoon strip character Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and it is us!" Aggressive competition against yesterday's results, last quarter's numbers and last year's ledger sheet are much more important (and positive) than worrying and focusing effort, energy, and resources on the "other guy" and "the other company." Satchel Paige, the Hall of Fame baseball player simply said it best, "Don't look back!"

Myth 13 - Play It Safe

The old position on risk was "What is the risk we're taking if we do this?" The new position on risk is "What is the risk we're taking if we don't do this?" No risk, no rewards. No guts, no glory. Calculate the contingencies, of course, and constantly review the level of risk appropriate to the initiative, however, in the words of that great philosopher, baseball manager Casey Stengal, "You can't steal second with your foot on first!"

Myth 14 - Time Is On Our Side

Although I'm a Rolling Stone music fan, I disagreed with Mr. Jagger when he sang, "Time is on our side, yes it is ..." Consider that we have all the modern conveniences and technological advances available to allegedly make our lives simpler and more efficient. We have electric garage door openers, remote control television sets, microwave ovens and more. Through it all, however, we have no time. We are technology and activity rich but "time poor."