Not Gene Simmons and friends, I am talking about the way overused cliché:

“Keep it Simple, Stupid”

• Instructions
• Quick start guides
• Checklists
• Commander’s Intent in the military

Yes there are many places where simple is better, like cooking instructions for a Pop Tart.


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But “simple” in marketing usually means you’re not only thinking inside the box, you’re an equal distance from every corner. The result is a message about as exciting as envelope stuffing, order entry, or a double shift as a Wal-Mart greater. It is a formula for failure.

My friend Jon Spoelstra recently told me “You need to treat “New” as a way of life.”

Think about that. If you are not constantly creating new ways of marketing, your business will parish.

Try something new. Treat it as an experiment.

If you have a truly creative idea and people don’t hate it, they weren’t listening.

So just plan on resistance, it’s inevitable.

Corporate managers are the keepers of the status quo. You can usually get around this wall by asking “can we just have a couple weeks to go test it?” Tell them “Yes it is probably a stupid idea as you say, but how about I run a little test to show that you were right. When it’s done, you can shower me with the “I told you so’s.”

Ten minutes later they will have forgot they approved this little “experiment”. Six months later you can show them the winning results. At that point you can remind them that Steven Jobs couldn’t hold a candle to them when it comes to innovation.

When Jon Spoelstra was president of the New Jersey Nets the team was awful. Jon was trying to come up with an idea that was as far from bland as possible.”

“How can we get people talking about the team when our players are so bad?”

“What if we gave a Jockstrap to every man, women, and child that attends the game. Surely people would have fun with them, tell stories about it at the office, PTA meetings, and schools. They would be talking about the Nets!”









Certainly not bland, more on the side of kinda insane, silly, stuff.

Which is where you want to be.

Quit worrying so much about offending someone with your marketing campaigns. Any marketing that has enough impact to make a difference is always going to carry some baggage. If you are not offending someone, rest assured you just wasted your money.

KISS = Kinda Insane Silly Stuff.

That’s a way better way to think when you are trying to Market Outrageously.

Mark L. Fox

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

One Comment

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