Sunday, September 28, 2008

"The Future Ain't What It Used To Be" - Yogi Berra

Marketing Insights Inspired By the Baseball Hall-of-Famer

Known for his famous "Yogi-isms", Yogi Berra, Hall Of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees should be teaching marketing at Northwestern. Even experienced marketers could learn a thing from "The Yog". Take, for example, the Yogi-isms "You can observe a lot by just watching" and "Nobody goes to that place anymore. They're too busy."

Today marketers are sometimes confused and befuddled by the state of marketing today - the traditional methods are not working as well as they used to and the new stuff is coming at them from all angles. What is a marketer to do? Well, as Yogi puts it, "How 'bout just watching?" Take a moment to have a good look around. Consumers are TIVOing, spam and ad blocking, do-not-call list enrolling, podcasting, downloading, MySpacing, YouTubing and are addicted to mobile whether it be their cell phone, Blackberry, or PDA. This should tell you something.

Now take a good look at your marketing plan. Does it reflect what you are observing or does it reflect the old status quo? Has your brand extended to new channels such as cellphones, social networking sites, blogs, or user-generated content sites such as YouTube?

And what about customer service at the retail level, web site, email, or over the telephone? Yogi said, "Nobody goes to that place anymore. They're too busy." Are customers being serviced in a prompt, courteous, and efficient manner or are they forced to wait in line, navigate a challenging web site, wait unduly for email responses, or put on hold when they call. In today's customer ADD environment, it would be smart business to recognize that impatient customers are vulnerable to competitive offerings.

Yogi puts it this way. "The future is not what is used to be."