I was at a birthday party today (yes, Im on *that* circuit), and another dad and I were chatting about sailing (one of my passions) and boats. He was a ‘stink pot‘ afficianado, and I prefer the thrill of the wind in my hair and the wind in the sails.
So after some friendly ribbing on the merits of wind vs power he asks me if I have a boat.
“Nope” says I. “Well if you were to buy one,” he asked, “what size would you get?”
My answer took him a moment to digest, as if I was talking a foreign language (apart from my Cockney accent). So what was my surprising (at least to him) answer?
“As big as I could afford!”
So what does that have to do with business and marketing? A lot.
Many business decisions are made on perceived impact and cost (think Super Bowl half time ads, or that guy in Marina del Rey with the 60ft yacht, rather than the actual value and Return on Investment.
In marketing and life, no outlay of money should be undertaken without the proper analysis and process. In business more is not always more (and less is not always less, but sometimes less is more!), one needs to consider a longer term strategy, like how are you going to pay for the next ad, Super Bowl or not.
In life, the 60ft yacht looks good, but the old adage that a sailboat is a “big black hole that you throw your money into” holds true… the bigger the boat, the bigger the hole.
In business, the wrong decision on the wrong marketing (in most cases big spread thin, isn’t as good as small and focused) with the big price tag does more than waste money, it could be the slippery slope from which your business never recovers.
So choose the boat you can afford, make sure it has sails 🙂 and enjoy the fair ocean breezes.