One Size Doesn’t Fit All…

“Why do consultants, marketing pros, and ad agents insist on trying to shove pre-packaged ‘solutions’ up the skirt of every business owner, entrepreneur, professional, and decision maker who comes along”

There’s a reality marketers refuse to acknowledge.

We’re in an age of specialization. Today everyone wants, no, demands to have things their way. This applies to the clothes they wear, the foods they eat, the beverages they drink, the homes they live in, and just about every aspect of their lives.

This hasn’t always been the case.

30 years ago large institutions doled out products to the masses in bulk. Forcing buyers to accept whatever was thrust on them — no matter how goofy looking. I admit it. Growing up during the 60’s and 70’s I too wore my share of over-sized clothes that were ‘supposed’ to fit just about anyone. I suppose the only value to my mother’s 50+ year collection of photos being destroyed by flood is the subsequent wiping out of all traces of me looking like a dufus wearing one-size-fits-all clothes that were supposed to fit — but didn’t.

Fortunately the days of one-size-fits-all are dead. At least when it comes to fashion. But what about in business?

Nowhere today is the death of that crazy concept probably more beneficial, though, than when it comes to approaches for marketing a business. Prepackaged one-size-fits-all marketing does not work.

So then, if the concept is dead and ineffective, why do consultants, marketing pros, and ad agents insist on trying to shove pre-packaged ‘solutions’ up the skirt of every business owner, entrepreneur, professional, and decision maker who comes along?

Perhaps it’s laziness. Or a lack of sensitivity to the needs of those who they are interacting with. Or maybe a need for expediency — they reason the more business people they see in a day or week the more sales commissions they will earn.

After all, when it comes to business, everything is just a numbers game. Right?

Wrong.

No agency or consultant is for everyone. Definitions and viewpoints about honesty, integrity, and loyalty vary. Tolerance for ambiguity may vary. And tolerance for working with people who behave like Neanderthals in public or in private will likely vary too [some consultants will accept anyone as a client no matter how abusive as long as the person is paying. My standards are higher. I only work with professionals who act like adults.].

And aside from the differences in emotional aspects of working together there are differences in technical skills.

  • Who’s going to handle which aspects of a project? Is it going to be you and your staff or will your advisor handle the bulk of the load — turning over a complete marketing ‘system’ to you with no additional work required of you?
  • Or will the responsibilities be shared? And if responsibilities are shared, to what extent?
  • On what will the decision of who handles which elements of a marketing project be based on? Is it a matter of who is best suited for a particular set of responsibilities? Or will some other criteria come into play?

See what I mean? When it comes to creating marketing action plans and implementing those plans there are way too many unknowns to just grab some ‘standard’ package being tossed at you. Letting anyone cajole you into accepting a one-size-fits-all solution into your business will usually blow up in your face.

A better choice is to talk with someone who recognizes from the get-go that they and their company are not for everyone. Someone who’s willing to explore together with you whether or not there’s a match. Not someone who’s going to try to fit you into some tight-fitting ‘package’. Until you explore with a consultant or advisor whether or not what he has to offer is a fit for what you are looking for the end result may turn out as unpolished and as outlandish as a tie-dyed garment that somehow survived the 60’s.