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What’s your problem? 18 February, 2009

Posted by Jay Ball in Uncategorized.
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ninjaIt is perhaps staggeringly unsurprising that most marketers and their agencies spend most of their time in search of solutions for their brands.

After all, we all want to get to the right answer as soon as humanly possible (if not sooner). It also provides the satisfaction of actually doing (and be seen to be doing) something, anything – quick, unleash the marketing ninjas (if only there really were marketing ninjas).

The trouble is – this is kind of dumb.

It’s far better to spend quality time (as much as you can spare) really understanding what the problem is. The real problem, not just the one you think it is. The strange thing is when you do, quite often the real problem is quite different than the one you thought it was.

Your motto in this should be the Buddhist mantra:

Don’t just do something, sit there

Now let me pause for a moment to make one thing absolutely clear: I’m not saying we should all sit around inspecting our navels while the market goes whistling past. Speed is still of the essence. Fortune favours the agile. And analysis paralysis won’t get you anywhere.

But… if I had just just an hour to come up with a solution, I’d prefer to spend 40 minutes of it getting to the bottom of the real problem (and probably another 10 minutes redefining it) than to have a whole hour with a pad and a marker.

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