Hitting 'em Where They Ain't

Baseball people are smart. They don't spend a lot of time trying to teach pitchers how to hit.

Hitting 'em Where They Ain't
Capital Thinking | Hitting 'em Where They Ain't

Capital Thinking •  Issue #528  •  View online

Every company has strengths and weaknesses.

The temptation to focus immoderate amounts of time, energy, and money on tweaking weaknesses rather than maximizing strengths can be overwhelming.

-Bob Hoffman

Looking For Problems

Bob Hoffman | The Ad Contrarian:

One of the biggest dangers successful brands face is falling into the hands of dumbass marketers.

Successful brands are usually created by an inscrutable recipe of hard work, good product ideas, luck, and competent marketing.

After a period of success there is always a second (or tenth) generation of marketing. Many new generations of marketing make a similar mistake.

Before we get to that mistake, let's talk about baseball.

In Major League Baseball's National League, pitchers have to hit.

They are very bad hitters. Not because they lack athletic ability, but because they usually didn't hit much, if at all, in high school, college, or minor leagues.

Hitting major league pitching is indescribably hard and if you rarely hit as an amateur coming into the major leagues and trying to hit is a nightmare.

Because pitchers are such bad hitters, National League teams usually have between 3 and 5 automatic outs in every game they play.

This is a significant hardship because in every 9-inning game you only get 27 outs.

But baseball people are smart.

They don't spend a lot of time trying to teach pitchers how to hit.

Yes, they have them take batting practice to keep their timing up, but they figure that there's a limited amount of time to be spent in training, and it's best spent improving a pitcher's pitching technique rather than his hitting technique.

In other words, there's more benefit in improving what he does well than in trying to improve what he does badly.

Many marketers don't understand this.

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Looking For Problems
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When new marketing "leadership" shows up at a successful brand, it is highly likely that the very first thing they will do is try to identify what "the problems" are.

It makes them seem smart.

If left unchecked this inevitably leads to trying to fix what the company does poorly instead of maximizing what the company can do well.

*Featured post photo by Joey Kyber on Unsplash