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What’s Old is More Important Than Ever

Marketing Challenge:  Positioning

One of my mentors celebrated her 80th birthday this past weekend.  During the 1960’s-1980’s she was an advertising powerhouse in New York City and later in Atlanta.  She had a complete Mad Men experience.  Ironic that she was a female groundbreaker.

Twenty years ago, she gave me a 1st edition copy of Positioning:  The Battle for Your Mind.  First published in 1980, it was the original book that addressed the problem of getting your message to stick in an era of information overload.

Stop and think.  This book was published 40 years ago.  A lot has changed in 40 years, and overload is now an understatement.  If you haven’t read this book, you need to.

My favorite section is the last chapter:  The Six Steps to Success.  It begins with six questions any organization needs to ask itself before embarking on this journey.

One of the most pertinent questions is whether an organization should attempt to do the work in-house or get help from outside experts.  According to the book, outsiders bring ignorance and objectivity.  According to the authors, “outsiders are best equipped to really get into the minds of your customer.”  I couldn’t agree more, and there is a right way to do this.

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