Thursday, June 26, 2008

Paddle Upstream or Go with the Flow?

Which would you rather do:

  1. Start at the mouth of the Mississippi and paddle your canoe upstream until you reached Minneapolis,
  2. Or Start in Minneapolis and head downstream until you reached New Orleans and the Atlantic?
The distance is the same.

The obstacles are the same, such as other boats, dams, etc.

The scenery is the same.

The area or territory you cover is the same.

So what's the difference?

Going with the flow is much, much easier compared to the opposite.

I Googled both options and could not find anyone that made the trip upstream.

But there were plenty of folks that went with the flow. In 2002 a man swimmed the Mississippi in 68 days. A canoe trip takes about three months. It also takes three months for a single drop of water to make the journey. 90 days is the natural flow of the river.

Imagine the extra effort that it would require to paddle upstream? Not only will it take you more than three months, but it will take more resources, more strength and more stamina to fight the currents that are pushing you in the opposite direction.

My guess, is that it would take 2 to 5 times the effort.

And the question is why go against the natural flow?

This story is not about rivers though, but it does paint a very visual word picture.

This story is about marketing and advertising. All too often I have watched well intentioned business owners paddle upstream and fight the factors that they have no control over instead of using those same factors to their advantage.

Marketing and Advertising that goes with the flow, follows the buying processes that people go through. It mimics the relationship factors that we as human beings look for in our lives.

Bottom line, if your advertising and marketing efforts are contradicting the way people buy or want to buy, you are going to spend a lot more time, energy and money to accomplish what could have been done easier if you followed the flow.

If an advertising salesperson tries to sell you ads without these considerations, you just may be paddling in the wrong direction.

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