A few months ago I was in Prenzlau, in the beautiful Uckermark. I held a public relations workshop there.
On my hiking tour, in the morning, I came across this bookcase. Inside of it: Works of world literature by Dumas, Karl May, Lessing, but also so-called profane literature, romance novels and so on. I wondered which book I would take with me on a pilgrimage and which book I would leave in this bookcase for the next generation.
I acquired my knowledge practically and therefore cannot say exactly which book I think summarizes my experiences. The one you are reading right now will certainly capture the current state of my marketing knowledge for you.
Yet I also have my favorite books. I was impressed by the big companies in marketing, such as Apple and Google. Both know how to win, retain and make their customers happy, but also how they make their employees proud to be allowed to work there.
Steve Jobs’ autobiography has moved me deeply. I recently read Udo Lindenberg’s autobiography. Whatever the man touched has turned into gold. Whether it was music, musicals, political statements or even eggnog pictures. I feel very connected to Udo Lindenberg because of his nomadism. He lives in a hotel, doesn’t have much and is still rich. I learned from Udo Lindenberg that it is always honesty and passion that make success. Udo Lindenberg considered himself as not successful when he was surrounded by a few friends and a lot of alcohol.
Steve Jobs was sedentary, but he was also modest, or better said, efficient when it came to the accumulation of material things. People who have the same sweater in their closets seven or eight times and put on the same thing every day to save time in the morning, having to think about what to wear, are even without inventing Apple computers, smartphones and iPods, special.
How about you?
What would be in your biography about you and your company? Would you be the old rockstar Udo Lindenberg? The distinguished musketeer Aramis from “The Three Musketeers”? The noble Winnetou from Karl May? Or would you be the eloquent, self-centered and brilliant Steve Jobs?
By the way, Steve Jobs must have been a meticulous pedant when it came to staging his product shows to launch a new product. He was a master at adapting, tinkering and optimizing this presentation again and again and again.
Successful marketing is not an accident.
These shows, in which no millisecond was left to chance, certainly contributed to Apple’s gigantic success. Marketing is no accident. Just like success. Success succeeds action (coincidence?). Working systematically and consistently in one direction. Just like you tell your navigation device in the car exactly where you want to go. Place, street, house number. You don’t say: I want to go to the country or the sea or the mountains. Your navigation system will not display a route as long as it does not know where you are going.
Udo Lindenberg did it and still does it. And Steve Jobs did it too. With all the wildness, with all the rockiness, with all the freakiness and egocentrisms that these two men have afforded, there was always a clear goal and consequence behind it.
So what do you need to put your book of success, honesty and love on the same bookshelf?
1) A goal. Where exactly do you want to go? What customer needs does your product meet?
2) Courage to fill the gap – focus on the one thing you want to do. When it’s done, you can still do all the other things.
3) Honesty – what do you deliver? What can your product or service do? You can only market that.
4) A plan. No efficiency without a concept. The Watering can was yesterday. Laser beam is today. Directly on point in order to avoid wasting energy.
5) Consequence. It does not work right away?
Doesn’t matter, keep going. Are you frustrated because it didn’t work the first time? Doesn’t matter, keep going. Are you frustrated because it is exhausting? Well, it has to be. Otherwise you go on to a higher level.
Try those steps and take this thought about your book of life with you on your next pilgrimage, hike, or any other activity that helps you to free your mind. How would you be presented in this book?
By the way, mine would tell about adventurous pilgrimages. About good advices and lots and lots of practical knowledge that is passed on to the other pilgrims. It would say that my concepts are always for the Davids instead of the Goliaths among people and companies. It would present that I am in YOU-mode.
The many people I was allowed to accompany for a bit would play the main role. Your stories, which I can tell as a marketing specialist and business pilgrim.
Yes, and if one day young people find my book in this bookcase and read about the stories in it and find strength and ideas for their own companies from it – that would be the greatest gift for me.
What would your book say?
Which book do you want to leave for the next generation?
What do you like to read about yourself?
What would be in your biography about you and your company?