Thursday, June 12, 2008

observed: ovid on marketing

Barbarus hic ego num, quia non intelligor ulli.

(I am the barbarian here, because no one understands me)

Ovid was being banished into Pontus at the time, but he just as easily could have been drinking coffee at a campaign post-mortem, staring at the numbers, scratching his head in mute bewilderment.

We're bewildered because we believe - we know - that we crafted messaging that was concise, clear and compelling. We tested the bejeebus out of it. We sat in on meetings until we developed deep vein thrombosis.

But nothing prepares you for being misunderstood. The cricket sounds. The slack-jawed "so what" look.

It is an insult to the ego to be misunderstood. Unless you come to the exercise without the burden of ego to start with - it's where the balancing act comes into play, like everything else. And so, to my point.

The real reason I wrote this was to highlight the odd places that insights can come from. If the best marketing seems to be non-marketing - invisble, natural, honest - then that suggests that the best marketing learning comes from non-marketing sources. Like Ovid.

No comments: