Conventional – 1: formed by agreement or compact 2 a: according with, sanctioned by, or based on convention b: lacking originality or individuality : trite c (1): ordinary, commonplace – Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
As you can tell from my last BLOG, I am far from conventional. However, the point of my last article is this, challenge the conventional, make people think, question the gurus. I am not an anarchist, but I don’t want to be like everyone else. One of the most disappointing things to me is that people have a hard time not being conventional. There is some part of us that just wants to “fit in”. However, it’s hard to advance when you look like and like everyone else. There is no defining characteristics, no character, we are just the same. I guess that’s why when it comes to marketing, I want to be different, I want to be unique, I want to challenge my clients and readers, I want to be unconventional.
The Conventional tries to quell the Creative
When we or our marketing becomes conventional it becomes more difficult for us to be more creative, to think outside the box. Very few if any inventions were constructed out of conventional thinking. As a matter of fact most inventors were seen as lunatics, mentally unstable, and in some early historical cases they were forced to recant their thinking and placed under house arrest (see Galileo). Sadly today, with exception of house arrest we commonly feel forced to keep our thoughts to ourselves, and remain conventional.
Conventional Marketing Limits Creative Marketing
Marketing is a funny animal. It’s conventional to rely on what other people say, especially those who are espoused as professionals in the field. I think it is unfortunate that so many marketing professionals say and recommend you do the same things. I call it conventional marketing. Let’s face it, it is easier to put everyone in the same box, then it is to customize and be different. Honestly, it’s also far less expensive. However, as professionals in our own field we are different, we have different strengths, weaknesses, business models, etc. It does not serve in your best business interest to always remain conventional.
Unconventional Marketing is Risky
Whenever you move outside of convention you are always at risk. It can fail. However, all marketing can fail, so I am not convinced of how big of a risk it can be if your current conventional marketing is not working. Let’s be honest, who ever would have thought that 15 years ago that placing an ad on a medium where by people connect with a modem through a computer would have any value. Now try going to a website without an advertisement.
Unconventional Marketing Requires Unconventional Thinking
Most everyone wants to be liked and accepted. The easiest way to do that is agree with everyone around you. However, if your marketing is going to be unconventional you are going to make some people very unhappy. You have to decide for yourself if you can handle that. If you cannot handle negative criticism, you may not want to become unconventional. However, if you can handle the criticism than let me give you some points to consider on your way to unconventional thinking when it comes to marketing.
- Accept nothing as an absolute
- Challenge everything that is assumed to be a fact on the basis of group consensus
- Be outlandish in your thinking
- Consider every idea as a possibility
- There is no box
WARNING: You will tick people off!!!!!
Oh yeah, when you start doing this, being challenging to the group conventions of marketing, you really will piss people off, especially the “marketing professional”. On a personal note, I found that when I challenge conventional marketing concepts, people don’t argue about my thinking they make a personal attack on me. You know what that tells me, they do not have the intellectual competence to argue intelligibly. So it follows if you cannot argue intelligibly how good of a marketing person can you be? However, when you find those who do have the intelligence to argue intelligibly, it forces you to think, and think differently. I have also found the latter group of marketing professionals to be outstanding, and bleeding edge.
Does Unconventional Marketing and Thinking mean you are never wrong?
The idea here is that thinking outside of the box and challenging conventional marketing is never wrong. However, the results of your unconventional marketing techniques may not result in the desired results you had hoped for. In those cases you’re wrong. Then again, what’s wrong with being wrong, outside of the fact that we don’t like to be wrong. Wow! Is that existential? While I do not like being wrong, when I am wrong, I have learned from it, and found another way. Sometimes I take a step backward, but only to take 3 steps forward later.
…and in the end
Try, challenge, and don’t fear others or failure.
Ciao for now,