I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Most Important Marketing Lesson We Can Learn From Obamacare: Just Make It Work

Needle In A Haystack

At every staff meeting the executives agonize about how to say things.

"Should we 'message' it this way or that way?"

"We don't want to sound too negative, but we also want to be credible."

"What's the big idea? They will want to know the vision."

But most of the time, unless you're giving an annual address - through which I might add the vast majority of people sleep, having listened to meaningless promises before - the people just want to know one thing.

Why doesn't the goshdarn thing work?

In politics ideology quickly falls away when a party demonstrates its effectiveness at getting things done. People run to politicians who can execute!

This was the lesson of Obamacare. The mission to provide healthcare for all is noble. But the actual website is a fail, the law is incomprehensible, and the business implementation is a nightmare as insurance companies and citizens alike scramble madly to figure out what to do with this thing.

It is great to have great ideas - just like it's super to build a brand concept that really resonates with people.

But at the end of the day if the cloth on the shirt rips, or the zipper doesn't pull right, the brand goes into the toilet.

That is one reason I have always loved Ralph Lauren clothing.

As opposed to any other brand I have tried, Ralph Lauren is both beautiful and stylish and durable and well-made. It always works well.

When you are talking to employees about your bold new initiatives, I can tell you that they are sleeping.

If you want to wake them up, talk to them about things like this:

"When's the next raise coming?"

"How are you fixing that glitch in the new computer system?"

"There isn't enough parking here."

The business genius Peter Drucker said, "Business exists to serve the customer" and in the real world what that means is not just a delightful attitude on the phone.

It means figuring out what it is that you are doing that is driving your customers nuts - and then fixing that.

Not rocket science, very simple, very basic and common sense.

Take care of the technicalities, and the big ideas will take care of themselves.

* All opinions my own.