This is a guest post by Marjorie Clayman, Director of Client Development at Clayman Advertising, Inc., her family’s full service marketing firm. Margie has written an e-book called the ABCs of Marketing Myths, which you can read about by clicking the live link.

The Rose That Could Grow Anywhere

Julia Child

Julia Child

 

If you do any kind of gardening, you know that there are an awful lot of considerations you need to make before putting those seeds or plants in the ground. Well, assuming you want the plant to thrive. The more serious you are, the more you need to do before you actually plan. For example, you need to know what climate regionyou’re in because that will help you analyze what plants will do well in your environment. You need to evaluate your dirt and decide whether it’s clay-like, rich, thin, rocky, kind of sandy, or a mixture of all of that. You need to think about what kind of light your garden gets. Does it get lots of morning light, or is it in the sun in the afternoon? Is it in the shade all of the time? The list goes on and on, and while considering all of this does not guarantee that your garden will bloom, it definitely can give you a leg up.

Tree Frog Gets a Leg Up

Tree Frog Gets a Leg Up

 

Knowing all of this, what would you do if someone came up to you and said that they had a bunch of roses and they were sure they would grow in your garden no matter where you are? Would you believe that and buy the roses without question, or would you wonder if maybe you should do some exploring first?

 

Believe it or not, many business people and marketers in the online world face a quandary very much like this!

 

“Planning is stupid.”

 

More often than I can count, I see this sentiment spread throughout the online world. I’ve seen it in blog posts, magazine articles, Twitter chats – everywhere. The sentiment is that planning takes too long. A truly flexible business, so the logic goes, should be able to do decide what to do on a whim. Planning is a sign of corporate slow-down. You need to be able to react immediately, no hesitation.

 

Well, the problem is that marketing is very much like gardening (again, assuming you want things to go well in both scenarios).  If you want your marketing to succeed, you need to analyze who your target audience is, how best to read them, how they want to be reached by you, what the best way to get that done might be, and how to measure your efforts. Without a plan, you’re just throwing a bucket of seeds onto the ground and hoping that something pops up.

 

“If you aren’t trying this, you’re behind the 8-ball.”

 

What often goes hand in hand with the “planning is stupid” line is that you should give everything a try. I saw a lot of online people saying that everyone needed to give Quora a try. When Foursquare became really popular, I saw a lot of blog posts saying, “If you aren’t claiming your presence on Foursquare, your business will suffer.” We’re now seeing the same sort of proclamations about Google Plus and Pinterest.

 

The problem is that these tactics are not going to work for every business. It’s like that person who wants you to grow roses without first exploring what kind of garden area you have. It might work if you’re lucky, but then again, you might not even have a garden available. Are the roses going to work for you then?

Roses Are Working For Us

Roses Are Working For Us

 

Businesses are unique critters. They have different types of leadership, different types of customers, different kinds of products and services, and different kinds of needs. It’s not logical to say that a business should try everything without first analyzing who that business is. It’s not logical to suggest that planning is lame.

 

What do you think? Are you a “Plant it and see what happens” kind of person, or do you believe there is value in more analysis first? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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10 Responses to The Rose That Could Grow Anywhere

  1. Chris says:

    Your business acumen is amazing. As a 20 yr bank operations veteran, planning is the key. As the famous football coach “Bear” Paul Bryant once said, “you must have the will to prepare to win”… This is so true in business. Great post.

  2. Great post Margie! As a woman in business, I say you nailed it… Wonderful read Thank you Annie

  3. Nick Kellet says:

    Gardening metaphors are popping up everywhere:)

    Here’s a link from @casudi’s post.

    I’m not a gardener, but this appeals. I like the metaphors

    Me, I’m a fluid guy. I have a mater plan, but I’m fluid and I look for the fast moving water. I’d try stuff in different spots. I’d be the lean gardener. Don’t dig it in until you know it looks happy with the spot:)

    http://casudi.esse-group.com/entrepreneurs/cultivate-your-garden-like-a-start-up/

  4. I do a bit of both but, being a creative, that is probably a good way to be. I can over plan sometimes and, rarely, am too haste, but I really learn from those times!

  5. Teresa says:

    Love the new blog! Looks like your roses are growing great! No rain in Indiana so we are watering like crazy … fulfilling my CWO duties …. Chief Watering Officer!

  6. Laura says:

    love the new website Suzy!

  7. That is very interesting, You’re an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and stay up for seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

    • Profile photo of Gaga Gaga says:

      Hello Gloden,
      Thank-you for your kind comment. I appreciate your remarks and welcome you back often. The post you enjoyed was a guest post by the excellent and talented Margie Clayman. You can also visit her blog at http://www.margieclayman.com. Thanks also for sharing on your social networks.
      Sincerely,
      Susan Fox
      aka Gaga

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