Goliath Was Goliath -- Until He Wasn't

Goliath was the best until he wasn’t. David had better technology and youthful confidence, and he was nimble. Take heed.

What follows is disjointed and confusing. It is just like the marketplace is going to be in the future. Don’t dismiss this as “all wrong” until you at least consider the impact on you and your organization if any of this is right! Remember, the dinosaurs were “big and bad” until they weren’t! John is a good friend and a smart marketing professional. He is not full of himself. He is, in my opinion, authentic. He suggests the secret to success with his clients is delivery that is “fast, hot and cheap.” It doesn't matter whether you agree, and your clients may think differently – if you’re right, John will never be a threat to you. If you’re wrong, keep John away from your clients. The challenge in today's and tomorrow’s world is that the marketplace is no longer a monolith – a mass market on your “Main Street.” That Norman Rockwell portrait is now more of a mosaic where each tile is determined by the people in the niche targeted and served. They are defined by their age, race, ethnicity, culture, language, chosen style of engagement (verbal or non-verbal), economics, technosavvy, politics, etc. You must meet your clients who, what, how and where they are, not expect them to meet you where you are. IGNORE THIS COUNSEL AT YOUR PERIL! THE CUSTOMER REMAINS KING! Today, our business kingdoms can reach much more widely, but the threat also increases that barbarians can invade our comfort zones. See also: Bold Prediction on Customer Experience   As teenager, I delivered groceries in a truck to corner stores or rural country stores. I felt like a man because I had a commercial driver’s license, unlike most of my friends. That feeling would end when Mr. Courrege would tell me, “Boy, put dat stuff in the corner.” He ticked me off, but he didn't care how I felt, and neither did my uncle, whom I worked for. The customer was king. That was 60 years ago. Today, the market has changed and never have customers had more options. They can shop from this global economy 24 hours a day 365 days a year, in-person or online and with a drone doing the delivery. About a month ago, I ordered a breakfast at the McDonald’s drive-thru. When I opened the bag, I found a coupon with writing on both sides. One side said, “Desde el McMuffin hasta la Big Mac. Ahora te lo llevamos a la puerta de casa.” The other side had the English version: “McMuffin to Big Mac. Now delivered to your door.” Both sides said, McDeliver/Uber Eats. I laughed and thought how stupid can people be – to pay $10 or more to have a bag of burgers and fries delivered. Then I thought about WAITR, a meal-delivery service that originated less than 20 miles from me. It is not as restrictive in terms of options as are the McDonald’s delivery boys and girls. I’ve been told they’ll pick up and deliver your food for a $5 charge plus your tip. A week ago, I received an e-mail offering to sell my home for 2% commission. I don’t know where this realtor was, and I didn’t care. If he could back up his brag. I’d be interested. Fast forward to today. I was talking to a legend in our industry. He’s worked with agents throughout this county for more than 60 years. For his network of agencies, his newsletters and audio tapes were the internet before the internet was born. Today, he remains as positive about the possibilities in our industry as he did the first time we talked decades ago. The only change is that what, how and where he markets and serves is entirely different. He knows that profitable delivery is necessary. Now, remember David and Goliath. Goliath was the best until he wasn’t. David won because he had better technology and youthful confidence, and he was nimble. (Fast, hot, and cheap!). I’m first and foremost an LSU fan. I’m an Alabama fan when they aren’t playing LSU. I believe Alabama's Nick Saban is the best college football coach in the history of the game. He is legend. Unfortunately (at least one night this January), his team looked more like Goliath than David. Did Nick change – NO! Did college football change – NO! Did coaching change – NO! It’s just, I believe that one night, that we saw that the people playing the games are changing. Clemson was having fun. Their youthful enthusiasm was more effective than the discipline of Alabama, with their rigorous training regimen that got them to that night but didn’t carry them to tomorrow. See also: How to Use AI in Customer Service   I’d like to see Coach Saban win at least one more national championship. I pray he passes Bear Bryant. He knows football and how to coach – yesterday. Is he right for tomorrow? Now I ask you – can you and your agency compete in tomorrow’s world? Like McDonald’s and Uber, can you get your clients to pay more than you’re worth for your delivery, or will the marketplace provide full disclosure of commission (or quote net of commission), and your competitors will start competing on the high cost of your delivery? Confused? You should be! I am! CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. YOUR REACTION TO IT IS NOT! Geaux Tigers (LSU or Clemson)! The purpose of business is to make money (win) and have fun! Are you doing both? Clemson did!

Mike Manes

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Mike Manes

Mike Manes was branded by Jack Burke as a “Cajun Philosopher.” He self-defines as a storyteller – “a guy with some brain tissue and much more scar tissue.” His organizational and life mantra is Carpe Mañana.


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