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Put on a different hat

March 2nd, 2007 · 6 Comments · Agency Life, Copywriting, Customers/Clients, Innovation & Creativity, Marketing, Strategy

Hats You know, sometimes life takes on a little mini-theme.  I have posted quite a bit lately about the importance of being able to put on and take off the many "hats" of your potential audiences as you craft a marketing strategy or message.

I was doing my daily jog through some of my favorite blogs and stumbled upon Roger von Oech‘s post "Change Viewpoints."  Let me entice you to go over and read his post by sharing an excerpt.

"Whereas the first group asked, "What if we bury somebody alive?" the second group asked, "How can we make sure everyone we bury is dead?"

How can you not go see how that plays out?

As marketers — it is absolutely vital that we find ways and challenge ourselves to think differently, from different points of view.  The faithful among you will know that I’ve been beating this drum quite a bit lately.

We’ve talked about the emotional truths that can be discovered by really walking around a question or challenge and seeing it from all angles.  And we’ve explored how an insider’s view of things is, by its  very nature, not a very clear or accurate picture.  Donning another person’s "hat" and turning your view finder is a skill that far too few marketers employ.

Check out Roger’s post and if you’d be so kind — share some of your methods for making sure you’ve broadened your view.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Cam Beck

    It’s kinda scary when you think about it from the competing perspective. The first example assumes that people who are alive should be kept alive as long as possible, and the second example just says – just kill them. That will save you the mistake of burying someone alive.

    Consider this quote, frequently attributed to Stalin, “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”

    You could argue that all people who want to make change have to do is organize and vote, but smaller groups assume instead if the result is what must be achieved, any means is permissible to cause it, which means they can manipulate the results of the vote regardless of what the majority thinks. Morality isn’t even a factor in the decision making.

    [shudder]

    But then, maybe I’m just thinking about it too much. :)

  • Roger von Oech

    Hi Drew,

    I’m glad you liked that story — it’s always been one of my favorites. It never hurts to ask different kinds of questions.

    good message in your post!

    Best wishes to you and your readers,

    Roger von Oech

  • CK

    Please do put on your “I’m going to NYC and gonna meet CK while there” hat in roughly a week, OK? It’s a noble hat but very smart and jazzy/trendy.

    Can’t wait.

  • Drew McLellan

    Cam,

    The truth of it is…a small group of people driven by passion can affect incredible change. For good or evil.

    In looking at it in a slightly different way — doesn’t the same “just kill it” mentality sometimes happen in agencies. When an idea or concept isn’t quite right yet — rather than investing the time because it might turn out to be incredible, people just walk away from it?

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Roger,

    “It never hurts to ask different kids of questions.”

    Amen! But, in a world where speed and turnaround time is a huge deal — we have to fight for the time to actually ask the questions and be thoughtful about the potential answers.

    You always give me something new to think about!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    CK –

    Ohhh, that will be a natty hat indeed. Can’t wait!

    Drew

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