February 20, 2019

It's Your Fault, Part 2

A few days ago I told you a story from my time at Eddie Bauer. As the new Circulation Director, it didn't take long for the problems of the prior Leadership group to be pinned on me. That's the way the world works.

By mid-September the Green Bay Packers might get off to an 0-2 start. Even though the new coach will largely coach players from the failed regime, the 0-2 record will be his fault. If you are going to be blamed for an 0-2 start, at least be blamed for doing things your way, right?

The same logic works for you, the New Marketing Leader. Why should you be blamed for things that your company did a year ago, things that were so lousy that it caused you to earn your new job as a Leader?

And yet, we see this happen all the time. In catalog marketing, the New Leader comes in and keeps mailing the darn catalogs ... same in-home dates, same circulation levels, same vendors, same geeky math. In e-commerce, it's the same boring five emails per week, not personalized, blasted to the same customers expecting 40% off plus free shipping because you've sent the customer more than a thousand of these over the past four years.

Do that and you'll start off with an 0-2 record ... and then the problems are your fault.

Do you want the problems of the old regime to be your fault?

Absolutely not.

You are a New Marketing Leader. Chart a new course. Your course. Don't continue doing the same darn stuff that got your predecessor fired. Have a Marketing Management System in place on Day One, a system fully unique to you. If you are going to fail, fail your way. If you are going to succeed, get the credit you deserve.

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