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Monday, February 11, 2008

Shakespeare and Marketing

Over the years, I've been asked many times, "what books should I read to be a better marketer?" Sometimes I might point them to a textbook and recommend they learn concepts like the product life cycle, total product concept and market segmentation like religion, but other times I might tell them to read Shakespeare.

So often the real challenges in marketing involve creativity and human nature and what better place to go than Shakespeare to keep sharp on those subjects. In fact, Shakespeare is all about marketing.

About communications:
Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me your ears?

About planning:
The readiness is all.

About impact and accountability:
Men at some time are the master of their fate

About leadership:
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown.

Of course, in the events business it's all about business as theatre, of playing the part, about captivating interest, building momentum and reaching an inspired conclusion of your own design. At SEM,I it's also about being organizationally effective, about working with many different kinds of people, learning to win over people, support colleagues.

All the world's a stage.
And all the men merely players,
they have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time has many parts.

To be a great association, to meet member needs, understand their needs and provide meaningful insights into the future, we need to sense trends and marshal them for our purposes.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat.
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

And Shakespeare is often about strategy. About comparing the pro and cons, collecting data, and weighing options.

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
Why yet I live to say this thing to do,
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't.

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