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Trying to Compete without Marketing is like Playing Football without a Quarterback

Posted on | November 24, 2009 | No Comments

To say that Pittsburgh is a heavy-duty sports town is so far of an understatement to be laughable.  I suspect that one could hear the collective Steel Town gasp as far away as Kansas City when it was announced that both Steeler quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch were potentially out for next Sunday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.  As it turns out, Big Ben WILL play, despite suffering “concussion symptoms” in last week’s loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. Charlie Batch, though, didn’t fare as well.  He’s out for the next six weeks.

Which got me to thinking…

What happens to your sales game when YOUR best marketing talent or your most dedicated staff is down and out?  Are you lucky enough to have a Tyler Palko in the wings or do you just ‘wing it’ with whomever and whatever you have on hand? I imagine that most companies do, but think of the consequences for the Steelers if they ended up with NO quarterback!  Sure, the sideline coaches could call the plays, but someone’s got to handle the ball.

Marketing isn’t much different, I think.  Even with sharp plans, tidy budgets, and pre-set plays, it’s still often a scramble. The world of commerce and competition – much like the gridiron field – is never static. Plays and players change. Rules get broken or modified.  And referees – if there are any – are always running after the plays, not before.

© 2009 photobucket inc.

© 2009 photobucket inc.

So, with Thanksgiving not far away, I’d like to remind companies, large and small, about the contribution made by their quarterbacks — the guys and gals who are out there maneuvering against the competition with broken up teams and out-of-date playbooks!  As the economy starts to turn around, I’d beseech financial and C-level executives who’ve whittled down already-threadbare marketing budgets to re-invest in their marketing programs for next year.  
You want to win against the competition?  Support your hard-working players!  Give thanks for loyal employees.  Cheer on your teams!  Then, go get ‘em!

In the meantime, have a good, safe, and happy Thanksgiving.

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