Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Elton John and Marketing Pro's

Imagine for a moment that you are at a friend's home for a party, and to your amazement, in walks Elton John. After some brief introductions, he meanders over to the piano, sits down and starts playing a medley of his hits – an impromptu private concert. He doesn’t sing. He just plays the piano. Classics like Your Song, Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer, Bennie & the Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, and many, many more. You listen, absolutely amazed at the pureness of the sound coming from the instrument, the crispness of the notes, the flawless execution as he strokes the keys in just the right way, at just the right times, making the piano sing like an angels voice from heaven. You realize just what a unique and special talent Elton possesses in his ability at playing the piano and creating unique and memorable songs that stand the test of time.
Eric D. Schulz

Now, imagine this party in a very different way. Instead of Elton John taking to the keyboard, it instead is the hosts’ 3 year-old son. He sits down and starts banging the keys, creating nothing but noise and utter annoyance -- this coming from this very same instrument that in the hands of Elton was made to sing like an angel. It is the same instrument, in different hands, creating a complete opposite outcomes. Please, make him stop!

Effective marketing campaigns are the handiwork of skilled and trained marketing professionals, not unlike Elton John playing the piano. Created in the hands of a marketing pro, campaigns can be joyous and wondrous – they engage the customer, showcase products and services in relevant yet unexpected ways, and communicate how different, better, and special they are versus the competition. They delight and drive the customer to purchase their products.

The strategies and skills used to develop these marketing plans – created in just the right way, and executed at just the right times -- are learned through the training received from a skilled marketing teacher and mentor, then built upon by individual practice that can only be gained overtime and through experience.

Many business professionals and small business owners believe they possess the skills to execute their own marketing programs, despite having no formal marketing training or expertise. They underestimate the skills and knowledge required to plan and execute a meaningful and effective marketing plan. And, just like the 3 year-old on the piano, they end up making nothing but noise, annoying and potentially driving away potential customers, creating nothing of value and in fact, wasting both time and resources as well.

As we begin 2012, my hope is that business managers and small business owners will realize they need real marketing professionals driving their marketing ships, and that they will hire my students who have been trained by my guided hand to help them!

- Eric D. Schulz

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