Have you ever seen a great NFL quarterback run to the sidelines and look into the playbook? Neither have I… So why is it that so many marketers out there are generating rote, boring plans for their clients based on “plays” they learned back in the bush leagues?

The traditional approach to marketing is too linear for today’s world. Today’s target audience is constantly moving, growing and learning new technologies. But much of the marketing we see today is still formulaic and trite, as if someone in 1976 created “The Playbook For Successful Marketing” and it’s been dogmatically followed ever since?  Cold. Unfeeling. Corporate.

How ’bout I let you in on a secret…

Dogmatic playbook-marketing isn’t viable any longer. The game has changed.  Sure, marketing can follow a plan / structure. Marketing can (should) have strategy. But if you think the formulaic mindset you (they) used in 1976 (or earlier for you MadMen fans) will work, you’re going to fail abjectly!

The playbooks are outdated. The systems set forth by or mentors, while still brilliant, are tired. And they (dare I say it?) are singular-minded, focusing on agency award hardware… not the client nor its community. The days of super-star agency quarterbacks in the big, Manhattan corner office are over!

Stop and look around your office (if you have one). There’s value there, you just have to see it. The biggest asset you’ll find are the actual human beings that work WITH you!

Here’s a note for our “Super-Star” marketing quarterbacks:

Marketing Has Taken A More Emotional, Community-Focused Approach

That’s what I like about social media. Adding social media to marketing has taken the ritualistic, dogma of “old school” and turned it on its ear. It allows fresh minds, the “rebels” of the community to work organically on the sidelines, changing the plays and calling options as they see the defense set up. Sure, the goal is the same – get the client’s product or service noticed and to generate actions or a purchase.

I’ll say it again. Our job is to, “… get the client’s product or service noticed and to generate actions or a purchase.”

That’s IT.  No more. No less.


When a client brings their product or service to you, the first thing that happens to you and your team is you form an EMOTIONAL response or “Feeling” about it. Immediately, that elicits a LOGICAL action plan on how to deal with it.


Don’t pick up the “1976 Playbook For Successful Marketing.” Because I guarantee, if the client hasn’t heard the rhetoric yet, the marketplace has and you’re going to get sacked. You need to out-think the defense! Create marketing that makes people say “WOW!!” (Or something similar).

Be quicker. Be original. Be passionate. Call the option. Use a flea-flicker or the hail-Mary pass from time-to-time.  It may be unexpected, but THAT’s what people respond to.

Have you seen marketing that’s disregarded all the traditional plays and succeeded? I have.

Do you have a client that needs a passionate, community-driven plan instead of the same old rhetoric? Create even a little “WOW” and they’ll see the end-zone.

Until the next huddle…

Keep Cooking (silly sports metaphors for everything),
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef