Sunday, 19 April 2009

Never Ending, Always Pending: A New Motto for Marketers?

Remember the movie, Groundhog Day? In it, Bill Murray plays a haughty TV weatherman assigned to cover the "rat," as he calls the world's most famous groundhog who will emerge to look for his shadow. Through some odd twist of fate, Bill's character continues to repeat the same day over and over, much to his chagrin and extreme aggravation.

In recent months, I have begun to have my own Groundhog Day experience, as I repeatedly jump to write creative proposals for new projects that just won't seem to materialize.

Without a doubt, the economy is the "rat" in this scenario, forcing even the most ambitious of companies to delay their marketing plans. "Maybe next quarter" is the all-too-common response to these never-ending, always-pending proposals for new business.

"Never Ending, Always Pending." Hmm. Has a good rhythm to it. It even rhymes. And when repeated in a sing-songy voice, it kind of lifts the spirit of a frustrated marketing professional. Perhaps I've stumbled on a new motto for marketers during these turbulent times?

Lest it sound like I'm whining, I'm not. It certainly could be worse. After all, these potential clients could actually be saying, "No." That would be bad. But they're not. They're just delaying their decisions.

For an eternal optimist like me, "Never Ending, Always Pending" prolongs hope. I know times are tough. Budgets are being cut. Clients and potential clients long to implement the oh-so-amazing marketing plans our team is proposing, even if they can't right now. I also know that eventually, the economy will improve, money will begin to flow again and these projects may come to fruition.

In the meantime, just as Bill Murray's character eventually accepts what he cannot change and reexamines his priorities, this "Never Ending, Always Pending" phase presents an opportunity to learn, grow and become even more creative. Which will enable us to be even more effective in helping clients take advantage of the next boom!

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