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Slaughtering sacred cows

The only thing worse than not marketing at all is doing it the way it's always been done long after it ceases to be effective. I see it in businesses of every size and stripe. Take Walt Disney. Please.

Robert Iger is the new captain of Mickey's ship and is working smart: leading sacred cows to slaughter. Recently he infuriated theater owners by questioning the delay between theatrical and video release of movies. These are the same hand-wrining theater owners complaining business decline but won't break with decades-old business practices to fix it.

The Wall Street Journal reports "Mr. Iger says his biggest obstacle may be the business habits of Disney's own employees and of theater owners, mass retailers, television affiliates and others. 'We need to create an atmosphere that tolerates experimentation, even if it's at the expense of near-term economics,' he said"

From atop a towering stone fortrace of denial, a station sales manager declined to do a promotion with my firm not too long ago. It was a win-win-win for the station, clients and consumers. While my idea was a little out of the box, his reason for saying no, however, was from deep inside it:  "What if it doesn't work." In other words, how would he explain it to corporate?

Your marketing will fail to succeed if you fail to experiment. Taking chances breaks the chains of "old think." Robert Iger gets it and he's playing with considerably larger marbles than you and me.

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