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198 Complexity Is The Enemy of Revenue: Why It’s Time to Shave The Marketing Dog

Thursday 23rd May 2024
LOM_Episodes-198 Shaving the Marketing Dog

On this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, it’s time again to shave that Marketing Dog with Christopher Lochhead.

If you’re an avid listener of the podcast, you probably think you’re experiencing déjà vu. But we think that people still don’t get this simple concept, that it merits a replay. It is also a good reminder for others who may be falling into the trap of overcomplicating their marketing strategies.

So strap in, and get ready for some timeless advice from yours truly.

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

Quality Over Quantity: A Bruce Lee Philosophy in Marketing

In the world of marketing, there’s a tendency to equate being busy with effectiveness. However, Christopher likens this to a young fighter who is all showboating but lacks the strategic focus to win. This fighter often ends up being knocked out by a more experienced opponent who understands that precision and strategy trump frantic activity. This analogy perfectly encapsulates the inverse relationship between activity and results in marketing.

The pressure to be omnipresent in the marketing world is immense. Marketers are often told they need to be on every channel, churning out content at an unsustainable pace. But Christopher challenges this notion with a powerful quote from martial arts legend Bruce Lee:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

This philosophy is a stark reminder that quality and impact should always take precedence over quantity.

Shaving the Marketing Dog: The Art of Elimination

One of the strategies Christopher advocates for is “shaving the dog,” a metaphor for the practice of eliminating the unnecessary to focus on what truly matters. By force ranking the critical components of a campaign and rigorously evaluating which elements have the maximum impact, marketers can streamline their efforts for better results.

“Shave the dog. Shave that doggy down. Practice getting everything out. Consider getting even more radical.”

– Christopher Lochhead

Thinking Wrong to Do Right

Innovation in marketing often requires us to “think wrong,” to consider what is 180 degrees from what everyone else would do. This approach fosters creativity and differentiation, setting the stage for truly legendary marketing campaigns.

“I learned everything I know about design from a couple of legendary designers and one of them is John Bielenberg. He’s an incredible business and corporate marketing designer. He has a perspective; he calls thinking wrong. The idea is this, when you do anything creative, ask yourself ‘what is 180 degrees from what everybody else would do? What is wrong? What would be the wrong way to go do this?’”

– Christopher Lochhead

This line of thinking also allows you to pursue options that multiply outcomes, as you can sift through the “wrongs” and find those that were rejected, not because it is inherently wrong, but either be not viable in the past, but now doable in our current technology or network.

To know more why Complexity Is the Enemy of Revenue and Why It’s Time to Shave the Marketing Dog, download and listen to this episode.


Christopher Lochhead

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