Icarus and his father
So today I’d like to let you know a story. Actually its a famous greek myth that has a number of connotations for you marketers who ‘evaluate us agencies, and quite really basically, anyone who has taken the entrepreneurial journey.
Towards the south of the Greek island of Samos lies the Icarian Sea. Legend has us believe that this is where Icarus died a victim of human pride. The story goes, that his father, Daedalus, was a master craftsman. Banished to prison for sabotaging the work of King Minos. You already know the guy that created the mighty labyrinth, a maze of puzzles where the Minotaur (half man and half bull) was housed. Thesus, an enemy of King Minos was sent to the labyrinth to die, but Daedalus, gave King Minosdaughter a ball of string to provide to Thesus, so that he could find his way out.
Anyways, with all that brilliance, Daedalus, came up with a master escape plan, quite ingenious actually, and this forms the premise of the parable that we were told when we were children. So Daedalus fashioned a pair of wings for him and his son Icarus, made out of wax and feathers. And before setting out on the journey, Daedalus explicitly warned his son, not to fly too high, because the sun would melt the wax off the wings.
But Icarus, entranced with the ability to fly, disobeyed as any boy his age would do, and flew too high. And it’s common knowledge what happened next, Icarus, the beloved son, lost his wings when the wax melted, crashed into the sea and died.
So the moral of the story: Don’t disobey the king, don’t disobey your elder and don’t imagine you’re better than you might be, and most significantly don’t believe you’ve the power to be a god.
But the part of the parable that was conveniently ignored was that in addition to telling Icarus not to fly too high, Daedalus also told his son not to fly too low, because the water would ruin the lift in his wings. Thanks to society, we’ve forgotten that, which is as important a lesson as the moral of the story, instead industrialization has created a culture where we remind one another about the dangers of standing up and being different.
How are Marketers Related to the Story?
So how does this relate to marketers It is much too dangerous to fly too low than too high, because it feels safe to fly low. Same way, marketers wish to search for “Good Marketing Ideasthat are safe, which have guaranteed results, in order that they copy from other campaigns which have worked elsewhere, or worse they settle in their comfort zone.
The reality is agencies are idea farmers, we give a little bit of ourselves away and let marketers chip away at our spirit, little by little, everytime we pitch. And we agree that it’s the normal process that our pitch was not suitable for the client, so we have to tone it down. Or better yet, that the client will respect the confidentiality of the pitch, and not go to someone “cheaperfor execution. Unfortunately this happens too much in this part of the world. Pitches go without cost for too long. Worse still, RFPs with government agencies, require you because the agency to put a bank guarantee, then say they’ve given the campaign to someone who was better. Bullshit. Many a times we’ve seen our ideas used, and we have no recourse but to shrug our shoulders, and say “What can we do?/p>
So how does this relate to marketers? Very few have the passion to drive their company to new heights. More often than less, your current position is a stepping stone to something bigger, or worse still, you make your money off bribes and cutbacks. You make the agency work, before ever paying. And then instead of paying for the thought, you think that they are too expensive, hence it is your right to go to someone cheaper.
But see this is where marketers don’t understand. Ideas are seeds, to farm them, you have to nurture them, grow them, take care of them, then enable them to explode to a full blown seed. And who better than the agency that gave you the idea in the first place to grow it? The ideas will not be yours to utilize and provides it to another person for a less expensive price, the ideas take blood, sweat and weeks of toil to generate, and oh yes, they cost us money. Plenty of it!
So here’s an idea, throw off the yokes of the safe thinker. Think big! Because for those who think this is a stepping stone for you to get a greater job, you better do it right. Don’t copyIt’s not yours to repeat and execute. And at last and RFP just isn’t a selection pot for you to decide on the very best idea, and the most affordable executor. Its meant to even the playing field and select the perfect supplier, not only on price, but on a bigger number of things where price should play probably 20% of the weight of the decision.