Our fixation with not being a ‘one trick pony’ in business, is apparent in the examples below:
- Famous last words: Some of you may remember Stuart Baggs, ‘The Brand’, who famously told Lord Sugar during the Apprentice show in 2015: ‘I’m not a one-trick pony, I’m not a 10-tricks pony. I’ve got a whole field of ponies, waiting to literally run towards this job…’ This approach kept him going for quite a few episodes until Lord Sugar decided to fire him.
- Synonymous with failure: According to an article I read in The Story Telling Blog, in the 1800s small travelling circuses without big headline acts or a menagerie of exotic animals were known as dog and pony shows. The very average acts on the programme were derided as ‘one trick ponies’
No one, it seems, wants to be a one trick pony, with only one talent, one skill and one way of standing out. I would go further and say that in our fast-developing world, it is very hard to keep growing your company based on a very limited offer. This is why so many companies look to acquire additional talent through acquisition and joint projects. Appealing to new markets and developing new products all depend greatly on demonstrating relevant skills and knowledge. In the world of business, ‘a field of ponies’ is therefore definitely better than a ‘one trick pony’.
Why not apply this to your marketing strategy, then?
In my experience two main factors affect your marketing strategy:
- Looking for the magic bullet: so many people I come across look to over-simplify their marketing approach by believing that they must choose one discipline to promote their organisations.
- Staying within your comfort zone: Knowing what you are good at and how you wish to come across, is very important. Still it’s easy to confuse this with only choosing marketing strategies we relate to and understand.
It might surprise you to consider that the important choices to make in your marketing strategy relate to your target markets and the priority in which you want to approach them. The tools and platforms you wish to use can vary and are driven by where your target markets choose to consume information, and not the other way around.
When considering how to approach your target market, it is therefore very important to keep an open mind and not try to limit yourself to your own comfort zone. Having realised this ourselves, we have joined forces with Make Digital Work to create a cross platform product aimed at starting sales conversations. You can find out more about this here.