The Remains of Mr. Crontzmeyer

“You’re holding all that remains of Mr. Crontzmeyer,” says the letter mailed with a shrunken head.

The mailer further discusses how Mr. Crontzmeyer tried doing his marketing himself, failed, and escaped to a “deserted” island to avoid embarrassment.

There was an underlying message; “Don’t let this happen to you; hire me!” I thought it was clever, and should have been a home run as a campaign.

Then again, it was my idea…so of COURSE I liked it.

In truth, the attempt was a flop.

Perhaps people found the rubber head to be offensive, or maybe it just hadn’t reached the right prospect.

Regardless, the effort’s being replaced by something more politically correct.

I’ve long maintained that merely because something is my idea doesn’t mean it’s good.

My family will tell you I’ve told more than my share of horrible jokes, and many of my marketing ideas just weren’t meant to see the light of day.

Apparently, the Crontzmeyer mailing should have been one of them.

Still, sometimes you don’t know if the idea’s good until you put it out there. Experts swore Pepsi Clear wouldn’t be a colossal failure (incorrect), while Post-It Notes were an unexpected success.

Even getting additional input from clients and friends might not have steered me away from this mistake, though that might’ve helped.

Right now you’re hip-deep in developing your 2018 marketing plans and playing with sales strategies that you expect to be both clever and lucrative.

However, it’s important that you recognize a few things before you invest another dime of your marketing budget:

  • Every marketing effort costs more than you expect
  • Regardless of the medium, there is always room for improvement
  • An idea’s merit isn’t reliant on its source

That last item is key. Bad ideas can easily come from board members, and great ideas from the mailroom.

Indeed, the best ideas oftentimes derive from those closest to the front lines.

My advice: Be creative, but understand going in that some ideas will fizzle.  The money and time you’ll invest may just be a cost of doing business, with little (or no) return.

And remember; unproductive ideas happen to the best of us.

Yet just because something doesn’t work doesn’t mean you should lose your head over it.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Request your leftover shrunken head at