Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Maverick Marketer

 “Taking the old and doing it smarter, better and faster.”  – Sergio Zyman (former Coca Cola CMO who was responsible for the launch of New Coke)

Read On:
Digital technologies are transforming business; corporations are struggling to adapt.  In my last post, Pop Labels I pointed out that digital marketing and social media experts are publishing articles claiming that traditional marketing and sales initiatives no longer work.  Au contraire!  All along, I have been advocating hybrid marketing, the ability to balance new and classic strategies.  That is why I chose to share this morning, words of wisdom from Sergio Zyman that I first heard back in the 90’s.  A simple, relevant statement that continues to validate my thoughts as it relates to hybrid marketing.  Accordingly, the real winners moving forward will be business leaders that embrace hybrid marketing, a new breed I label Maverick Marketers.  Detailed below are the characteristics of a Maverick Marketer.
1.    Reinvention is their mantra.  They are informed, thus are constantly experimenting with new digital marketing tools as they are being introduced.  Maybe traditional print advertising is on the decline, but they understand that a QR code if properly executed in conjunction with print is a future tool that further engages consumers.  In addition, Maverick Marketers recognize we now live in a “mobile first world”  – people are now consuming their favorite magazines via smartphones or tablets.  Consequently, they understand the potential of mobile optimized banner ads and geo-location intercept strategies/tactics.
2.    They take time out to think.  Maverick marketers will slow down to the speed of thought while everyone else is drowning in their sensory overload.  They are focused and will do the work that matters most – work that is original/creative versus the same old thing; work that entails experimentation.  Their end result will be execution.  Old adage: “It is not about out smarting the competition, it is all about out executing the competition.”
3.    Relationship capitalists.  When it comes to networking, Maverick Marketers are social by nature.  They will build their community one committed person at a time; they value quality over quantity.  Pam Alexander, former CEO of Alexander Ogilvy once said:  “Relationships are the most powerful form of media.”
Now I know some of you reading this post are asking yourself: Wasn’t New Coke one of the biggest marketing blunders of all time?  Correct!  However Sergio was also responsible for the successfully launching Diet Coke two years before New Coke.
Are you ready to become a Maverick Marketer?


  1. Good post Jimmy. I actually did a case on New Coke WAY back in college. Companies and people learn more from mistakes than things that go right. As long as you do learn....
    Au Revoir.

  2. Does anyone have the Coke share of market prior to New coke and after? Failure or marketing ploy?

  3. Jimmy,

    Tom Hayes book, "Maverick Marketing" details many of the points that you are making. Note that he used Book Surge to publish his work, by passing the tradition publishing house environment...another change in the digital revolution.