The Yogi Berra School of Marketing

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Yogi Berra
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Pitchers and catchers report today, marking the beginning of the long journey to the World Series. What better way to celebrate than apply some of Yogi Berra’s quotes to marketing?

I believe in speaking to an audience using their vernacular. That’s why I love Yogi Berra, and his terribly funny euphemisms for life, which just absolutely drive grammar perfectionists crazy.

Here are my five favorite Yogisms as they apply to marketing:

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Launch a campaign or an initiative that isn’t doing well out the gate? Well, it’s not over. Make changes. Use your analytics and customer interactions to pivot and turn things around. Drop approaches, shake up messaging, and find new ways to communicate. Failure is only complete when you give in.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

If you don’t have outcomes to achieve, if there’s nothing to measure, then how do you know if your marketing is successful? You don’t. As a result, marketing may be completely misaligned from the organization, and can lead it off the rails. Know where your company or nonprofit is going, and market appropriately.

Yankees Dugout 2009

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

The Facebook conundrum! Seriously, when a medium becomes too popular, its hard to become heard above all the noise. There has to be better, faster, and cheaper ways to reach your target stakeholder group. Find them.

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

I used to worry about the future all the time. Planning for the future to achieve outcomes is a critical component of strategy. But if you over-focus on competitive response and events, you will always be disappointed. There’s always a surprise.

Meanwhile, you can lose today by over-focusing on tomorrow. Customers are won by actions taken today, not yesterday, not tomorrow.

“There are some people who, if they don’t already know, you can’t tell ‘em.”

Some people are just vested in being right, and when they’re wrong, they’re still right. This is particularly true of social media voices (me included). It reminds me of the lyrics to Living Colour’s Cult of Personality, “I tell you one and one makes three.”

Well, if someone is so vested in being right — colleague, customer, prospect, commenter, or anyone — I’ve learned to give ‘em enough rope to find out the hard way. I can’t change their mind any other way.

Care to add something?

A version of this post ran originally on the Vocus blog.

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  • http://twitter.com/MZazeela Marc Zazeela

    Geoff,

    I have been a lifelong Yankees fan and a devout follower of Yogi.

    These are truly gems. Yogi was wiser than even he ever imagined.

    Cheers,
    Marc

    • geofflivingston

      Wasn’t he? He had a folk element to his wisdom that made it endearing.

  • http://www.TheWirelessWizard.com/ Scott Goldman

    As an avid collector of quotes I have concluded that even amidst Lincoln, Einstein, Kennedy and others Yogi is my favorite American philosopher. What could be more relevant than his comments in today’s world? A couple of my favorite Yogi-isms:

    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

    Several years ago Yogi hosted a group of friends and journalists during a large-screen viewing of a World Series game during which he offered commentary and, no doubt, “color.” Everyone loved it and one of the journalists asked, “Yogi, is this going to become an annual event?” Replied Yogi, “Only if we do it every year.”

    Long live Yogi.

    • geofflivingston

      LOL, only if we do it every year. He was amazing, really seemed to see the irony in life. You are so lucky to have attended that event. I would have loved to have been in that room!

      • http://www.TheWirelessWizard.com/ Scott Goldman

        While I would have loved to be there unfortunately I was not. Yogi continues to be inspiring while humorous and philosophical while common sense. A truly unique American – this generation’s Will Rogers.
        ——-

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    I agree,Failure is only complete when you gave in.This quote is not just for sports and business but for everyone. If you think that what you are doing right now is going nowhere,don’t quit too soon. There are a lot of strategies and alternatives that you can do to have an effective outcome in your business.You only have to do is to analyse every single data you have before you make a move.

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