Today’s Marketing Cookie – Be Ready To Ride The Waves

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Today's Marketing Cookie - If there is no wind, there will be no wave.

"If there is no wind, there will be no wave."

Today’s Marketing Cookie came from Christina Inge of Boston, MA. Chrissy serves the local marketing community as the VP of Programming on the board of directors for AMA Boston. Christina is also the Senior Director of Marketing at eZuce, leading all acquisition marketing efforts, including messaging, branding, social media, digital initiatives. I encourage you to follow Chrissy on Twitter: @christinainge

Today’s Marketing Cookie is about being ready for success.

As a young man, I once lived with a friend in Cape May, New Jersey for an entire summer.  I used to go surfing during the daytime and then worked in an Italian restaurant every night.  I can remember just sitting on my board waiting for a set of waves to arrive that was well-formed enough to ride.  Some days I would be out there kicking around until my lips were purple and my finger tips turned into shriveled raisons.  Even on those dog days, with very little wind, there would eventually be a perfect wave that came along, as if it came from out of no where.  If I were paying attention, and my timing was right, I’d catch the momentum and get the thrill of riding it all the way to the beach.  Yippee-ZOWIE!!  Let me tell you, the adrenaline rush you get form a great ride was always well worth the waiting.

Later that summer, the local news anchor, with his carefully aligned comb-over, announced that the remnants of a hurricane was expected to kick up some waves on the Jersey shore as high as fifteen feet. “Woe Nelly!”, I said.  I put on my spring suit, and ran down to the beach to catch what I thought would be the ride of a lifetime!  As I got to the water’s edge, the sound of the waves crashing down was nearly deafening. Oh… and the wind. The wind was blowing through my giant hairdo, and was determined to knock me over. As I walked into the foaming sea, I found that even in just twelve inches of water, the undertow was absolutely fierce, pulling everything out from under every step I took. YIKES!

I got out there at waist deep and found that no matter how hard I tried to kick and paddle, I couldn’t seem to swim out to where the waves were cresting.  It was as if the waves were determined to keep me from riding them. The waves pushed me back to the beach over, and over again with amazing force. When I finally got myself out there, I was already feeling exhausted. So, I decided I would catch one good ride down to the beach and then head in with the fame, glory, and bragging rights of riding a wave during a hurricane.

Then I could see “my wave” coming. Wait for it…. Wait for it…. I got ready…. Okay NOW!  I started kicking and paddling like a crazy man and then Whooosh!!, the wave picked me up so wickedly fast, that I felt like a hood ornament perched on the front of a speeding rocketship. I can’t be certain, but as I passed mach six, and the sonic boom shattered toilet bowls in nearby beach houses, I may have experienced time travel. Then, just as quickly as I got up on the wave to ride it, I was spit off the face of it like a helpless rag doll to be tossed, turned and banged around in the undertow.

The wave set me up for a spin cycle and gave me the biggest swirly ever. I can remember the undercurrents being so violent, that my eyelids were flapping. I was getting so spun and turned around, that I couldn’t figure out where the surface was and couldn’t come up for air. Kicking and trying to swim were futile and I realized that if I didn’t immediately get air somehow, I was going to die! Miraculously, my right foot touched the bottom and I gave myself the greatest push-off kick I could muster and popped up through the wave and grabbed a giant gasp of air. Only to be pummeled, tossed and turned again by the next wave… and the next wave… and the next.

I told you that, to tell you this.

Many times in marketing, we are sitting on our board just waiting for a wave to arrive. Even though the wind is dead, seas are calm and boring, they do sometimes come out of no where, and we must be ready and watching otherwise we will miss a nice wave.  Even if your finger tips are shriveled, or no matter how purple your lips, and no matter how bloodshot your eyes, keep watching, and be ready for unexpected opportunities that come your way.

On the other hand, sometimes a perfect storm will get organized on top of you and will threaten to carry you faster and farther than you could ever imagine.  Oh sure you may rush into it hoping for bragging rights, but if you aren’t prepared for such success, it will turn you about and spit you out. Everyone wants to catch the big waves!  I can tell you that if your timing is right, your campaign might catch a wave so powerful that it kills your site, drowns your ability to fill orders, and could nearly kill your brand.

I encourage you to get out there, watch for opportunities and be prepared for an amazing ride of insane success. Please be ready – otherwise you might drown.


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