Playing games and playing the ‘game of business’ are very similar.
Both are underpinned by certain Laws; participants have a choice to play by the letter of those laws or by the spirit. Each choice has different outcomes.
Compare two cricketing examples:
First, the infamous 1981 ‘underarm incident’ where the Aussie cricketers defeated New Zealand on the last ball of a game; NZ needed 6 runs off that last ball to win; the Baggy Green captain told his bowler to bowl an underarm delivery; Australia won.
No law was broken here; but it was a classic example of abiding by the Letter, not the Spirit, of the Law.
Second, the recent ball tampering incident in South Africa; the Aussies were losing the game and planned to take some drastic action.
In doing so they breached both the Letter and the Spirit of the Law; it was cheating…all in the name of winning; and winning at any cost.
Let’s have a look at that Law – extracts from Cricket Australia’s website:
“The laws of cricket clearly explain the expectations of how participants will behave on the field; cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the SPIRIT of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this SPIRIT causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the SPIRIT of fair play rests with the captains”.
So, you may be thinking, what’s this got to do with my business?
Quite a lot actually!
It seems to me that the Law of Marketing can be honed down to this…
“Maximize sales, whatever it takes, whatever the cost, to whoever can be enticed to buy whether they need it or not, whether they can afford it or not”
Let me share Gazza’s story as an example:
He went into a large furniture & electrical goods retailer to, as he put it, ‘look around’. He came out the proud owner of $4,000 worth of goods completely unpaid (i.e. no deposit) except for a card-based finance deal. Now you gotta understand this bloke is on a disability pension! He missed the first monthly payment and got into all sorts of strife with the finance company.
Now, consider how smart (and ethical) was the salesman? Some would say very smart; after all, he ‘got’ a customer and was just doing his job.
Imagine the GP on a $4k deal – I’m sure his boss was real pleased; and head office; and the finance company. They all made money by selling goods to a customer.
Legally, no one did anything wrong; but they all played by the LETTER of the LAW.
And of course the retailers who offer this finance ‘service’ effectively handball any problems to the finance sharks! No care; no responsibility; just more sales.
Morally I reckon the sales guy was a scumbag, as was his boss who trained him; he ‘saw this bloke, with no money, coming’ – and had a budget to meet!
In political circles these days they refer to a ‘pub test’ – i.e. does ‘it’ pass the pub test?
GOOD NEWS: This is how the big end of town plays the game; herein is your OPPORTUNITY.