I am not a big one for marketing quotes. Most of our disciplinary gurus have a few pithy two-liners but most feel flat and contrived. My preference has always been for a spontaneous outburst from outside our industry.
One of my favourites comes from Mike Tyson. On the eve of another big fight Iron Mike was asked about his opponent’s claim that by using lateral movement and a lot of clever footwork he would nullify Tyson’s notorious ferocity.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” Tyson replied. And the discussion of pre-fight strategy was over.
It’s a superior quote for marketers compared to anything Kotler, Keller, Godin and the following army that aspire to their guru thrones could ever produce. It describes, painfully, a moment all marketers experience when a great strategy is revealed as just that, strategy. Once applied to the brutal realities of the market it is smashed upon entry and revealed to be lovely theory but implausible practice.