What do I get?

Most marketing (and most business) is usually like this:

Do this and get that.

Figure out what you want, figure out what you need to do to get it, and go do it.

I was thinking about the way my Dad does business the other day. He’s been a successful executive (and then entrepreneur) for more than 50 years. I realized that I can’t remember one time when he did this to get that.

When he volunteered to run the United Way or the local theatre, or when he helped a local church raise money for a new building, he didn’t have an ulterior motive. When he negotiated with the UAW to create a different sort of workforce structure for his plant, it wasn’t so he could get more. It was so they could get more. Same thing when he helped dozens of people emigrate from the Soviet Union a few decades ago.

It’s been a consistent approach, and it sure seems to work. Consistent as in all the time, not just when it’s convenient. It works for a factory in Buffalo but it also seems to work for others… for successful marketers all over the world. Now, more than ever, it’s easier to give even when it seems like you’re not going to get. The happy irony is that this turns out to be a very effective marketing approach, even though that’s not the point.