In a recent article written by Katie Carroll, veteran actor Will Smith spoke about a marketing epiphany that came through, of all people, his 15-year old daughter Willow who has been on a world-tour promoting her hit “Whip My Hair.”
While in Cannes, France recently, Mr. Smith commented that he remembered back in the 80’s and 90’s when he was obsessed with winning. “I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win, versus promoting something because I believed it was helpful.” He continued, “I started to taste global blood. My focus shifted from artistry to winning.”
His confession shows a great deal of clarity and wisdom and hits on a central notion that marketers confront…are you producing to win at any cost or to satisfy a spirit of excellence in your craft? Which do you think will win the most success?
While on the tour, Willow decided that she was ready to go home–and shaved her hair to make the point! No matter what her Dad could say, she was done. As he said, “There was no sales pitch I could make to her because she didn’t want it.” That’s when he had his “Aha” moment…the great big idea…the epiphany…“selling, marketing, creating cannot be about me.”
“The lesson for marketers is clear: If you’re not listening to your audience, your promotions will fall on deaf ears.”