Do more of what works?


Yesterday, I quoted Peter Drucker’s comment about the “aim of marketing” and shared my thoughts. Today, I want to chew on another quote from the man which you will surely recognize. It begins: 

“Do more of what works. . .” 

That sounds like good advice, but how do we know when something works? 

If we get desirable results, we have to say it’s working, but what if we could get better results doing something else?

Or doing the same thing, but differently? 

We might dramatically improve our results by changing our words, our process, our timing, or by involving different people. In which case, continuing to do what’s working might not be best. 

We should always look for ways to make what’s working work better. 

Hold on. What does “better” mean? 

In the context of marketing, better might mean bringing in more clients, but it might instead mean bringing in clients who have more work for us, bigger cases, or work that is more profitable.

“Better” could also mean “easier”. Or more enjoyable. Or more consistent with our values and long-term goals. 

Okay, we get the idea. Don’t stop doing something that produces desirable results unless you find something better and always look for something better

But we can’t ignore the second half of Drucker’s quote, “…and quickly abandon what doesn’t (work)”. 

What does this mean? 

No results? Poor results, compared to what? Results that require too much time and effort, i.e., aren’t worth it? 

And, if we determine that something doesn’t work, should we completely (and quickly) abandon it? Doesn’t it make sense to see if we can fix it?

So many questions. 

The full quote, “Do more of what works and quickly abandon what doesn’t” is easy to understand and remember. It isn’t bad advice, just incomplete. 

But it’s a great place to start.