Lombardi said “This is a football.”

Reportedly, this is how legendary football coach Vince Lombardi started off the season coaching the then-patsy Green Bay Packers.

Lombardi figured that if the players were unable to win, he needed to start with the basics. Blocking and tackling.

In marketing, it’s no different. You may have success with a super-duper complicated 47 step mailing that is perfectly designed, but it’s worthless if you don’t follow up – a fundamental.

In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a story about Boy Scouts recruiting immigrant kids into the program and doing so by reaching out to their religious community – a really smart strategy given the population they are trying to reach.

Not far into the story, a minister asks…”What’s a Scout?”


One critical fundamental is speaking to the prospect in their language. I don’t necessarily mean in Spanish, but in this case, it is applicable. What I really mean is to speak to them in terms they relate to.

In “normal” Scout recruiting, a boy is often motivated to join because his father was a Scout, or because his friends are Scouts. Among American boys, Scouts is not a mystery – even to non-members.

To immigrants whose fathers weren’t Scouts and whose immigrant friends are not Scouts, the BSA has to go back to fundamentals, just like Charles Boddy figured out in the Globe story noted above. Why? Because the basics of Scouting – even to the point of knowing what a Scout IS becomes a critical piece of information for the prospective members to know why they’d want to be one.

It’s not unusual for you to have to do the same thing when attracting new customers.

You’ll often hear me advise you to speak as if you are talking to Homer Simpson in your marketing materials for new prospects. I don’t mean that your prospects are beer-swilling dopes. What I mean is that your prospects don’t likely know anything about you and probably are not familiar with your industry buzzwords – the ones that you’ve been tossing around for years – so don’t use them. Speak in terms familiar to them, that resonate with them.

Note that I say YOUR buzzwords, not theirs. Their buzzwords are very important to you, but that’s not the topic of conversation today.

For example, if you are an insurance agent, your lingo is “auto insurance”. No one else calls it that. We all call it “car insurance”.  When we search on Google, we search for car insurance, not auto insurance.

Fundamentals. Overlook them, and it doesn’t matter how fancy you get – you’re going to find trouble. As Ken McCarthy says “It doesn’t matter that you can do a triple gainer if there’s no water in the pool.”