Yogi Berra said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” 

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell postulates “The 10,000-Hour Rule”.  He claims that even those with innate natural genius, MUST practice 10,000 hours to become “virtuosos.”     He demonstrates the history of diverse individuals such as Bill Gates and the Beatles to show that they practiced for 10,000 hours respectively computer programming and their special brand of music to develop into iconic Success Stories. 

So, Yogi Berra was right. It’s not just theory, its practice. 

You have to put in the hours to become a Master.  How do you reconcile this with the recognition that marketing has been transformed by social media and that social media is evolving at whiplash speed?  What was highly used 6 months ago is barely used today.    How can we get in our 10,000 hours?  It would take almost 417 days of 24/7 Linking, Facebooking, Tweeting, Blogging, and Yelping to reach 10,000 hours.  That’s one year and two months of not eating, sleeping or doing anything else but social media and in that time the landscape will have changed significantly.   

Let’s leave aside the obvious fact that this scenario is impossible.  The question is: How do you catch this moving target?

I propose that the seasoned marketer has already put in their 10,000 hours.  The job of the marketer is to put theory into practice.  The seasoned marketer knows that to reach their target market, they have to know the demographics, find the way(s) to reach them.     Less experienced social media “experts” may know how to generate a viral “tweet”, but without a total marketing campaign, that tweet may be the tree falling unheard in the forest.   

This is my Call to Action for two different groups.    

  1. Seasoned Marketers:  Start using social media. Develop not just competency, but expertise.  Social media sites are in their infancy in terms of importance in the marketing equation.  While some individual sites may wane in importance, the interconnectedness, the “Wiki-ness” will be there for the looooong time. Chant this mantra: The Trend is Your Friend.
  2. Social Media Programmers:  Develop your product as a part of the comprehensive marketing picture.  It is not an either/or.  The 4 P’s will always form the basis of successful marketing campaigns. This time, we paraphrase the great Yogi Berra:  “If the fans don’t want to come to the ballpark even a Twitter blizzard isn’t going to stop them.”  

Author: Marcia Finberg