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October 8, 2013
Be Like the Great White Shark
 
The great white shark is known to be a scientific marvel. Why? Because for as old as the species is, scientists are desperately trying to find how and from what did the great white shark evolve. Many people who aren't totally familiar with the argument would like to be led to the conclusion that they simply appeared. Others would like to tie them to the biggest known predator to have existed, the megalodon, the megashark. Others still would like to tie it to larger Mako sharks that didn't quite survive because of the fierce competition between the megalodon and the great white.

The point is, the great white shark has stood the test of time, much better than the biggest fish of the pond and those of its day. So how can marketers feed off this example?

Master their skill.

Scientists believe that when great whites began to appear on the scene, they were faster and more agile than the younger megasharks. If the megasharks had no food to grow, they would die faster, leaving little opportunity to produce offspring. This naturally would leave the population of great whites to surpass the growth of megalodons.

Likewise, good marketers and advertisers need to be fast and agile in the industry. Adjust to new practices, and be faster than the current pros in the old ones. Write well, but write quickly, and ahead of deadline. Don't be afraid of a little competition, but embrace it. It'll make you a stronger force in the marketing industry.

Great whites nailed the fundamentals; they didn't create a new style of being a shark. Likewise, marketers should master the ways of communicating we employ today. 

These magnificent sharks control the waters they occupy. Should not marketers have the same jurisdiction? With talk about marketers in the C-Suite, marketers should take their executive positions seriously. If survival in a bad economy isn't enough motivation, then the job isn't a good fit for you.

Finally, these sharks are not looking to give up their territory. They protect it. Do not let other professionals try to take decisions and activities out of your territory without a substantial conversation. The more energy involved, the better. Fight for your team.

It is time for marketing and advertising to find their bite again.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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