Put trust in ideas.

I just read the results of a new study by the Association of National Advertisers.
It revealed that “cost” was the most important metric used to measure marketing procurement.
No kidding.
Yes, marketing spending is shifting to more cost-effective media and platforms.
And, overall, that’s a good thing.
But that’s not where the opportunity lies.
I know, because I’ve seen this story before.
Years ago when I was head of procurement at one of G.E.’s business units.
If the computer “instructed” us to purchase something, we’d triple source it.
And then negotiate the absolute best pricing and delivery.
It was purely tactical.
We were simply reacting to our circumstances.
We knew it.
And our suppliers felt it. 
Kind of like WalMart’s suppliers feel it today.
As well as scores of media salespeople and agency reps.
But here’s the key insight.
Every once in a while a design engineer would walk into my office.
And he’d demand that I source a unique component.
One that would give us a strategic edge in the marketplace.
And when that happened, my leverage with suppliers dissapeared.
Despite my posturing and arm twisting, they had the edge.
And they knew it.
So with smiles on their faces, they “worked with me.”
I wasn’t very happy during those circumstances.
But our engineers were happy.
Our customers were delighted.
Our marketplace status and margins improved.
And those suppliers’ salespeople were tickled green.
It was a win-win-win-win.
The same is true in every industry.
And in every segment and all niches.
Who ever has the best ideas wins.
Sure, in many cases it’s a short-lived win.
But it’s a win nonetheless.  
And the kind of win that every brand in it for the long term is after.
Emerson wrote, “It is a lesson which all history teaches the wise.
To put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances.”
Circumstances appear to drive the bulk of today’s decisions.
In business, politics, and everyday life.
Don’t let them drive you.
Believe in your abilities.
Have faith in your ideas.
And then make those ideas your reality.