Why Following the Rules Can Be a Bad Idea

My dad owns several small apartment buildings.  With the price of energy rising, he decided to replace the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFB).  It cut the electric bill in half and he was delighted…until the fire marshal came.

The marshal insisted that there had to be two bulbs (in case the first one burned out). Dad pointed out that CFB bulbs last much longer than the standard kind, and are less likely to burn out.  It didn’t matter.  The rules said two bulbs.  So, he had to replace the bulbs (again).. and the electric bill is back up.  A waste of time, effort, money, and energy.

What does this have to do with marketing?  Ask yourself, are you doing something because “it’s the rules” or because it’s what you’ve always done? Or, are you doing it because it brings in more money, gets more traffic, or helps your clients?