Baseball hecklers go to games for a reason, they have a goal and for the most part they are good at what they do. The goal? To get in the pitcher’s head so he’s off his game. They go about in many different ways but in the end, if the pitcher is at all affected, the heckler considers his work a success.
But what if the heckler is distracted from his goal? What if the crowd likes him? All of a sudden he is the entertainment, his focus is taken off the pitcher and put towards impressing the crowd. He is no longer seeking his long-term goal but instead looking for that short-term gain.
Marketers go into projects with a goal in mind, at least they should be. When that goal is achieved the project is considered a success. But what if along the way the marketer creates some funny radio spot, a great Facebook ad or some flashy branding material that really impresses the client? Is the goal now making the client happy in the short term, or is the long-term goal still in the sights?
Too many hecklers and marketers start with a long-term goal in mind and soon after change to the short-term gain of impressing the client. Trying to be the funniest, flashiest, loudest, marketer out there may impress the crowd for a couple innings but at the end of the game it’s the guy who stuck to the long-term strategy that is the successful one. The next project you take on, ask yourself, “Am I trying to get in the pitchers head? Or just impressing the crowd”.