Steve Job’s is the most innovative CEO in the world. He’s also one of the best marketers, ever. In a recent article, John Sculley, the last person to manage Jobs, described what’s been referred to as, “The Steve Jobs Methodology:”
“What makes Steve’s methodology different from everyone else’s is that he always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things you do, but the things you decide not to do.”
That last part deserves repeating: The most important decisions you make are not the things you do, but the things you decide not to do. As a marketer, you have many opportunities to elevate and expand your brand. Which one’s really make a difference? In higher ed, many marketers are fixated on promotions – social media, for example. But how many marketers are looking at, and helping to make, decisions on the other Ps? How about which academic programs not to run? Or, which academic programs need to be priced differently? These decisions relate to perhaps the two most important Ps in marketing – product and price.
Here’s the takeaway: Decisions about promotional strategies, like social media, are probably the least important decisions that will be made at the university this year. What you sell is far more important than how you sell it. And quite frankly, we’re selling too many things that people don’t want. Deciding what not to do helps elevate those programs that are at the core of your university’s mission and business goals. And it focuses your institution’s time and resources on the programs that matter to the marketplace. And the more your programs matter, the more your brand elevates and expands. As my friend Bob Sevier says, a curriculum that’s in tune with the marketplace and uniquely delivered by your institution is the best marketing asset of all. So ask yourself, are you helping your university decide which things not to do?