What Fictional Detectives Teach Us About Marketing Projects

And here’s another thought to ponder. Imagine having detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Lt. Colombo, Hercule Poirot, and Adrian Monk in a room.

The problem you would run into is not having their egos get into the way, about who is the best…who’s solution is the best. If you could find a way to motivate them to unify and work together, just think what could be accomplished.

But since their all equally talented, you need to get them all an equal percentage…or a good hefty fee…to solve your case. And you need to figure out a way to keep them from competing against each other and trying to outdo the other.

But if I had to place money on a “fictional” detective from the bunch, I’ll side with Monk or Colombo. Monk would put you off the track, with his phobia ridden persona. And Colombo would fool you with his “dumb as a doornail” routine. Unless the others “saw through them”, they would underestimate them. This would give Monk and Colombo the advantage.

Now…follow this thought…and the above analogy. If you are building a team of any sort, if you could figure out to effectively utilize all the talent…given the same problem parameters I gave for the fictional detectives above…everyone could become a millionaire in no time flat.

Suppose these detectives were looking for lost jewels, that were scattered in different places. Let’s name these places A, B, C, D, and E – corresponding to our five famous detectives. If we were to have these fictional detectives work together, you wouldn’t give any a percentage of the total recovered jewels (i.e. A + B + C + D + E).

You would give each a percentage for the jewels they recover, based on their areas of expertise. And that percentage can be quite large, depending on how many jewels they get.

  • So Sherlock Holmes could get 50% of jewels recovered from location A
  • Charlie Chan 50% of jewels recovered from Location B
  • Etc.

The trick would be defining what A, B, C, D and E are. Now if there are several jewels scatted in location A, several in location B, etc., the jewels recovered for the owner, could be very substantial.

Project management in the real world

There are many ways to get visitors to your site. Basically they boil down to a simple equation:

  • You spent time
  • You spend money

No matter what method is proposed (and experts will argue among themselves, as to the best method), they all boil down to one of the two elements outlined above.

Now, let’s take a hypothetical example. Suppose I had a team of different talent assembled. How much is that “really” worth, in and of itself?

Now supposed someone comes along with an unproved idea, that “they never implemented before”. Did the person hiring this person ask them to supply previous clients where this has been implemented?

Now suppose we have equal talents:

  • We both have expertise in SEO (as well as a couple other team members I assembled)
  • We are have expertise in viral marketing.

But I do have an advantage in three areas:

  • I was a former software engineer, which gives me a greater advantage in getting software up and running.  Can this person set up a “secure” shopping cart… that would cost you $12,000 for the commercial version…and hook it up to affiliate software for instant affiliate payments?
  • Is this other person a professional writer?
  • Is this other person a professional marketing writer?

Maybe this person might – with their new idea – can get the traffic to come. But could they get them to read the pitch and come inside?

Now to top it off, suppose this person gets a big percentage of the total take, based upon an unproven idea they never implemented before. What would you do?

If you follow the logic of the above detectives, you would say this:

“Well, I’m from Missouri – show me! I’ll let you implement your idea, but I want to see data that I (and other qualified team members) can analyze.”

If you are successful, I can help you. I can help you with the writing and marketing communications.

But what is my motivation now? If other clients are willing to pay more for what I can do, then how do you motivate me and other team members to help you?

So I’ll help you on what I did before you stopped in. So will the others. If you succeed and we can objectively measure success, then perhaps we can find ways to utilize everyone – for the right price and/or percentage

What about the owner?  Well, you can’t blame him – he doesn’t know.  What we need to see is data and analyze it – it’s the only way to see if he brought a cure all or snake oil.

Right now, we have “smoke and mirrors”…let’s wait for the proof… whether the magician can make the money appear or disappear.


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