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Machiavelli and Marketing

April 19, 2016
Computers at work

The Prince by Niccolรฒ Machiavelli is one of my favorite books. I re-read it constantly.

This Italian political treatise is about 500 years old, but contains a lot of insights into human behavior that translate well into modern life, particularly politics and marketing.

I recently thought of my favorite passage from The Prince during an awful client meltdown.

This situation will be familiar to many of my digital marketing friends:

  1. The client previously had significant engagement on their blog and social media.
  2. Organic visibility fell off now that Facebook and other social networks started pushing paid ads.
  3. The client doesn’t want to spend money on social media advertising, and blames your firm for supposedly providing subpar content.
  4. A competitor comes out of the bushes, and makes unrealistic promises of organic reach and other snake oil remedies.
  5. Client is now pissed.

When dealing with a client who refuses to accept digital marketing changes, I think aboutย Machiavelli’s warning toย leaders who face resistance to change: