By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

Lesson for Marketers:  don’t “Blame it on the Rain”

Monday morning, 8:35 a.m.  I’m running late to our weekly company meeting.  I slip into the boardroom, grab a glass of water and slide through the seats to grab an empty spot.  It’s clear I’m about to succeed when Luke, for whom as many of you know, “speaks with his hands” is an understatement, says something to the presenter and throws both arms up in the air, connecting with the underside of my full glass of water, dumping water over me, head to toe (okay I slightly exaggerate). So much for quietly sneaking in.  Anyway, after that little fiasco Luke says to me “so, how about this weather?”  I immediately started to tune out and think about more exciting things, like how many towels can I cram into a load of laundry, when we both went OMG!  The weather – everything is marketing!  It’s the ultimate irony isn’t it; even a limp conversation topic such as the weather can prove to you that every single thing in life is marketing.

Show me an industry sector in this country that does NOT use the weather to explain their business results.  You can pretty much set your watch to it:  every year Mama Nature throws us a curve ball yet every business finds a way to blame the weather for the shortcomings.

Is there empathy for patio owners, pool guys, flip flop sellers and purveyors of soccer balls?  You bet.  But people, don’t pull a Milli Vanilli and “blame it on the rain” – it’s time to quit it!

The lessons:

  • No one pays you for excuses, they pay you for answers
  • You can for certain predict that next year will be unpredictable
  • And control the controllable

Here’s a story:  Luke’s father used to own a grocery store on College Street in Toronto.  When it rained did he fret about the sale of the fruit on the outside stand?  No, he took the umbrellas from the back and put them up front.  He had a Plan B.  So, what umbrellas are you going to put out front?

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