Don't force fit your grandfather's used dress shoes.

I beamed proudly just like my grandfather did when he bought his over three decades ago.

Mine were purchased most recently from Walmart. Running shoes. $14. Thank you very much. I had to buy them because I lost my "real" running shoes while on family vacation recently, and although they were 10 1/2 W, and I didn't need the W, I liked them and the deal and bought them anyway.

My grandfather's were purchased from his church bazaar. Dress shoes. $5. Thank you very much. He had to buy them because he needed new used dress shoes, and although they were actually too small for his feet, he liked them and the deal and bought them anyway.

Reminiscent of Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes, my grandfather beamed proudly every time he wore the shoes no matter how much physical pain he was in. And I remember my mother telling me it was a lot.

And me? I'm an idiot to think that running in cheap running shoes that weren't even the exact fit would be good for me (at least they weren't too small). In fact, the experience was painful and jarring throughout my entire not-so-young-anymore body for all 4.5 miles I ran.

And yes, I ran all 4.5 miles in that pain. It was like running in my grandfather's used dress shoes.

It got me thinking about recent posts from John Sumser and Naomi Bloom about how social technology and HR technology aren't always the right fit for an organization when you're only automating either existing poor processes, or when the manual and/or existing automated processes are fine and don't really need a retrofit, yet.

It's the same thing with the B2B marketing tactics these same companies use to promote their social and HR technologies.

Do you:

Mostly tongue in cheek, I know, and maybe you haven’t heard, but the number of marketing tactics has exploded in the past decade.


Many are mainstays and many are new. And of course the tactics mix can and will vary whether you're a startup or whether you’re an established company or somewhere in between.

The key is getting the mix right as well as the appropriateness of each tactic. The outcomes and benefits of social media are not the same as direct email, which are not the same as exhibiting at a trade show. The combinations are endless, but the appropriateness of each are not.

Finding the right fit when selling and buying is both a science and an art. Just don't force fit your grandfather's used dress shoes.

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