Too Clever By Half

Enterprise View

Too Clever By Half

By Max Schroeder, Vice President Emeritus at FaxCore Inc.  |  September 16, 2015

I first noted this often-used expression during my travels in England. It, or its associated forms, can be traced back to the time of Shakespeare and earlier. Basically it infers that a person or persons outsmarted themselves.  The most common mistake is implementing a clever action that is really unwise. Launching a new sales and marketing strategy without having a thorough and well thought out plan in place would be an excellent example.

The vast array of marketing vehicles available today combined with the pressure for quick results have driven many marketing professionals to distraction and prone them to mistakes. Today’s social media channels and websites are very easy to use so companies can launch new campaigns quickly and without significant planning.  This has fostered a give it a try and see if it works attitude in many managers. Although this seems logical at first, it is another too clever by half situation. However you crunch the numbers, there is a significant cost associated with any marketing campaign – not the least of which is the lost business and delays resulting from a failed campaign. Skimping on the planning and omitting the test market phase is simply too great a risk. 

Another frequent mistake is placing an inordinate focus on driving new business and neglecting established accounts. The new business decision seems like a no-brainer, but the cost of acquiring new customers and getting them operational is exorbitant when compared to servicing your current base. The No. 1 technology trend prioritized by businesses today is customer demand for emerging channels, yet 72 percent of customers are frustrated with inconsistent service across channels, according to TMC (News - Alert) statistics. Perhaps your first priority should be on using today’s state-of-the-art technologies to improve your customers’ experience and providing them with the latest tools for increased productivity and security. Plus product margins on sales to existing customers are much greater than for new acquisitions.

Maybe looking closer to home (TMC, for example) is the cleverest and safest marketing plan. According to the latest reader survey more than 77 percent of our readership uses INTERNET TELEPHONY to discover new and innovative technologies. Plus, by leveraging TMC’s wide selection of sales and marketing tools, you automatically acquire the assistance of TMC’s team of professionals to prevent you from becoming too clever by half. 

Max Schroeder (News - Alert) is vice president emeritus of FaxCore Inc. and co-chair of the SIP Forum Fax-over-IP Task Group.

Max Schroeder is Vice President Emeritus of FaxCore (News - Alert) Inc. ( and managing director of the DPCF.

Edited by Maurice Nagle