The Ten Commandments of Marketing

1st Commandment

Thou Shalt Have One Guiding Marketing Principle: Will You Sell One More or Will You Sell One Less?


Every marketing decision, both strategic and tactical, should be held to the standard of “will it sell one more or will it sell one less.”

We are hardwired to pursue perfection. We appreciate it, admire it, hang it on museum walls. However, perfection has a value and it has a cost. In our opinion, it is a rare event indeed when the value of perfection equals its cost in terms of time, creative energy and results — let alone dollars and cents.

Today, perhaps more than ever, available resources should be artfully allocated to more holistically meet marketing challenges. It is more important, and ultimately more rewarding, to consistently raise the level of all communications touchpoints rather than getting caught up in the pursuit of “perfect” for any single piece of marketing collateral.

If a client prefers the color blue over green or the word “enable” instead of “allow” they should be encouraged to exercise their preferences — as long as marketing goals are met or exceeded and the brand is being properly articulated.

We just don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the painstaking effort that goes into producing communications of all kinds must pay service to the most important marketing consideration of all: will what you’re doing sell one more or one less?

Everything else is vanity.

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Living by the 1st Commandment

It is just as important to budget time and creative energy as it is dollars and cents.

It’s easy to get caught up in the paralysis-inducing ideal of “perfection.” However, early on in the pursuit of perfection it’s possible to reach a point of diminishing returns — particularly in an era of limited budgets and internal resources.

The Right Point of View Comes With Experience

For over 40 years, Adler Branding & Marketing has been advising clients about all facets of brand strategy, communications and design.

“The Ten Commandments of Marketing” series is the distillation of our decades of experience, epiphanies and, of course, mistakes into something useful. We welcome your thoughts and comments.