The island will test you...

The marketing island will test you...

What can a 58-year-old film teach you about marketing?

Marketing lessons are all around us.

They can be found in the simplest exchanges of your daily life. Or within books, movies, TV shows, sporting events…

You get the point. They can be found everywhere and anywhere.

So it wasn’t surprising that I gleaned yet another marketing nugget as I watched a classic film from 1957, “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison.”

It’s a great movie.

Robert Mitchum plays a dedicated Marine, washed ashore a remote South Pacific island after his U.S. Navy submarine was discovered by the Japanese during World War II.

He thinks the island is abandoned until he runs into Deborah Kerr, playing Sister Angela, a nun who has yet to take her final vows.

They realize soon that they must rely on one another; hiding after the Japanese discovered the island and set up a basecamp, and then planning their next move when the Japanese left.

But what was intriguing was the similarities they both shared to their chosen way of life.

He committed himself to become a Marine and she committed herself to a life of prayer.

Both had their own rituals, their own training, their own levels of commitment they had to made in order to stay true to how they chose to live.

But here’s the deal: Commitment isn’t really commitment until it’s tested.

And the island tested them both.

You can make all the promises in the world to your employees, to your clients and customers – but your commitment won’t really shine until someone tests it.

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Money-back guarantee? How do you handle it when someone actually asks for one?

Claim you deliver the best service? What happens when someone says you didn’t come through?

Sometimes it’s tempting to focus on all the “big things” – ‘Big Data,’ a major website overhaul, a new social media promotion, and more bells and whistles.

But it’s the small stuff people usually remember. It’s those seemingly inconsequential daily transactions that end up meaning more to someone than you might realize.

Commitment isn’t just for romantic relationships. It’s for all relationships.

If you want to run a successful business, the truth is clear.

You simply can’t be a commitment-phobe.

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