You may know a bit about the Aztecs.
National Geographic has had more than a few articles on them.
Then there are the conquistador movies. Netflix has some.
If you studied the Aztecs at school you know human sacrifice featured in a big way.
Chests were slit open with obsidian knives and still beating hearts were plucked out to be held aloft to appease the gods … there’s an image for you.
The ritual was to ensure the crops flourished and women didn’t die in childbirth.
Something about it must have found favor with the gods as the Aztec empire was no small affair.
It was a union of three powerful city states controlling Mesoamerica in the 15th century.
Still, the civilization was defeated quickly with the arrival of the conquistadors.
Surprisingly enough it was only a small force, less than 700 soldiers.
Anthropologists tell us the collapse was the result of naiveté about war. A blindness to a more worldly, European view of battle.
The Aztec approach was to take prisoners — that was the measure of victory.
The more prisoners the better as captives were needed for human sacrifice.
Call it a cultural necessity
But against the Spanish it led to a bloodbath.
Aztec beliefs blinded them to the menace.
Which brings us to the way some marketers can be vision-challenged.
That stems from seeing technology as a silver bullet, the answer to all their problems.
Of course, gee-whiz delivery systems, new platforms and big data are a breakthrough, but less so when they blind you to the importance of ideas.
Shouldn’t ideas come first if you expect to change minds and win hearts?
Without ideas messaging is a about as effective as a dog with no nose.
There’s little chance a hound like that will hunt.
More to that, why invest in technology when the messaging you deliver can only intensify boredom.
That has to be mush-headed and self-defeating, right?
We regularly hear what’s needed is persuasion.
But what about brilliance, shouldn’t that be compulsory?
It was in the past.
We’re talking about a level of brilliance that comes with messaging that’s strong on wit, charm and reasoned arguments.
Without that you’re left with little more than a disagreeable intrusion.
So, do you know marketers who can’t see past technology to realize ideas are key?
If so, tell them they have a problem.
Like the one that undid the Aztecs.