Sometimes The Obvious… Can Be So Obscure…

Sometimes The Obvious…
Can Be So Obscure…

A U.S. Customs Officer named Bob, did the best job he could to stem the tide of drug smuggling into the United States.   You might even say, he was “obsessed”, with rooting out these narcotics traffickers, and bringing them to justice.  

He felt no better sense of pride whenever he discovered a stash of illegal drugs.  Bob was the epitome of a diligent border patrol officer. Nothing got by him.

…One Thing Did
Elude Him…

One day, an older gentleman on a bicycle approached Bob’s inspection area.  On the back of the old man’s bike were two 20 pound bags, containing a white powdery sub-stance.  Bob’s years of experience immediately “kicked in”, and his inner alarm screamed “DRUGS”.  He stopped the old man and asked what was in the two sacks.

The old man told him, “My nephew moved to a nearby U.S. border town and opened a successful Mexican restaurant. His success is in his tortilla’s. He uses flour that’s only grown in our region of Mexico. It makes his tortilla’s so tasty, people can’t get enough of them.”

Smelling something fishy, Bob immediately confiscated the two bags of flour, and rushed them in for testing. Sure enough, the old man was telling the truth.  The bags were filled with flour that was indigenous to that area of Mexico.

Legally, there was nothing Bob could do, but let the old Gent through with the flour.  Bob wasn’t easily fooled though.  He had seen in the past where smugglers would lull border agents into complacency, by doing the same routine, over and over again.  Eventually they would stop inspecting his flour, and let him through.  That’s when the drug trafficking would start.

…Not On My Watch…

Every 3 or 4 days, the same old man would show up on his bike. He would have two 20 pound bags of flour, and Bob would stop him and get the flour tested.  Bob knew, eventually he would catch the old geezer in the act, then…..wham…. we got em.

This went on for 7 years.  Then one day, it stopped.  Bob never saw the old man again.  He also never found any drugs.

…Are You Kidding Me….

One night, Bob was in the mood for Mexican food, so he went to the Mexican restaurant the the old man said he was delivering the flour to.  Sure enough, he found a packed house.  He got a hold of the owner and asked him, “What’s the secret to your success with this restaurant?” The owner replied, “My tortilla’s. For years my Uncle Pablo would bring me a special flour, that only grew in a certain region of Mexico.  If it weren’t for him… I would have closed my doors years ago.”

Bob was devastated.  He was never so wrong in his entire career.

The old man was telling the truth all those years.  Then Bob explained to the restaurant owner how he came to knew his Uncle, and all the years he spent testing that flour.  They ended up having a drink and a hardy laugh with each other.

Before leaving the restaurant, he asked the owner, “So tell me, what’s your Uncle Pablo up to now?” The restaurant owner said, “He retired, and he’s living in the lap of luxury somewhere in Central America.” Bob said, “Was he in the restaurant business with you?”  The owner responded, “Oh no…. He made his fortune smuggling bicycles across the border.”

…It’s Not Too Late…

Are you just like Bob?

Have you become so set in your ways of marketing, that you miss some opportunities that are right there under your nose?

Maybe it’s time to take a “different” look at the way things are done.  Are you really getting your money’s worth, out of your marketing dollar.  Maybe it’s time to change from the “obvious”, and start marketing differently than everyone else.