A mutual acquaintance recently introduced me to a local business owner, describing me as a “marketing guru.” Before I could finish blushing, my new friend asked me how to market his business. In return, I asked him how I should dress next Tuesday.

No, I wasn’t losing my mind, just trying to make this point: It depends.

We choose our outfit each day depending on a number of factors: Who are we going to see? What impression do we wish to make? Is it sunny or raining? Are we on the beach or in the boardroom? In Atlanta or Alaska? Holding a guitar or a shovel? And so on.

My friend knew as much about my plans for the following Tuesday as I did about his business. What industry is he in? What are his goals? How is he positioning himself against the competition? What is his budget? Why do his customers choose him? What has worked in the past?

Marketing is hard. There I said it. Why? Because no two situations are exactly the same and no one thing works. If there was a universal marketing easy button, everyone would hit it.

There are plenty of businesses and marketers who are wearing their pajamas to the board meeting, or their snowshoes to the beach, so to speak, but that doesn’t make it effective.

Sometimes the best answer is “It depends.”

-Richard Lenz