It’s been said that the most important people in a business are the ones sitting in their office staring out into space. This may sound a little counter intuitive, but in theory, those who occasionally “stop and stare” are the fine tuners, the problem solvers, and sometimes, the finders of missing pieces.
Stop, stare out and contemplate. It could be one of the most important things to do when defining or re-defining a brand, creating a marketing plan or launching a campaign. Gaining a new perspective can reveal that missing item, that tiny element that is just not quite right, that unanswered question, lingering problem or unrealized opportunity.
Recently going through this process at d.trio helped us to identify an objective that needed to be reworked. One of our education clients had the seemingly straightforward objective of obtaining student applications for an advanced, specialized degree program. However, after looking at the challenge in a different way, we determined that this might have been too big of an initial step for the prospective students. We added another step to the marketing process by offering the prospect the option to engage with the institution first by attending a gathering where they could meet like-minded potential students as well as professors and employers in their chosen field. This created more engagement and warmer leads, which ultimately led to more student applications.
Sometimes, we just need to examine our efforts and ask ourselves, am I missing out on an opportunity to let my prospects get to know me, my product or my brand better?
Marketers also need to keep close tabs on the things that may be happening outside of their control or influence. This is especially true as it may reveal opinions or events that could be hurting their brand.
Some examples of great brand responses to mostly outside influences include:
-Kentucky Fried Chicken. They made the adjustment to KFC in response to the shunning of fried foods by the general public.
-DirecTV. Started using older, friendlier sounding voices on their voice automated systems.
-As red meat consumption in the U.S. declined and chicken consumption grew, The Pork industry saw an opportunity to switch sides and became “the other white meat.”
-La-Z-Boy, a furniture icon, was faced with a new market of female buyers that were not all that excited about their husbands getting all comfy in front of the television. Their solution, update the line and hire a young, friendly female spokeswoman to speak to the women buyers.
-Whether you like it or not, Kmart now has a sense of humor.
-Domino’s is one of the best examples, they took it on the chin and faced up to their quality issues in a very public way and the results have been dubbed by some as the greatest comeback of all times.
All of this serves as a reminder to keep our eyes open and our thoughts wandering…you never know what solution is waiting to be revealed.