What the heck do piano tops have to do with marketing strategy? Plenty! Well, in a way. Bucky, give me a hand here. . .
Remember Buckminster Fuller, father of the geodesic dome, dymaxion car and one of our most provocative and prolific thinkers? He preached attacking today’s challenges with new thinking, not assumptions that have tumbled together more out of happenstance than intention.
Here’s the Fuller quote that inspired and informs this page:
“If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top. . .that floats by makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings.”
And here’s my point:
I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting the marketing strategies that got us where we are today.
Said another way:
Don’t be so slow to abandon the marketing strategies that got you to where you are today. They are likely more a tumbled-together combination of features and benefits that have worked (floated by!) than an elegant, focused effort to connect your uniqueness to those people looking for it. And, since things are so profoundly different today, more than ever before, you need an elegant, focused (intentional!) effort to connect your uniqueness to those people looking for it.
Don’t take it personally, most companies operate this way. Let’s take your marketing message as an example. The message you send tends to bubble up (float by!) from all the ads and sales calls; you take what works and discard what doesn’t. So what’s so wrong with that, right!? Especially if things have been going great for a long time and things are starting to get bumpy right now.
Plenty, actually, specially if things have been going great for a long time and things are starting to get bumpy right now:
First, most companies do it, so you end up sounding a lot like everybody else.
Second, your marketing dollars are never maximized because what you say isn’t congruent with who you are, how you act and what’s important to your customers. Ever wonder why some companies always struggle while others create their own momentum? It’s congruency.
Third, it causes the fast/slow growth cycle many small businesses can’t shake. Things are cooking along, they slow down, you try a bunch of things until sales pick back up, they slow down. . . .and so on. It’s the: you-try-a-bunch-of-things-until-sales-pick-back-up part of the cycle (look for a piano top floating by) that wastes too much time and costs you tough much money.
Be intentional with your marketing. If you need a “life preserver” (marketing strategy) to start growing sales again, then go about creating a precise marketing strategy that addresses the circumstances specific to today. And yes, hiring a marketing consultant just might be the fastest, least expensive way to do that.
Am I your guy? What do your instincts tell you right now? If you’re instincts are good, contact me and let’s talk by phone. If not, keep looking.