Show of hands ... how many of us are changing our dietary habits in the new year?
That many? Wow.
If you're starting a diet, you're trying to get away from this stuff, right?
... and you're trying to move toward this stuff, aren't you?
Let's put this into marketing terms.
- Pop Tarts are chocked full of vitamins and minerals - which are good for you in the short term ... but in the long-term, the high fructose corn syrup is going to wreak havoc, isn't it? Pop Tarts, then, are like discounts and promotions ... great in the short-term, bad for long-term health.
- Oreos ... you can take 'em with you, anywhere. They're portable. Oreos are mobile. And all anybody focuses on with mobile is the flashy stuff ... apps and data and using social to spread the word.
- Campbells Home Style Soup ... this is omnichannel, isn't it? You do a bad job of blending the chicken and vegetables and chowder and you've got garbage. So we spend all day guessing what the right mix is, never testing, mind you, just plowing forward trying to please mythical trade organizations and vendors and consultants who will turn on you the minute a new hot trend comes to the forefront.
Meanwhile, we have alternatives ... healthy alternatives.
- Spinach is merchandise, isn't it? Spinach makes you strong. Without merchandise (or product, or content, depending upon your business model), you have no reason for customers to ever interact with your business. Merchandise is everything. Everything! Load up on merchandise, folks.
- Carrots. We believe carrots help with vision, but Snopes tells us otherwise (click here). Instead, carrots are loaded with Vitamin A. You can get vitamins via empty calories (Pop Tarts), or you can juice the carrots and simply infuse yourself with health. Carrots are like Service, aren't they? When we inject our business with good customer Service, our merchandise sells better.
- Apples. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You only need a doctor when you are not healthy. Chasing discounts, promotions, marketing "strategy", social, branding, these are things that eventually erode the health of a business. By focusing on the basics (like eating apples), you stay healthy, and you won't need to hire a consultant (like me) to come in and diagnose the problem.
- Onions. If you cut a lot of old-school onions, your eyes tear up, don't they? In marketing, onions are like Story - if you tell a compelling story, the customer may well feel emotion. When you have good merchandise, sold with great service, and a wonderful story, customers spread the word for you, amplifying your social media presence, generating low-cost new customers.
The images make it clear what we should do in 2014 - our diet needs to focus more on spinach, carrots, apples, and onions.
Maybe it is time for us, as business leaders, to try a marketing diet in 2014 as well?