Marketing and the Dump

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Marketing and the Dump

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We live in the country and don’t have garbage pick up. Each Saturday morning someone from the family (usually me) loads up that week’s garbage into the back of our old pick up and drives the few miles to the local dump with one or two of our Labrador Retrievers in tow. The labs like the ride, but mostly they come because they know one of the guys working at the dump always has dog treats waiting for them. Depending on the time, I also get to catch one of the funny shows on public radio like “Whad’ya Know” or “Wait, Wait….Don’t Tell Me!”

It’s actually a relaxing thing to do on a Saturday morning but it also forces one to take a hard look each week at the garbage you are producing. I will sometimes find myself asking, do we really need to buy stuff with all that packaging we are now throwing out? I’m not sure I would be that reflective if I just rolled the garbage to the curb instead of having to load it up, drive it, and unload it at the dump. It’s also somehow liberating. Each week it feels like we are starting over with a clean slate.

Another bonus of going to the dump is seeing just what everyone else is throwing out. Certainly the saying, “One person’s trash, is another’s treasure” rings true there. I have come back from the dump more than once bringing back something that was thrown out by others. Off the top of my head, this has included the following items: really nice Christmas tree stands, antique cowboy porcelain enamel metal pots and coffee pots that we turned into flower planters, old light fixtures for our cabin, and an old antique bicycle that sits at our Identity Works warehouse ready to use. I am certain that others have picked up and left with material that we have dropped off there.

I bring this up in the context of marketing because we will often meet with new clients to discuss what they are currently doing with marketing.   As they rattle off the list, we of course will ask why they are doing such and such and what sort of results have they been getting?  You will probably not be surprised the answers we often hear are along the lines of, “because that’s just what we’ve always done” and “we’re really not sure if we are getting any new business from it.” Chances are they did get results ten years ago but those results have either disappeared or diminished significantly since that time and no one has really taken the time to sit down and thoroughly reassess the marketing strategy.

If this sounds like you and your marketing, then it is likely time that you take stock of what you are doing and ask yourself if this is something you should still be spending money on. If not, it’s time to load it up in the pick up and take it to the dump.

There may be something else tried and true that you can replace it with that will be more effective or perhaps its time to finally take a step into areas of marketing and customer engagement that you have been avoiding. Whatever you do, you owe it to yourself to get rid of marketing spend that is not effective. You’ll feel liberated by getting rid of it and your excitement and commitment level within your organization will grow as you try different strategies for building your business. It may even be “just like starting over.”

Tom Hanchette
President
Identity Works, Inc.

 




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