A Dog that Stays on the Porch Finds no Bones

I found this proverb while I was thinking about business planning, and it reminded me that I too, need to get off the porch and try new things for my business.  While it does happen, sitting on a porch waiting for new business to be delivered, wrapped in a bow, is not a sound business or marketing strategy.  So what’s a marketer to do?

Here are a few thoughts that I had on getting off the porch:

1) Get out and meet customers where they live   This could be as simple as getting out of the office and attending a few in-store demos to hear feedback on issues that customers are having with the company’s products.  Or it could be devoting some time to listen in on customer service calls.  When was the last time you watched a consumer at the point-of-purchase make a buying decision between your product vs. a competitor’s offering?  Perhaps traving with a sales person or route delivery truck for a week would give insights that come from the field, rather than the ivory tower.  

2. Test a new audience segment or wildly creative idea  Since we’re still in budget-planning season, have you defended your right to put an experimental budget in place to test new targets and new ideas?  It doesn’t need to be a big budget, but finding the right story for a new audience will exponentially build your brand’s customer base over time.

3. Try social media   I know there are some of you who have turned the new media effort over to the interns or the “experts” to run your engagement programs.  Why not take one medium and carve out your own niche?  Maybe have an “ask the company” feature that allows you to dialog with your customers?  Or send an email and find brand advocates that you can deputize to help spread your brand message.  Good ideas can come from any source–particularly a customer engaged and thinking (or complaining) about your brand as much as you do.

There are certainly many ways to get out of your comfort zone and try new marketing techniques to build your business.  What have you tried to get more bones?

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