A few days ago, I posted some observations about marketing and business development paradoxes, noting that sometimes (in fact quite often) the wisdom and best practices espoused by marketing experts seem to be contradicted in business practice.
I concluded by inviting a “call to action” and asking for readers to provide the weather in their area.
A single reader responded with this observation:
Even if I don’t respond I do read most of your blogs. Keep up the good work.
His answer is much appreciated. However, obviously I didn’t receive an overwhelming response here. This doesn’t matter too much, because there isn’t any economic significance in the question or responses (or lack of them).
I relate these observations to the recent Construct Canada show where we did everything wrong but (as far as I can tell) achieved the same results, or even better results, compared to years when we were doing everything right.
What I mean: We didn’t have an inspiring booth, we sat down most of the time (rather than standing and greeting passer-by). We didn’t maintain a solid lead-tacking system (but gathered business cards in a container). There was no “wow,” pizzaz, excitement or even anything remotely special about our presence at the show.
And yet, even though I didn’t ask Chase to formally catalogue our success, I believe we acquired about as much direct business as if we had really worked hard to be successful at the show. I picked up a few worthwhile leads, as did Chase, and we sold some show-related support advertisements in our publication. Overall revenue should exceed $10,000. (This result is okay, but not overwhelming, considering the out-of-pocket costs to participate in the show are about $2,000, even allowing for the exhibit space trade-out.)
Does this mean it is right to be wrong; to fail to systematize and measure marketing initiatives, to be passive and repetitive in our strategies?
I wouldn’t go that far, but acknowledge that much marketing work is incremental in nature; there is low-hanging fruit, largely related to repeat and referral business; and then it can be challenging to achieve more dramatic results no matter how hard you try.
Still, we can gain by looking for and developing healthy relationships, experimenting and refusing to be complacent. I won’t overplay the story, but think we can do better next year at Construct Canada with some effort and thoughtful initiatives.
And I’ll continue with the calls to action.
Please respond to this blog posting with a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can pose a question or make a suggestion — and if you ask for some advice, you may receive some simple but highly effective ideas in return.