How to Avoid a Marketing Apocalypse in Your Business

We have all heard of the “horsemen of the apocalypse” and the overwhelming devastation that they bring!

I recently attended a keynote by Wes Gay, marketing guru and regular contributor to Forbes, in which he painted a fairly scary picture of how our marketing communication looks to the general public. He was suggesting that poor communication in marketing campaigns is equivalent to unleashing the “horsemen of the apocalypse” on our businesses!

To his point, one does not have to look too far to find some massively destructive communication campaigns. Things like:

  1. Kenneth Cole and their 2011 Twitter message (in the midst of the Arab spring movement); “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” This message was retracted but there was damage done!
  2. The Coke fiasco around New Coke and Classic Coke back in the 1980’s. Did these new flavors mean that the old Coke was no good? This market communication fiasco was so monumental, we still talk about it today!
  3. How United Airlines responded by blaming the victim after social media showed smart phone video footage of a passenger being violently dragged off a flight. The public was stunned by United’s response and their stock price was impacted immediately.
  4. The Adidas’ tweet after the 2017 Boston Marathon “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” This was probably an innocent mistake and message was retracted quickly but not without brand damage.
  5. Dove airing a commercial that showed a black women turned white after using a Dove product. If you saw and understood the complete context of the advertisement it was probably fine. However, it was easily taken out of context and Dove was forced to pull the ad.

Wes Gay goes on to say there are four things that may seem innocuous at the time but can prove to be devasting to you and your organization. He calls these the 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication

The 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication

He defines the 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication as:

Building a StoryBrand

Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

The book review for this week is Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

This is my pick for the business book of 2017!

In Building a StoryBrand Miller lays out his blueprint for building a highly focused business brand that makes the customer the hero of their own story. If you are not positioning your customer to be a hero (or worse, you are trying to make yourself the hero), you are not setting up your business for success!

My takeaway from this book is the StoryBrand framework shown below:

What Are Your Most Pressing Problems and How Can I Help?

This is not my typical weekly blog post! I am looking for some very specific feedback from you.

Are there areas where you or your business need a little extra help to push through to the next level of success?

Drive for Success

Most business leaders have an incredible drive to be successful and to make their business ventures successful. They are motivated to continually improve and grow as individuals and to transfer that growth and improvement to their business and their staff.

Not only do they want to provide for themselves and their family, they want to build a thriving and growing business that offers a solid career for their staff and makes an impact in their communities and in the world.

Problems

However, there are times where leaders hit a wall or get stumped by problems that limit their business success. I have been a business executive for many years and I have experienced the highs and the lows of business. I know what it is like to be hit with issues that limit business success so I can help!

I would like to know what problems you are facing so that I can enable you by providing relevant and helpful content and tools. Are you having issues with:

Engage Your Employees With a Powerful Mission

12 Steps to Business Transformation – Step 2

Last week I introduced my Ebook 12 Steps to Business Transformation and I defined Vision, the first of the 12 transformational steps. This week we are going to talk about Mission.

Defining the Mission for your business is step 2 in my new free Ebook “12 Steps to Business Transformation.”

Where Vision is defined as a powerful picture of the future which creates an ideal and unique image of what your organization will become or achieve (the compelling reason WHY your business exists), the Mission defines exactly where you are going and what you are doing right now to attain the Vision.

Are Your Customers In Pain?

Are you actively looking to partner with your customers and add value to them by helping them identify and solve their biggest pain points or are you just trying to sell them another product?

When we become so focused on meeting sales quotas and goals we lose sight of the real reason our businesses exist . . . they  exist because we provide something of value to our customers. One of the most important tasks for any business is not to sell their product or service but to work with their potential customers to understand where the customer needs help and how your business can fill that need and provide real value.

I have seen many businesses over the years slip into the trap of myopically focusing on selling products or services. They spend more time coming up with the “perfect” charge rate sheet or the “perfect” product discount sheet then they do working with their clients to understand the challenges that are being faced and how they can assist the client in overcoming these challenges.

Guess what happens to these business . . .