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:
- 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 This message was retracted but there was damage done!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 This was probably an innocent mistake and message was retracted quickly but not without brand damage.
- 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:
If you cannot write out the plan for where you are taking your business in 15 minutes or less, chances are, you do not have a plan!
If you don’t have a plan then you and your business are just floating through time and you are at the whim of the marketplace and all of your competitors! Basically, if you cannot articulate what you are building or why you are building it then how do you know what you are doing or where you are going?
For those that regularly read my posts, you know that Thinking Business has a very detailed business blueprint that you can download (from our Business Tools) and apply to your business. We call it the Thinking Business Blueprint. It takes you through all aspects of your business to ensure that your business model and strategy are defined clearly at all levels.
However, I was recently challenged by a client to come up with a simple, high level, tool that would allow a business leader to summarize their business and their strategy in one simple page. This one-page tool must be simple to implement yet powerful enough to capture the very essence of an organization. A leader must then be able to take the completed tool and easily communicate it to any and all of it’s stakeholders.
To meet this challenge, I have come up with the “15 Minute” Business Blueprint described below.
I recently attended a conference in Anaheim, CA and one of the presenters, Earl McClellan, made a statement to the effect of “Nothing great is built on minimums!”
It took a minute or two for that to sink in . . .
My mind raced through business cases, famous start-ups, and concepts like Minimal Viable Products (MVPs from Eric Ries). There are so many examples of great movements and uber-successful businesses starting from precarious, humble, and minimalistic origins. So how could this statement be true?
However, after a few minutes of thought, I concluded that I agree with the statement and this is why!
In leadership, you don’t attract who you want, you attract who you are. If your employees suck, it is almost certain that you do too!
According to Sam Adeyemi at the Global Leadership Summit, if your staff are not who you want them to be then perhaps you need to make a change in yourself! You need to be the change you want to see!
Adeyemi went on to say that as leaders it is our job to help our employees understand that;
By most accounts, Starbucks is an amazingly successful company. Over the years, they have had some periods of tremendous growth and profitability!
Although there are many factors that contribute to their success, there are three things that are absolutely critical;