I can often be found working at my "office away from my office," Coffee to a Tea, home of the Sugar Rush Baking Company. Right now, the smell of fresh-baked goodies fills the air, and as I sit down to ponder what to write about today, it hits me – cookies. I'm not talking about the kind Web marketers use to keep track of visitors. I'm specifically talking about cookie-cutter marketing.
Adapting a concept I heard in a talk this week by Brené Brown, businesses have become numb. It appears most businesses these days operate in a state of fear – frozen in time – perhaps wishing for the "good ol' days" when customers weren't concerned about price, quality or service.
Maybe it's simply the fear of the unknown, but I've witnessed countless times where companies continue to take the same cookie-cutter approach to their marketing, year-after-year. They publish those thick and expensive catalogs, spend valuable resources putting together sell sheets for their sales team, suck up an immense amount of time attending trade shows, or waste dollars on yellow page advertising – all because that's what they've always done. Don't get me wrong, there are times it makes sense to utilize your marketing dollars towards these things. More often than not, though, this method of marketing is exactly like those day-old cookies, just waiting for the waste bin.
I hear companies say they are frustrated that they have to do more with their marketing, despite the fact they have less resources (translation = money) than before. In the end, they don't even know if their marketing works. Why then, would any business keep taking the same approach to their marketing? Times have changed. Consumers have changed. Media has changed.
My suggestion, break the mold and start creating marketing pieces that capture your market's attention in meaningful ways. If you don't know how to this, I'm happy to get you started.