|Is your brand on autopilot?|
F E A R.
What do you fear about your 2013 marketing efforts? Are you stuck on auto pilot?
Fear can freeze you from acting. It can stop you from moving
forward. It can isolate you from taking a step forward.
Marketing professionals face all types of fears in their
professional work. They are paralyzed as they wonder if it is worth the risk
to try something new and different?
launch a new product since 8 of 10 new products fail?
Is it wise
to do a joint promotion with a brand with a similar audience?
Does it make sense to pull our product from our current distributor and go with
a new guy in town?
Will our new
virtual store interfere with our brick and mortar business and drain sales?
Should we try a new approach to meet and engage clients that has never been tried before?
Failure is doing the same thing
marketing professionals stick out their neck and take a chance. It is a core
part of the job because doing the same thing in a changing market is a recipe
for failure. Markets change. Competition steps into your world. Perceptions
grow or diminish for brands. We operate in a fluid marketplace and being static
is a great path to fail.
Think of how
a river flows. That is the best metaphor for your marketplace. It is constantly
moving and changing. Are you in a boat navigating the flow or are you standing
in the middle of the river treading water?
What can you do to help calm the fear and gain confidence in your approach?
No action is a conscious decision
My favorite ways
to manage marketing fears is to recognize that doing the same thing can be
worse than trying something new and different. Products and business have a
natural life cycle that may last a few weeks, months or years. But ultimately,
some new force interferes with the current state. It changes the pressure, the
leverage and creates a new force.
Here is a
simple exercise to help you face your marketing fears.
are sitting in a boat on a river. The engine is off. You aren’t putting more fuel into the motor
and you are just drifting with the flow of the water.
While on the
boat, just imagine you do nothing new in your business for 12 months. No new
products, no new distribution. You don't hire any new employees. You don't conduct any new promotions. No new excitement. You are
forced to sit with your hands tied behind your back while your business
operates on autopilot and you get pushed along by the other boats floating past
months, you notice that you are no longer keeping up with the category that is
growing. Boats are passing you by and you are drifting aimlessly. You notice that you have lost shelf space or facings for your products. You find a competitor gaining more press in the local papers or in
the trade magazines. You notice a competitor is gaining more market awareness as you listen to more conversation in social media and no one is talking about you. Your competitor is often hiring new employees and sponsoring lots of events. Everyone else is moving forward and you are adrift.
Turning off the autopilot
Now a year
is up and you turn of the auto pilot switch and take control of the steering wheel.
You immediately launch that new product that you have hesitated to sell, you
hire a new PR firm to help you get your message in front of your target, you
initiate a new email campaign to offer products samples directly to the clients
who you have struggled to reach. In other words, you act. You take charge. You
start guiding your ship (company/brand) toward your chosen destination.
I fear being on auto pilot more than I fear
If I try something new to grow or expand, I expect a
bumpy ride. But the downside of sitting on the sideline and not acting can only
lead me floating aimlessly. I prefer to be steering.
Face your fear. Turn off the auto
pilot. Experiment with new products, promotions or tactics. Try something new and different that is harmonious with your strategy. Slowly you will
find the fear disappearing as you take control of your own destiny. Marketing is fuel for your brand.
Go ahead. Stick a new oar in the river.
I am a marketing
professional with over 30 years of experience creating success. If you enjoy
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You can comment on this blog, send an email to me at
JeffreyLynnSlater@gmail.com or as the Car Talk guys on NPR like to say,
write your question on the back of a $20 bill and mail it to me. Thanks for
traveling along with me on this journey.
Labels: autopilot, facing marketing fears, Marketing Moments