What’s Your Marketing Animal?
There you are, sitting in your store’s conference room, hashing out ideas for your latest marketing campaign. You’re really happy because, for three weeks straight, you’ve been contributing ideas alongside your teammates. For once, everyone is on the same page, from the store bookkeeper to the manager to the owner. The campaign is great, no…perfect actually. It’s really strong, is bound to get lots of attention, and will slay the competition. As an animal, it’s a horse; powerful and just raring to get out of its stall and race to the finish line of success. And your team is equally energized.
And then it happens. Someone throws some shade on it. That shadow of doubt that soon festers and takes over the team’s opinion, and their excitement. The ‘what if’ that then makes everyone start to second guess how successful it really will be. What if the competition rears and makes a mess? After all, they have more money. What if Aunt Betty, who is retired now but was a founder of the company, just doesn’t get it? You can’t make Aunt Betty unhappy.
So, a headline is changed. Then the visuals are tweaked. The copy is shortened. Then the visuals don’t work at all, so they change. The logo becomes bigger. The headline gets smaller. And the message suddenly loses its luster. In fact, now that it’s been dissected into pieces, is there a message? Everyone is disheartened. It’s not just a horse of a different color. You look a little closer and it’s really no longer a horse at all. You’re pretty sure that’s a snout. Your horse…is now a pig.
As a marketing professional, I’ve seen this effect more than a few times. That great campaign gets squelched. And it really comes down to confidence, or lack thereof. Because when you’re spending significant dollars on your marketing, you need to let it be great. To allow your message to be bold and wild and turn heads. To let it energize your staff. And scare your competitors. Get out of your own way, your analysis paralysis, and be brave enough to put your foot down on the urge to change it into an animal that wants to blend into a sea of blah nothingness. At the end of the day, you know you want to be the horse. You don’t want to be the pig. After all, everyone knows what they say about pigs.