Tag Archives: edge

Rejected? Try Hippo Skin!

A hippopotamus has skin that’s an inch and a half thick and is 25% of its total body weight.  For an animal that weighs 1,800 kilos, that’s a lot of skin.

It’s almost impenetrable (some say bullet proof) and yet a hippo’s very survival out of water depends on a coating of oil it secretes that acts as a moisturiser and sun-screen.  So even though a hippo sports some of the best body armour in the animal kingdom, it still needs to adapt when called for.

It occurs to me that when it comes to dealing with rejection, sometimes hippo skin would come in very handy.
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The most exciting boring you’ll never want to know

Confused?  Don’t be.  This post is about sharing, because I’ve just read the most exciting column so far this year, its central theme was on becoming boring and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Lots of ‘marketers’ these days don’t want to know about this because they want to think of themselves as being at the cutting-edge.  They want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new and exciting ways to use media and creativity to get their brands up and rocking. Make big noise to get quick cut-through.  Not a lot of longer run thinking going on.

They also often act at the expense of fundamentals and this column is exciting because it talks all about them.  They’re too busy trying to be cool and be seen that they miss why they’re there in the first place.

Naturally, social media and digital are where most of this loss-of-focus occurs though not exclusively.  In this column, the writer (Pete Blackshaw) puts forward the very same argument I’ve been banging on about to clients (and anyone who’ll listen in the marketing and communications game) if they’re to make any kind of difference to their brands and the consumers of them.

Read this great column then go back and make sure these things are covered in your marketing strategy.

All of something or a little bit of everything?

So, you’re cracking along with 2010 and a new decade, sitting down to plan the marketing & promotional assault that’ll see your brand, business or franchise climb higher.

Money’s a bit tight, confidence is still a little weak and so you need to stretch your marketing budget (because you have one, right?) as far as possible and invite consumer engagement with your thing.

In the past you run some ads, maybe some PR, product sampling (giving stuff away for free), maybe a sponsorship and tried out two-for-one or % discount offers but now you can’t really afford to do everything you did in the past (while you can’t really afford not to; the great business balancing act).

There are plenty of creative, production and media agencies who’ll willingly take your money, but who should get it?  Does what you’re doing still invite and entertain your market?  Are your customers still engaged and motivated?  What strategy and tactics will attract the most attention in the future?  What stories should I tell?

You’re faced with a dilemma; do I cut down a little on everything or stop doing something altogether?

I’d always suggest thinking twice about killing something altogether.  It might be like unhooking the link of a chain; you’ll find the machine doesn’t work at all and a good marketing strategy should make use of several channels.

Before making any decisions, look at your market and how it’s changing, what’s changing and where you can have a louder, clearer voice that matches your brand position.  Talk to your agencies and service providers about your ideas on what to do and where.  Make sure they (and you) understand what you want to achieve.  Above all, know your edge because that’s the one thing nobody else can own.  It’s hard to go wrong marketing your edge.

Do that and the decision on where and how to spend your marketing budget will start to become a whole lot clearer.