4-Step Escape from Groundhog Day Marketing

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Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this morning, and I’m thrilled we’re not going to get stuck in the snow. In fact, it’s melting fast in the 50-degree sun right outside my New Jersey window.

Your marketing doesn’t have to stay stuck either. Instead, turn to comic genius Bill Murray for guidance on breaking out of your same old, same old marketing approach. He’ll help you take the rest of the year by storm.

Murray stars as weatherman Phil Connors in the 1993 classic, Groundhog Day. Phil’s story begins as he gets stuck in a small town and wakes up to February 2nd again, and again, and again. He does the same thing each and every day, with the same outcome. It’s no surprise that Phil becomes nightmarishly bored with his life.

Finally, when Phil just can’t stand it anymore, he begins to take some risks. He starts to changes some of his behaviors and actions, finding that the more he does differently, the more he learns, and the more satisfaction he gets. Eventually, the changes Phil makes lead to a fantastic outcome for him—a perfect day.

4 Steps to Escape from Same Old, Same Old Marketing

There’s lots to learn from Phil’s slog to satisfaction:
1. STOP what you’re doing now, or some of it
There’s no way you’ll boost results, or add in risk or experimentation, if you just keep marketing the way you’re doing it now. In fact, the longer you go on with the same old, there’s less of a chance you’ll make any change. It’s simply human nature to feel more comfortable in what’s known, even if it doesn’t work.

2. Be prepared to go it alone
Do your best to get buy-in from your boss and colleagues before you make a big change. Keep the focus on your audiences and results. Come to the conversation with some concrete ideas for change, based on relevant models from peer organizations. But that still may not get you the high sign.

I encourage you to move forward in making a change—or two or three—even if you don’t get your boss’ ok.

  • Go stealth, making a one or two incremental, low-risk, measurable changes to start, rather than anything radical.
  • When these tweaks generate small wins, share them with your boss and propose more changes. Repeat.
  • You’ll be improving results, making your work days more interesting, strengthening your skill set, and building a culture of experimentation as you go!

3. Start with the easiest win: Get more personal to get more relevant
Early small wins are like candy for pursuing biggers risks and changes. I urge you to start with

The bigger the gap between your messages and methods, and what’s vital to your prospects and supporters, the more you’ll alienate them. Or at least, diminish their donations, volunteering, and program participation. Because they’ll know you don’t care about them, and it’s all about you.

When relevant messages are joined with a compelling mission, nothing is impossible. Relevance rules! Here’s how to get there.

4. Stay consistent with core messages, even as you make small changes
The chaos around the presidential primaries is confusing and diverting for all of us, as the candidates are communicating loudly, frequently and inconsistently. Candidates across parties and positions are constantly screaming their perspectives; with several of them changing their positions on a regular basis.

In this period of inconsistency and the greater economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that your people can rely on your organization’s consistency in mission, approach, and impact. The best way to emphasize your organization’s reliability, even as you make marketing changes, is to ensure your messages and graphic identity are consistent.

Consistency will increase prospects’ and supporters’ comfort, and boost the likelihood your messages are recognized, repeated, and acted on.

Consistent core supplemented by small changes. It worked for Phil Connors, and it’ll work for your organization.

Nancy Schwartz on February 2, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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