As I was driving home for Thanksgiving last week – in our lovely Minnesota winter weather – I came across something that got me thinking. Having recently experienced a winter storm and with another on the way, I decided I better drive slowly. Cruising down I-94 at 55 mph, I noticed flashing red and blue lights up ahead. Traffic had all moved to the left lane and slowed considerably. I ended up going by six squad cars in about one mile, and there were multiple cars in the ditch as a result of an accident. I decided to slow down even more, assuming the other drivers would do the same. Once we cleared the troopers, I found that assumption to be dead wrong. The person behind me actually floored it by me, and I got passed by 15 to 20 cars in the blink of an eye. I became furious. I mean, how can these people have possibly missed the message; it was right there in front of us in flashing red and blue. For me, it was crystal clear – SLOW DOWN!
They missed the message, and this got me thinking about how and why people miss what others see as obvious. Maybe it was the tactic by which the message was delivered. I don’t think that there is another tactic that could have achieved better results in the situation. So have we really become immune to the way emergency personal try to send us a message? If people have, what hope is there for those of us in marketing?
The answer must be in the tactic we use to deliver the message. We must always look for new avenues and be ready to change the way we do things. We need to take a step back and evaluate our marketing tactics, and seek input from those not involved in marketing. Sometimes the time-tested methods don’t work; sometimes the new crazy idea doesn’t work either. You can have a great or important message, but if the method of delivery isn’t right, it will fall on deaf ears.
Have you found a tactic that is a tried and true never fail winner? Have you changed delivery methods on a message and found better results?