While standing in line at the grocery store ready to battle over the last package of toilet paper, I realized that it actually has a lot in common with marketing. Although it sounds absurd, I’m confident that you will soon be a believer too.
- SOMETIMES YOU SCRAP THE FIRST PIECE.
When replacing an empty roll of toilet paper, you must “start” the next roll. The first piece is always stuck to the rest of the roll and impossible to open without ripping the rest of them. So, you do your best to pull some off and throw away the unusable pieces. This often speaks true with marketing as well. The first idea isn’t always the best idea, but it can generate even better ones. No idea is a stupid idea (for the most part). Remember, it only takes one team member to say one thing that can ignite a fire in others and make your marketing take off!
- DON’T REUSE IT. ONCE IT RUNS OUT, REPLACE IT.
This should be pretty self-explanatory, but in case it isn’t, I’ll elaborate. If you use a piece of toilet paper, you either can’t or shouldn’t reuse it. We need to change our marketing pieces out on a regular basis as well. Once a customer has seen the same video or marketing pieces over and over, it reaches a point where they become bored or immune to it. Repetition is super important, but it’s always good to know when to move onto the next thing.
- CHEAPER DOESN’T MEAN BETTER.
Have you ever used the sandpaper, I mean toilet paper, in public restrooms at an airport? That toilet paper that has no actual sheets. It’s just one big roll that’s impossible to tear off and is paper thin. Believe me, it leaves a lasting impression, just like your marketing can. If you’re going to do something, do it right. The advertising messages you put in front of your customers reflect on your company as a whole. If you want customers to think of your company as polished and professional, remember to design pieces that don’t look like they came out of a college kids’ basement. If your budget is limited, use your funds wisely. And as always, set up metrics so the results can be analyzed.
- IF YOU RUN OUT OF IT, YOU’RE IN TROUBLE.
Imagine running into the bathroom full steam ahead, only to realize there is no toilet paper. Or a 3-day hunting trip in the woods with no teepee in sight. Running out of toilet paper is just as bad as running out of marketing ideas. When business is slow and times are hard, marketing is the LAST thing that should be put on the backburner, but it’s often the first thing that is. From a branding perspective, it’s important to stay in front of your current and potential customers as often as you can. Even if they aren’t ready to make a decision today, they can keep you in mind when the time is right.