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Driving Success...

admin | Saturday December 24, 2016

How many times have you driven home from work only to get stuck in that awful rush hour traffic? And how often have you said, “There’s got to be a better way through this”? Now let’s just be clear, we’re not talking road rage here (that’s an entirely different topic AND don’t even get me started). What we are talking about here are alternate routes, whereas some may refer to it as short cuts but let’s face it… there never seems to be any short cuts (or as I like to call it SMART ROUTES) in rush hour traffic. Sometimes it’s a matter of understanding the situation, the environment around you, the circumstances you are presented with and the reactions of the people around you. But wait just a second here… this is supposed to be a marketing blog right… what the heck does this have to do with marketing?

In a manner of speaking, marketing is very much like the crazy, chaotic, can’t-make-sense-of-it rush hour scene that you are now stuck in. You have a goal when driving in the MAD rush: get home in the most efficient way possible and on time! In our marketing efforts, we want to achieve our goals not only in the most efficient way but with a logical and creative solution. Now you could decide to veer off onto the median with a blatant disregard for anyone else while crashing, bumping and grinding… BUT…I’m pretty sure the end result will NOT be the one you are looking for or willing to accept! Our marketing approaches can’t be like that as well whereas we simply throw out any idea or solution without first researching what Avenues/roads will yield the BEST results. RESEARCH is the key to driving success!

Let’s ANALYZE the rush hour scene and see what comparisons can be drawn from this example. For ten years, I drove home by the same route everyday (for those of you reading this and familiar with upstate New York, we call this the Northway I-87… yup, now you get it). Down I-87 in the morning and back up in the evening, always experiencing the same result… traffic, traffic, TRAFFIC! The same question always popped up in my head - How do I do this better?

The trick was to start ANALYZING several factors including patterns, timing, and especially driving behaviors and tendencies of the local (LOCOs if you prefer) drivers on the same road. Only the combined RESEARCH and ANALYZING of this data would assure any success. So what did I learn? Each entrance/exit on the Northway I-87 had its own group of drivers [target audience] and a mindset that went along with each one. This relates to marketing in much the same way. Each target audience reacts to a product, service, or in this case, a mindset of the perceived exit. You need to know how to deal and present to that particular audience’s awareness in order to come up with the right plan. Once I got a feel for each entrance/exit, DEVELOPING the appropriate solution was easy enough but I had to keep in mind the pre-existing traffic already on the road (Basically understand the current marketplace).This is where the beauty of the DESIGN came in.

I learned that many drivers made general assumptions about the traffic patterns and what to do to try and maneuver about them. That was bad! General assumptions sometimes are not the foundations of a solution and will probably have you pulling out your hair. DEVELOPMENT and DESIGN are rooted in the RESEARCH. So what was the grand DESIGN. It was simple! I got to work a little earlier (approximately 15 min.) and although this may not reveal the whole plan it was a small part of the whole solution. This allowed me to leave 15 minutes earlier and it was amazing how much less traffic I had to fight at the end of the day. I know, I know…some of you are saying… “well I just can’t do that!” Again, this was just a small step. Once I left work, I found a few small routes, longer ones [the road less traveled… thank you Robert Frost] but routes that actually allowed me to shave about 5 minutes getting to the Northway I-87. Now armed with an understanding of the patterns, behaviors and general assumptions made by most drivers, I DESIGNED a simple elegant pattern of my own that consisted of a few lane switches at the right times and a few speed adjustments at the appropriate moments which allowed me to cut through traffic like butter. This is all true folks. Here is an example of a BAD ASSUMPTION. As I approached Exit 7, an area where a large amount of traffic entered the Northway I-87, must drivers assumed that getting over to the left lane was a good idea thus avoiding oncoming traffic…WRONG! I stayed the course in the right lane with the incoming traffic and joyfully grinned as I passed (avoided) many, many cars and their irate drivers. Again, each entrance/exit had its own pattern and planning for each was the key to the DESIGN.

Now, I do want to add “Driver Beware” because just as in marketing the solutions need to be EVALUATED often because of factors such as holidays, social events, more drivers and especially NEW construction (thank you Latham Circle) can alter the plan. Hmmmmm, does this sound familiar? Well, this happens in marketing all the time. Its sort of like Google, who loves to change their algorithms to mess with us marketers. BUT at MadAddie we always find our way!

Remember to drive SAFE, Drive SMART and have a WARM and WONDERFUL Holiday Season!

Wishing you the best…and hope the new year DRIVES YOU TO SUCCESS… from all of us at MadAddie Marketing


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