For Christmas, I bought a food puzzle toy for Matilda and Cow.
I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to come so I could see which dog would be better at cracking the puzzle.
If I had to, I’d put my money on Matilda. Sharp-witted, she has been practicing trick training with me since the day I got her at 3 months old. She is simply more clever than Cow, the former street dog, who… well, she has her street smarts.
I was half-right. Matilda’s love of learning drew her to the puzzle immediately. She pawed at the “easy” part, and her motivation was quickly ignited by the first food reward. When it came to the hard parts, however, she needed to turn carefully turn gears to open two trap doors concealing more tasty treats.
Matilda’s love of learning (and food!) is incredible to watch in action. But her enthusiasm leads to an uncontrollable “spray and pray” approach. She claws and claws wildly until one of the trap doors opens, by pure coincidence.
Every time I let her play with the puzzle, she does the same thing. She claws all over the puzzle, turning and trying different spots until she just happens to succeed. She doesn’t know that she has managed to turn the gears in the correct direction. She just knows that wild scratching will eventually lead to food.
Cow’s a totally different dog. While she has done some trick training with me, and often stops mid-play to snuggle. She likes food, but she seems to seek out more meaningful rewards like love and validation. To the uninitiated, she seems a little dopey, with that glazed-over look in her eyes at all hours of the day. But I know she’s a dreamer.
I set up the puzzle for her, then turned around at my desk to get some work done. I have a habit of trying to help too much, so I thought it would be best if I left her to her own devices.
At first, she just laid down next to the puzzle. She didn’t even hit up the easy parts for a freebie. Surely, she could smell the goodies inside.
She went for the freebies once I turned my attention to her. Motivated by the snacks, she decided to go for the hard part. Or, maybe she wasn’t apathetic, earlier. Maybe she was strategizing.
With one swoop of her paw, she turned the gear, opened the trap door, and ate the goodies. Then, she opened the other trap door and finished the puzzle.
How To Be Like Cow When Marketing Your Business
It’s tempting to be like Matilda. Many of us chase one shiny object after another. One guru will claim that their method will boost your profits by 200% – so you might jump into that and see some results, but then an even more attractive tactic will pop-up. You’ll probably get some clients that way, because something is better than nothing.
But then, you hit a slow period, and you need more results, fast.
January was an excellent sales month, but since you were doing 5 different strategies at that time, it’s impossible to see what was working and what was a waste of time.
Or maybe the actions you took in October didn’t start to bring in new business until months later.
After reading so many ebooks, watching so many webinars and videos, you find yourself wondering, “What do I do now?”
Instead of having tons of ideas, you’re just drawing a blank. After months of trying everything and not tracking results, you haven’t actually figured out what works and what doesn’t.
What would Cow do?
Cow would set up systems from the start that enable you to track each channel effectively. This might just mean getting the hang of Google Analytics and Google Search Console so you know how to figure out where your traffic is coming from, what pages are getting traffic, who is coming back to your site, and who bounces off the page and never comes back.
You won’t be able to track everything perfectly. Maybe your newest client found out about your business when their aunt shared your blog post, and they didn’t call you until they needed your services, weeks later.
But you can think carefully before chasing another moneymaker. Let’s say you want to start blogging on your website to improve SEO, position yourself as an expert, and have educational resources for your visitors. You might get super bloggy and publish 8 blog posts this month… then get busy the next month and forget to publish until another three months have passed.
Like most marketing strategies, blogging takes time to bring results, and you need to be consistent with it. When you publish weekly, readers slowly begin to expect to see you on their feed. They’ll start to remember you – not from one blog post, but from weeks of consistent exposure.
The same is true for all types of ad campaigns. If Red Bull had just one Super Bowl ad each year, they might get an uptick in sales around February. But their consistent marketing strategy across many platforms, with their very specific sense of humor, leads people to not only drink their energy drinks, but become loyal fans, actually anticipating the next ad campaign and tattooing the Red Bull logo on their eyelids.
If you want people to tattoo your logo on their eyelids – or maybe just trust your business with the health and safety of their pet – you have to show up consistently, track your results, and revisit, revise and refine your marketing plan until you have a solid core of strategies that you can depend on whenever you need to bring in new leads.
Cathy Armato says
I love this analogy, it’s perfect! You’re so right, it’s easy to get sucked into promises made by so many “gurus”.
Frank Frattini says
Thank you for the reminder that consistency is as important as content!