It kills me when I see bad marketing. I feel bad for the business that purposely or inadvertently is doing something that is holding back their growth. While the inspiration for this blog post was originally a fine dining establishment (as we’ll discuss in a bit), the extended message is that supposedly smart individuals make the critical mistake of neglecting the customer’s perspective.
A company that owns a large number of high end restaurants sought to increase its revenues and profitability by reviewing a number of its practices, including, but not limited to marketing. We decided to take a little road trip to find out a little bit more about how these properties operate. The first thing that stood out with respect to their poorest performing locations was that restaurants did the following:
FIRST…Their parking was in the rear of the building
SECOND…Their banquet room and/or overflow seating areas (vacant most of the time) were located toward the front of each respective property.
In other words, from the perspective of prospective customers, there were no cars and there was no one dining at the restaurants. Now I don’t know about you, but if I go by a restaurant at 6:00 or 7:00 on a Friday or Saturday evening and no one APPEARS to be dining, then that’s not a good sign. It tells me that something is VERY WRONG at that restaurant.
When the restaurant executives were presented with a detailed review of the marketing challenges (including, but not limited to the two areas just mentioned), they were initially – quite defensive. I see this a lot – especially in cases where a company or organization has in-house “marketing experts.” And sadly, as offensive as this statement may be, I see this MORE OFTEN WITH WOMEN. Women are often very resistant to anyone (no matter how polished the delivery) when it comes to being told how badly they are screwing up. Fortunately, the Dark Lord (me) ignores gender and delivers the bad news as it should be delivered…unvarnished…raw.
Anyway, after listening to our findings, the clients FINALLY realized what they were communicating to their prospective buyers. The restaurants were basically screaming, “No one likes this place – DON’T EAT HERE!”
What the client did not understand was that the prospective customer often makes decisions based on something referred to as PERCEPTION OF ENVIRONMENT. In other words, if the “environment” is inconsistent with the intended marketing message, then the business slits its own wrists. Period. No cars in the parking lot coupled with no one dining in the restaurant, leads to a marketing message that will inevitably create unrecoverable damage.
Unfortunately, most businesses, organizations, groups, etc., DO NOT look at every aspect of their business through the lens of a strategist. This is a huge mistake. While there are many marketing firms that DO recognize the time and place for outside expertise, most “marketing experts” believe that they are all-knowing and can figure things out.
As a strategist, what I SEE when I look
at a business are the fractures.
Is that NEGATIVE?
I think not.
Oh sure, I applaud the positives – but positives scattered with negatives (fractures) is quite obviously, LESS than optimum. Why would a business, group, association, or organization want to be LESS than optimum? That would be RIDICULOUS!
The TAKEAWAY from today’s post is this: Do your best to look at your business and consider what you are doing to drive away desired traffic (qualified prospective customers and clients). If you believe that you could be missing something, be STRONG enough to engage the right person or persons to help you and your business, group, association, organization, etc. – BE THEIR BEST!
Have A GREAT Day!
…Dr. Marc & The Mind Virus Team