Building The Line

It was turning out to be a great year. The product I had planned and launched was hitting the market to fantastic results and the sales team was close to doubling their forecasts. Additionally, the market research that I had spearheaded had resulted in the success of two more products in our portfolio.

I thought all was going swimmingly well but that was not the case. Bonus checks arrived and despite my shaking the envelope as hard as I could, there was nothing extra to make up for the extremely light check.

While my team’s part of the portfolio had performed above average, the company had missed their financial goals for the year. There is no extra credit for almost being successful.

John Moore recently posted a summary that perfectly describes the biggest mistake our business had been making,

Too many marketers are living for The DOT and not The LINE.

The DOT being a “One Day Big Bang” approach to getting people talking. The LINE being an “All Day Every Day” way to becoming a talkable brand….As marketers, it’s our responsibility to give consumers reasons to talk about brands, products, and services not just for one day… but rather, for a series of days.

Our company had become too focused on one-off tactics to get the market interested in our products while the overall portfolio was not that interesting. The idea that you could have a “halo” product to generate buzz did not make up for the blandness of the rest of the portfolio. Overall, our products were not meeting customer expectations and the results were clear in our market share and financial performance.

If your product/brand/company is to be successful, it must evolve and as John put it, deliver over a period of time. Building products that people love is a great place to start but if you don’t do your part to maintain the relationship over time, don’t be surprised when your customers walk out the door. Building the line means keeping your product relevant and making sure you are delivering on a complete customer experience for the long haul.

Build the line and your customers will follow.

Image Credit: jypsygen

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  • Tim Johnson

    I’ve been in that position myself and agree that company performance should be a component of ones metrics.u00a0 That doesn’t relieve the frustration of blowing out your numbers only to see others aren’t holding up their end of the bargain – completely out of your control.nnAs a mid-level person, there’s not much you can do to change what other divisions are doing or not doing.u00a0 Any suggestions on how to bring this higher in the organization or is that message already clear to all when they don’t get their full bonus?

    • http://www.arandomjog.com/ Joshua Duncan

      Tim,nnThanks for the comment. Driving change from the middle and having organization impact is never easy.nnAt large companies, there isu00a0oftenu00a0a lot of internal resistance to change, even when it is top down. Sometimes you need hard numbers to prove that you are no longer effective with your current strategies.u00a0nnI would love to hear how others addressed this challenge.nnThanks,nnJosh

  • http://brandautopsy.typepad.com/ john moore

    Nice riff Josh. Glad you found the DOT/LINE nugget worthwhile.

    • http://www.arandomjog.com/ Joshua Duncan

      John,nnThanks for the comment. Love your post and the concept.u00a0nnAsu00a0marketeers, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day tacticalu00a0activitiesu00a0that you lose track of the bigger picture/line.nnThanks again for sharing!nnJosh