Thursday, September 22, 2011

A few Marketing Reminders from the Outback

During a business trip down under, I took my last day to trek to the edge of the Outback in the Northern Territory of Australia, an amazing experience. I took my observations, and thought I would apply them to some primary rules in social media and marketing:

1.       Don’t just jump in without reading the signs. Northern Australia is beautiful, but can be deadly for those who don’t pay attention to posted signs. Take for instance, the beaches, infested during the summer months with the Irukandji (Box jellyfish or Sea Wasp). This match tip sized creature packs a wallop, and will put you in the hospital in no time flat, and if they don’t get you, the saltwater crocs will.

Marketing Message: Do your homework before any initiative. Don’t jump in blindly. A little research can make all the difference.

2.       Adapt to survive. The rules of Darwin are in full effect in south of Darwin, Australia. Only adaptive species have survived. My favorite example is a species of termite that builds tall habitats called mounds that have vanes. The vanes provide cooling for the mounds and keep the temperature close to constant.

Marketing Message: Many businesses have not adapted their marketing plans to the Internet Age, and their profits have suffered. Be aware of new technologies, and adapt your programs to leverage their advantages.

3.       To navigate vast territory, you need local, specialized knowledge. Just about the whole center third of Australia is a vast desert, with brutal conditions and sparse resources, but there are Oases of beauty and thriving life located within. You just need to know where they are, and how to identify them from afar, and the locals have all the knowledge.

Marketing Message: The Internet is broad and vast, and with so many Social Media outlets, it takes some serious expertise to create a focused effective marketing program. Seek expert help, as no one can do it all.

4.       The road less traveled can reap rewards. After driving for the better part of a day, one of my business partners and I looked at the map, and found a “gravel” road that was 42km, a connector that would cut an hour off our time back to Darwin. We took the plunge, and did not realize “gravel” is Australian for red dirt. After several airborne incidents over ruts, and almost drifting off the road, we finally made it back.

Note: Red dashes = unfinished, red dirt roads

Marketing Message: Finding new paths and taking calculated risks can reap great rewards. Be bold, be different and try new things.

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