One Thing

Recently, I’ve been listening to podcasts while I do other mindless tasks like laundry. And, I stumbled across an episode of This American Life, called “Except that One Thing”, that has stuck with me. The premise of the episode is: what if something was just as it should be, perfect even, except for that one thing. In the story, the examples were a blind date that was dreamy – except that he was a warlord, and the heartbreaking tale of a family man who gets picked up for jail time he never served more than a decade later.

All this to say, the whole idea of something being great “except that ONE thing”, and is that a deal-breaker?

In marketing, I would very much argue that yes –
one thing could ruin a perfect marketing plan.

Things like a typo on your phone number, an un-researched hashtag that also means something perverse, an image that got cropped in a weird place.

So, in an effort to spare you from having that ONE THING ruin all the days and weeks of development, hustle, frustration and hope that come with building a business, here are a few tips to help make sure your marketing plan sticks the landing.

  • Test all your contact info. After you have written a flyer, company page, sales material, etc. test out every contact on there. Even better, ask a friend who doesn’t have the “right” numbers and email addresses memorized to check ‘em out. The little old lady who has the same phone number as you except ONE THING doesn’t want to have to field calls about your weekend only special. And, really, you don’t want them to either.
  • Check the corners: If you are using an image for anything – especially if you are cropping it from a larger image, make sure your crops don’t lead to anything wonky. Run your eye from corner to corner and take it all in carefully. You’d hate to have all your hard work be neglected because everyone looking at your promotional piece are noticing the tree branches in the back ground look like they are sprouting out of your shoulder.
  • Say it out loud. Sometimes the names for things look cool, but when you try to say them, they are hard to pronounce. Also, if you will be relying on public relations to get the word out – make it easy to spell. No ending in an “s” or “x” which could lead to many a misplaced apostrophe.
  • Make it simple. Unless you are promoting to a very niche audience, you want to make sure you use terminology that the mass audience can understand. The longer you spend with certain “in-house” jargon, the more you will forget it isn’t the mainstream. Call on your colleague who works in a completely different field to make sure they understand what all the text is about.

So, go and imagine your heart out. Build the better mousetrap. Just make sure that your marketing details aren’t the “one thing” that keep you from success.

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