When my son was 3 years old, he loved being seen as a “big boy.” He decided that he would select his own outfit for each day (and sometimes my daughter would play along).
He took great pride in modeling the final product and I made sure to gush over how big a boy he was for doing it himself.
I’ll let you see for yourself (mind you, in both pictures, it’s a regular day in the middle of the week)…
Though I love the fact that he was gaining his independence, the truth was his combinations looked… well, you see in the picture. They were usually a combination of pieces that were fit for different seasons (long-sleeve shirt with shorts), different occasions, or colors that didn’t quite match.
He hadn’t quite developed the ability to coordinate at that point. He just reached into his closet or dresser and pulled out whatever struck his fancy.
And as any good mom would, I allowed him to wear his outfit proudly… inside the house. And also as any good mom would, I suggesedt more “fun” clothes to put on when leaving the house. Why?
Though it’s cute to see kids out and about with mismatched clothing, I also want him to learn that it’s important to put your best effort in everything you do.
How often does this happen within start-ups or growing small businesses? Unsure of (or uncaring about) what it takes to effectively market, some business owners just reach into their bag of marketing tools and pull out any combination that appeals to them at the moment. There is no plan – just haphazard whims that seem good at the moment.
What they may fail to realize is that others view their messages just as we view those young children roaming about with mismatched clothing: cute. Not the image you’re looking for in business.
To avoid not being taken seriously, it’s best to take time to coordinate your marketing messages. Create a strategic plan for your marketing efforts.
If your target market spends most of their time on Twitter and Facebook, create a plan for maximizing your time there. Put other social sites and local marketing on the backburner and beef up your efforts in the places your market hangs out.
If your target struggles with maintaining health, stop talking to them about the benefits of social media and start sharing tips on getting healthy. If you sell a product, then consider changing your primary opt-in freebie from a PDF document on the benefits of your product, and instead give them subscriber-only savings on future purchases.
By strategically planning your marketing messages, you can avoid being perceived as “cute” and step up into the role of an authority on your topic. You’ll soon find that others will want to follow your lead.
Your turn to share: What are some examples of mismatched marketing that you have seen?