I learn quite a bit from my two pets. Alongside my wife and I, there are two distinctly different, yet very similar, animals that live under our roof. One is a house cat named Jax and the other is a rescue Pomeranian named Nero. When I am home, I am almost constantly surrounded by these two critters (whom I love very much). In fact, Nero is asleep in my lap as I write this right now.
Having been in marketing and business consulting for a number of years, I have become trained in seeing and analyzing patterns, which gets brought home with me and used in my home life whether I like it or not. If you’ve ever lived with animals, one thing that you already know is that their lives are FULL of patterns.
Surprisingly, I discovered the way my animals play might actually have some business insight for those thinking of diving into the Social Business realm and not really sure where to start their thinking.
And it’s all based around a felt duck.
To Squeak, Or Not To Squeak
If you’ve ever watched The Dog Whisperer or My Cat From Hell, then you know that animals are programmed to need to take certain actions. Cats are built to hunt, eat and sleep whereas dogs are built with a pack mentality and enjoy structure and rough play, but one thing that is similar to both species is that when living in a home, there must be a degree of playtime for each animal to keep them sane and stable.
My wife and I have spent many hours searching for the perfect toys for our pets because not all animals are the same or enjoy the same toys. For instance, you bring my dog a rubber ball; nothin’, but you make that ball cloth, in the shape of a duck and you put something that squeaks inside of it and he goes batshit crazy for it. My cat is the same way with bells (although, in full disclosure, my cat’s toy of preference is either a strip of cloth or a few twisty-ties wrapped together).
There’s something about the sound while playing that attracts, although the best toys for them might not be built that way.
We are the same way in business a lot of time. We LOVE the systems and strategies that make a lot of noise when we play with them. That get a lot of attention because we have them in our grips. We love the immediate gratification of getting our claws and teeth around something and immediately knowing that we’re making an effect. We love sending out an email newsletter and checking the analytics to find we had a 52% open rate. We love sending a Tweet and seeing 782 RTs. We love setting up a Pinterest account and having the local marketing blogger write a story about it.
But are those really the toys we should be playing with?
My dog has toys that are designed to strengthen his jaw and clean his teeth. My cat has toys that are designed to stretch his back and sharpen/straighten his claws. Most of the time we have to force our pets to play with those toys because they don’t squeak or ring and their effects aren’t immediately seen.
The flip side of that is that some toys are designed to benefit our pets AND they squeak and ring, but it all depends on the toy.
When you’re building your Social Business strategy and picking out the tactics that will accompany your Social CRM implementation, are you simply choosing the bits and pieces that make a lot of noise but do little for your overall objectives, or are you truly considering the long-term effects and putting in place something that will sharpen your claws and increase your reach? Or have you taken the time to research and find those toys that will move you toward your goals AND make a lot of noise in the process?
Your business objectives will determine which toys you need to be playing with, but sometimes you have to bypass the squeak to truly make the most noise in your market.
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