• Bill Petrie

Painted Grass

What is your marketing campaign maintenance schedule?

There’s something magical about the look of a freshly painted natural turf field at the beginning of the season. Whether it’s a pitch for soccer, a diamond for baseball or a gridiron for football, the colors popping against perfectly manicured grass represent the hopeful unknown of the season to come. It’s the only time of year where every team has a chance to win a championship. Well, almost every team – I’m still a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, so my odds are minimal at best, but I digress.

When I see that a company is rolling out a new marketing campaign, I always think about how it’s like those carefully painted blades of grass on a field: crisp, bright, clear, and different from the rest of the turf. However, over the season as the area is used for play and the grass grows, the colors on the painted green become less vivid – sometimes to the point where everything blends into a sad shade of olive or taupe. If you’ve ever watched a football game in November at a stadium where the grounds crew hasn’t properly preserved the gridiron, you know how confusing it can be when the hash marks and yard lines mingle into the surrounding sod. The only way to avoid a bleak-looking field is by keeping a rigid maintenance schedule to repaint the lines on the grass.

Similar to the painted grass on a field, without intentional and careful maintenance of any marketing effort, the crispness will begin to dull, the brightness will fade, the clarity will become obscure, and the entire effort will blend into a multitude of monotony. Remember, at one time, Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?!” campaign was the talk of both the marketing world and consumers. After little more than a year – and minimal updating to the original genius advertisement – the campaign faded into a little more than a catchphrase and a memory. With some critical thinking and effort, Wendy’s could have extended the campaign’s life instead of simply allowing it to dwindle.

Your marketing efforts don’t end with the launch of a fresh and well-thought-out campaign. Instead, the work is just beginning because, over time, the novelty will wear off, and your target audience will start to bore. As you look at the timeline of any marketing effort, it’s critical that your plan periodically has designated time to review and assess what is working and, more importantly, what might need to be enhanced, adjusted, or even discarded. This way, you can ensure continual movement forward to keep your marketing efforts sharp and vivid to your prospects and clients alike.

Think of it this way: in the middle of a marketing campaign, you want your audience to feel it’s as fresh and vivid as the day it was launched to create maximum effectiveness. By carefully studying how your audience engages (or doesn’t, for that matter) DURING the campaign, you can proactively make the efforts to brighten, enhance, and, to stick with the analogy, repaint your marketing grass. This is the only way to keep your field of play looking fresh for your prospects and clients.

Remember, no one wants to look on a field where everything simply blends together – it leads to confusion, frustration, and indifference. Just like a football field at midseason, your marketing grass needs to be repainted to ensure the clarity of your message is seen by your audience.

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