I was reminded (twice!) this weekend of how important it is to do the work.  Do.  The.  Work.

Why-

There’s a common mistake in small business marketing I see made a lot when gauging the level of engagement needed to effectively introduce a new product or communicate anything new about what you sell.

The mistake: not doing enough, not making enough noise; not communicating often enough, completely enough or long enough; or assuming that perhaps because your audience is your customer base, or you’re talking to your market where people, generally, know you-like you-trust you. . . so. . .no need to scream about it; or just laying it out there, being professional and maybe reminding them a time or two; and thinking that should do it.

Except that doesn’t do it much of the time.

I call it jumping part of the way across the canyon.  Even a few feet short and you still have a problem.

The new Nissan Leaf

You’ve probably heard about Nissan’s new 100% electric car, the Leaf.  They are doing the work.  As part of their months and months of promotion, marketing and education leading up to a launch this month, they had a huge pavilion at the Tempe Festival of the Arts this weekend.  You could test drive a Leaf, watch videos, ask questions, see the batteries; it was a kids museum-type hands-on presentation of all-things-Leaf.

To get a sense of what has happened prior to this weekend, a “Nissan Leaf” search on YouTube shows 2,440 videos about the car.  The same search on Google news for the past 30 days shows 3,046 news stories that mention the car.  Plus the TV spots.

After all this, you could argue “Why bother?!” with an expensive, hard-to-implement, people-intensive exhibit at a local arts festival.  You could say “Yeah, that’s Nissan, they have the money, big deal.”  And you could just as easily say “Hey, they’re Nissan; this huge, well-known brand.  Electric cars are big news right now.  Why spend all the time and money?”

And you would be making a mistake on each count.

The AARP cell phone

I saw a TV commercial last night for a new cell phone.  Endorsed by AARP.  Designed specifically for older eyes and hands.  No contracts.  Plans starting at $10 per month.  The phone is free.  And. . . wait for it. . .free shipping!  Free freaking shipping!!  After all those other benefits they throw in free shipping?!  In a full-out 120 second direct response commercial.

I can just hear the discussions that preceded the launch-

Suit: “You’re telling me you need a 120-second commercial instead of a standard 30-second spot AND free shipping to sell a phone that’s endorsed by AARP, designed especially for seniors, doesn’t require a contract AND IS FREE???”

Really smart marketer:  “Uh, roger that, big fella.”

The product or service you sell

Do the work.  That’s the message.  Don’t take a customer or relationship for granted.  Sell.  Educate.  Reinforce.  Take the time.  Make the effort.  Do.  The.  Work.