Advertising 'bugs'

Jan. 1, 2020
What would happen if we all advertised what we are really good at and promoted it relentlessly instead of "me too" advertising?

We all advertise, but I pose that we all advertise the wrong things. There are certain things that we complacently advertise, like pricing, sales, location, phone number and hours of operation. This type of advertising is more like an informational brochure you pick up at a travel plaza and then leave in the floorboard of your car for three weeks. We all do it, and the funny thing is, we don't even realize we are doing it. But I now understand why we all do it the same way – because it's safe. What would happen if we all advertised what we are really good at and promoted it relentlessly instead of “me too” advertising? We would then all understand what it takes to be diligent and vigilant in our respective duties because the accountability of being really good at something would give our respective businesses instant identity. But be forewarned, advertising a particular skill or ability can backfire if you can't perform at a high level of competency for each and every customer. Much like the old saying, “Put your money where your mouth is,” you will need to put the effort in what you advertise. This is where my story begins.

I love the state in which I live and have stayed in every state resort it has to offer with one exception. My wife, my son and I made plans to spend a couple of days at this highly touted resort and golf paradise. The resort itself is only a couple of years old and boasts a challenging Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, two splendid restaurants, a spa, sauna and all the amenities that an ample resort should have. We were excited.

Upon arrival our eyes were met with what I would describe as a modern stoic beauty. A huge lodge made of rock and timbers situated around a cove of our state’s second largest lake. The main entrance was elegant and the lobby was beautiful. However, it seemed to have very few people milling around, especially for the amount of vehicles in the parking lot. My check in time was 5 p.m., which I also thought was a little odd. As I made my way to the main desk, a very nice young lady cheerfully greeted us and gave us the basic highlights of the resort. With a new heightened expectation, we checked in, thanked her and began making our way to the room. While walking the extremely long dark corridor, my wife asked if I had looked at the woman’s name badge, and then she told me her name was “Sookie.” Not that the name itself is funny, but it reminded us of the sophomoric star-character of the show “True Blood” who shares the same name. A giggle escaped us all, and my son added that maybe it was a resort for vampires. Well, let me tell you when you mess with Karma just a little bit, the obvious trivial details turn out to be pivotal points upon which Karma will take a bad turn.

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The room was nice enough, but the air conditioning was really cold, and no matter how much we adjusted the thermostat, it remained frosty. No problem – just open a window a little to regulate the heat, but the window would not open. I called the front desk, and at no answer, left a message for someone to come and look at our A/C unit. By this time it was 6 p.m., and we decided to go to dinner. The main resort restaurant was rumored to be fantastic, and while we were enjoying our meal, we assumed the maintenance crew would surely jump into action. On our way to the restaurant, we noticed an unusual amount of room service trays sitting out by many of the rooms. The restaurant was beautiful, and our seating was good. Our waitress informed us that the meal was a buffet. To make things worse, the entrees and side dishes looked like my refrigerator on cleaning day – a lot of choices, but nothing seemed to pair very well. As we were plating our food, I noticed a lovely table full of desserts. Upon closer inspection, however, all of the desserts were covered in flies. That's right – flies. Dinner was over.

While stopping at the vending machines in an attempt to batten down our hunger, I again noticed that all of those room-service trays were still in the hallway. It seemed that some of the flies from the dessert table were equally surprised to see the trays still in the hallway, and they were doing everything they could to assist the wait staff in cleaning the plates. Swatting our way to the room, I was feeling like we had made a gross error in judgment of our accommodations, but I was willing to try to understand that there may be a staffing issue. At the door of our room, I knew the air conditioning was not repaired because my son's hand almost froze to the doorknob. So we simply turned off the air conditioning, and covered up with the bed quilts as we prepared to watch a pay-per-view movie. Much to my surprise, the pay-per-view feature actually worked, and we enjoyed a “still-in-theatres” movie and went to sleep.

Since I had turned the air conditioner off, the room was hot after a few hours. I got up, turned on my light, and turned the A/C back on. Tripping my way back to bed, my droopy eyes noticed some things on my white bed sheet. As I wiped the sleepy out of my eyes to focus, I instantly realized that the bed sheet had little black specks that could only be one thing. Ticks. Not just any ticks, but deer ticks, the kind that carry Lyme disease. In case those of you reading this can't guess our next move, I'll just tell you. We left at 1 a.m. in the morning. Sookie didn't even look surprised.

Advertising what you are good at will certainly bring prospective customers. If you advertise that your oil changes are $9.99, it does not forgo the fact that you can't leave greasy paw-prints all over the hood. If you advertise that you specialize in air conditioning, don't ever, ever run out of R134a refrigerant. If you claim your service is superior, then actually provide exceptional, not just good, service. If you have a great location and a wonderful facility, don't junk it up or leave three inches of dust on your products. Claiming that you are the best at anything will make your customers anticipate what they are about to receive. It's OK to toot your own horn, but you have to blow that sucker on key every time and be sure to get the bugs worked out before you begin. Sometimes checking for ticks can be fun, unless you find one. The resort we stayed at was not for vampires, but it was full of a lot of little bloodsuckers. Be careful with Karma.

 

We all advertise, but I pose that we all advertise the wrong things. There are certain things that we complacently advertise, like pricing, sales, location, phone number and hours of operation. This type of advertising is more like an informational brochure you pick up at a travel plaza and then leave in the floorboard of your car for three weeks. We all do it, and the funny thing is, we don't even realize we are doing it. But I now understand why we all do it the same way – because it's safe. What would happen if we all advertised what we are really good at and promoted it relentlessly instead of “me too” advertising? We would then all understand what it takes to be diligent and vigilant in our respective duties because the accountability of being really good at something would give our respective businesses instant identity. But be forewarned, advertising a particular skill or ability can backfire if you can't perform at a high level of competency for each and every customer. Much like the old saying, “Put your money where your mouth is,” you will need to put the effort in what you advertise. This is where my story begins.

I love the state in which I live and have stayed in every state resort it has to offer with one exception. My wife, my son and I made plans to spend a couple of days at this highly touted resort and golf paradise. The resort itself is only a couple of years old and boasts a challenging Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, two splendid restaurants, a spa, sauna and all the amenities that an ample resort should have. We were excited.

Upon arrival our eyes were met with what I would describe as a modern stoic beauty. A huge lodge made of rock and timbers situated around a cove of our state’s second largest lake. The main entrance was elegant and the lobby was beautiful. However, it seemed to have very few people milling around, especially for the amount of vehicles in the parking lot. My check in time was 5 p.m., which I also thought was a little odd. As I made my way to the main desk, a very nice young lady cheerfully greeted us and gave us the basic highlights of the resort. With a new heightened expectation, we checked in, thanked her and began making our way to the room. While walking the extremely long dark corridor, my wife asked if I had looked at the woman’s name badge, and then she told me her name was “Sookie.” Not that the name itself is funny, but it reminded us of the sophomoric star-character of the show “True Blood” who shares the same name. A giggle escaped us all, and my son added that maybe it was a resort for vampires. Well, let me tell you when you mess with Karma just a little bit, the obvious trivial details turn out to be pivotal points upon which Karma will take a bad turn.

{C}
PAGE 2

The room was nice enough, but the air conditioning was really cold, and no matter how much we adjusted the thermostat, it remained frosty. No problem – just open a window a little to regulate the heat, but the window would not open. I called the front desk, and at no answer, left a message for someone to come and look at our A/C unit. By this time it was 6 p.m., and we decided to go to dinner. The main resort restaurant was rumored to be fantastic, and while we were enjoying our meal, we assumed the maintenance crew would surely jump into action. On our way to the restaurant, we noticed an unusual amount of room service trays sitting out by many of the rooms. The restaurant was beautiful, and our seating was good. Our waitress informed us that the meal was a buffet. To make things worse, the entrees and side dishes looked like my refrigerator on cleaning day – a lot of choices, but nothing seemed to pair very well. As we were plating our food, I noticed a lovely table full of desserts. Upon closer inspection, however, all of the desserts were covered in flies. That's right – flies. Dinner was over.

While stopping at the vending machines in an attempt to batten down our hunger, I again noticed that all of those room-service trays were still in the hallway. It seemed that some of the flies from the dessert table were equally surprised to see the trays still in the hallway, and they were doing everything they could to assist the wait staff in cleaning the plates. Swatting our way to the room, I was feeling like we had made a gross error in judgment of our accommodations, but I was willing to try to understand that there may be a staffing issue. At the door of our room, I knew the air conditioning was not repaired because my son's hand almost froze to the doorknob. So we simply turned off the air conditioning, and covered up with the bed quilts as we prepared to watch a pay-per-view movie. Much to my surprise, the pay-per-view feature actually worked, and we enjoyed a “still-in-theatres” movie and went to sleep.

Since I had turned the air conditioner off, the room was hot after a few hours. I got up, turned on my light, and turned the A/C back on. Tripping my way back to bed, my droopy eyes noticed some things on my white bed sheet. As I wiped the sleepy out of my eyes to focus, I instantly realized that the bed sheet had little black specks that could only be one thing. Ticks. Not just any ticks, but deer ticks, the kind that carry Lyme disease. In case those of you reading this can't guess our next move, I'll just tell you. We left at 1 a.m. in the morning. Sookie didn't even look surprised.

Advertising what you are good at will certainly bring prospective customers. If you advertise that your oil changes are $9.99, it does not forgo the fact that you can't leave greasy paw-prints all over the hood. If you advertise that you specialize in air conditioning, don't ever, ever run out of R134a refrigerant. If you claim your service is superior, then actually provide exceptional, not just good, service. If you have a great location and a wonderful facility, don't junk it up or leave three inches of dust on your products. Claiming that you are the best at anything will make your customers anticipate what they are about to receive. It's OK to toot your own horn, but you have to blow that sucker on key every time and be sure to get the bugs worked out before you begin. Sometimes checking for ticks can be fun, unless you find one. The resort we stayed at was not for vampires, but it was full of a lot of little bloodsuckers. Be careful with Karma.