Of burrowers and builders

2016-03-10 06:00

LAST week we promoted the greater South Coast at the Beeld Holiday Show, which was noticeably smaller than previous years, a sign of belt-tightening times.

Part of our mission was to ascertain if certain marketing, publicity and advertising campaigns could be established with some of the tourism and leisure players at the show.

This provided us with a revealing polarity in corporate attitude.

One motor home company we spoke to sat us down and within minutes we realised their head in the sand “we-have-been-doing-it-this-way-forever” attitude showed how inflexible some companies can be in an era of rapid change in communications and marketing approaches.

We quickly, and dare I say it “tongue in cheek”, thanked them for their “co-operation” and moved off almost wishing they did not sell a single unit during the show.

Their closed and go-way attitude smacked of a business looking down the barrel of a gun.

About 20 minutes later we had a meeting with the marketing manager of a national chain of outdoor and leisure outlets and within a short time she got what our approach was all about and quickly the principles of a future project were cemented.

How refreshing in comparison to the dinosaur mentality at the previous meeting.

My belief is that if we (and that includes our organisation) do not have an open minded approach to marketing and communications, that funnelled paradigm will eventually blind our business perspective and that will drive company perspective down the burrower aspect.

On the upside, enterprises that seek new and somewhat unconventional approaches have a dynamism that captures the attention of eager feed me markets.

I remember that great Tourism Australia initiative then, they advertised “the best job in the world” and a communicator was appointed to live on an island paradise for a period­ that brought huge worldwide print and online exposure for Australia.

Such approaches reflect what could be called the builder thinking.

I would like to believe that our marketing team has that builder approach and certainly we meet with all sorts of interesting people and companies who bounce their ideas and concepts off us.

Being a builder is a more refreshing approach because at the end of the day one sees the completed result of one’s efforts - the burrower sadly stays in the dark.

Let’s seek bricks in paradise.

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