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Spend the Time You Need – And No More

Have you ever looked closely at a mail truck?

It’s a crude design… The bolts are exposed. The gas cap is visible. The corners are square. The windshield is nearly upright.

But so what? Most of the time, it travels no more than 30 mph. Aerodynamics – no need. Style – why should they bother? Speed – next to none. Cushy ride – well, the postal worker might appreciate better.

The cheapest car you can buy has a much smoother design. Its interior is way more refined. But its intended function is different. And car manufacturers have hugely more competition than mail truck creators do.

Takeaway: Don’t put too much effort into something that doesn’t need it.

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The Best Marketing Needs to Be Focused

My son is a junior in high school. This haul of mail was one day’s set of letters from colleges and universities wanting him to apply. Sadly for them, their mailings almost instantly end up in the recycle bin. Nothing distinguishes one from another.

If any of those universities’ marketing departments actually had children in the target age group for their mailings, they would try reaching their target audience another way.

Takeaway: What are some ways your message can be different than that of your competitors?

 

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Making Your Business Fun

Car magazine has a section at the back that lists all the new cars sold in the UK. That could be a boring list of facts and tables.

It’s not.

They injected it full of life and fun. Each car is categorized as being either “Good”, “Bad” or “Ugly”. Read the fine print here. Each brand (or UK-speak, “marque”) is described as if it were a rock band. And the descriptions of each car can be hilarious. (These are two random cars in a row.)

They make it very easy to pick a good car.

Takeaway: How can you inject life and fun into what might otherwise be a boring aspect of your job of life?

Link: Car magazine.

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Simplify Your Message

Two receipts were given to me after I bought a few pieces of flagstone for a Saturday afternoon project. One was nicely generated by the cash register – complete with a little marketing message at the bottom (“On August 28th, the first 40 customers receive a free reusable bag!”). And then there was the no-technology carbon-copy of a hand-written receipt, showing the weight of the flagstones I purchased.

Santa Fe Sand & Gravel could save themselves time and money by integrating their systems – so that all the info is on the computer-assisted receipt.

Takeaway: Simplify. What are some ways you can simpilfy your business – or life – by eliminating redundant systems?