Reality Bites … Hard 

But, we better accept it. Start there. Or, restart there. Stop. Start over. All that jazz.

There are 1,468,253 (a made up number) different things that may influence the outcomes we are driving with communications. Most, if not all of them, are out of our control. 

We have a choice: frustration, anger, or learning and restarting?

Ouch! It hurts when that program, that tactic, that strategy, that position just does not work. 

Or, ironically, when the marketing killed the program because the marketing worked, but the product or service sucks. 

Or, there is an underlying anchor. Like Rosser Reeves uncovered in competitive research the Ted Bates agency used in the 1950s to understand how markets and customers responded to advertising. Reeves found there was a group of people that used a product they had never seen an ad for. 

It was also revealed in some cases advertising – drove people away from the product.

Yikes! That’s not what we were trying to do. 

Unless you live under a rock – you know that outstanding marketing can also decimate an inferior product or service. We get people to show up and the service interface stinks, the product tastes bad or the connection doesn’t work.

“We need a re-Brand,” they exclaim. “No, we need to face reality and fix it!” 

Fix the product. Fix the positioning – or, fire ourselves. 

Too often and this is a hard pill to swallow. We are too invested in the idea. The campaign. The prestige and the beauty of the marketing. 

Imagine if we could be humble. 

What if the gauges we are looking at are not calibrated for today’s reality? What adjustments have we made for the sledgehammer that has changed the way people look at most things: need vs. want, safe vs. threat, wellness vs. achievement, normal vs. pre-pandemic and current?

Things are different. They just are. Reality is unforgiving.

Admitting we may be wrong today or need to change our minds, our path and facing a new reality is strength. 

There shouldn’t be a victim for learning. 

And, depending on what is at stake – calibrating to a tempo to face that reality is important. 

Life-saving, even.

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