I recently got out my old bike. It’s a Schwinn, cruiser type, with an old basket and a cute bell.
I expected it to perform like it had every other time I got it out of the garage. Without giving much thought to it, I assumed the tires were full of air, that the brakes would be functional and that the old bell on the handlebars would announce me as I cruised down the trail.
You know how this is going to end.
Without all the details: Tires . . . flat. Valve stem. . .cracked and leaking. Brakes . . . very little. Bell . . . well that was the only bright spot. These discovered defects were over two bike rides on two hot days — of course all my husband’s fault, so now he’s in trouble too.
Was it naïve of me to think that a bike I bought in 2000 for $99 would still be a trusted and reliable friend in 2017? I’ve never had it looked at by a professional. I have added some air to the tires . . . because heck, I don’t ride more than a few times a summer, what could go wrong?
These series of events got me thinking about how not only personal relationships need attention, tune-ups, some love and understanding, but also companies and businesses that use marketing tactics to drive business through the door, to educate, and to create top-of-mind awareness.
Like my bike, you can’t just buy it and let it sit. You can’t put up a website and wipe your hands and say it’s done. Social media and branding need constant attention. Decisions about marketing campaigns, updating the look of your company and even reinventing what it is you do and how you do it — happens over time as a result of constant listening, research and time spent contemplating “what if.”
I’ve been married 35 years. I still have to be reminded to make that extra effort, to be thoughtful, or to suggest a new restaurant.
It would be easier to (buy a bike, create a logo, sign the wedding license) once and be done. But like my bike – a painless audit at the beginning of my bike riding season would save a lot of back and forth to the bike shop, money and blame. I’m not a marriage counselor, but if you need a marketing audit, I can help you there — as long as I can fly or drive to visit with you about it.