Lessons on marketing from the spider in my garage


There was a spider in my garage.

It spun an elaborate web and hid behind on old brush. 
The thing is, there weren’t any flies in my garage. None. There weren’t even any hibernating butterflies that could have made a nice spider snack.
Every time I went out to my garage, I checked in on the spider but the web remained empty. This went on for about 3 weeks and in that time the spider got me thinking about marketing. 
I thought of the spider situation as a great metaphor for what happens when a business creates marketing that isn’t targeted.

Despite the potential effectiveness of that web and the effort that went into making it, ultimately it was ineffective because it was not in the right place / because the timing was off. 
Now I reckon spiders (jumping spiders aside) must be one of the most patient of creatures, but at what point should that spider have released that the strategy was not working and re-thought it’s approach? 
From a marketing point of view, we have so many useful tools for measuring marketing effectiveness nowadays, that our finger should be on the pulse when it comes to knowing what’s working and what’s not and when to review our strategy.

I reckon now’s as good a time as ever to be thinking about these things.
When we do a roadmap with clients, the profound sense of relief they often feel at the end is the most fascinating aspect of the process for me. 
By helping them define :

  • what they’re aiming for,

  • what story they’re telling,

  • how they plan to make it unique and how they’ll leverage the various projects over time

  • help reinforce that story is something that provides a wonderful sense of purpose that is so often lacking

It’s these elements and how they’re brought to life through blogs, tweets, physical products, packaging etc that create the story and that spider with its empty web was a lesson to us all about ensuring the effort isn’t misdirected in any one of these aspects.

So what happened to the spider?

Well it died and I found its desiccated corpse behind the brush…  and the web was still empty. 
Let that be a lesson to us all.