Maintaining your marketing.

There’s a Chipotle near my office that I frequent often, partly because the lunch-time manager has a system in place that can get hundreds of burrito lovers through that store in minutes.  He’s like the Henry Ford of burrito-building.  It’s truly a sight to see.

That’s why I hate calling that location out on one of the cardinal sins of marketing – failure to follow through.

As you can see in this picture, the higher-ups at Chipotle are using one of the oldest (and most successful) ways to collect data information:  the old fashioned business card drop.  Drop your card in the ‘fishbowl’, and get a chance at winning a prize (in this case, free burritos for your office).

I was very impressed when I first saw a big corp engaging in such low level, grass roots, list-building.  “Fish Bowl” data collection is one of the best ways to increase the size of your email list (every Broadway theater should have one, and the data should go to the Broadway League to cultivate the biggest and best fan list ever).  Oh, and for all the people out there who are saying they don’t want a fish bowl at their box office, I don’t mean a literal fish bowl.  The receptor can be anything you want.  In Chipotle’s case, it’s a tin bucket.

I was no so impressed when week after week, I failed to see a card under the “behold” call-out.  “Drop in a card and you could be next,” the sign reads.  Next what?  Invisible Man?  Cuz that would be cool . . .

What happened, guys?  Did you forget?  Did you cancel the program?  If so . . . get that figurative fish bowl out of our sight.

Because the lack of demonstrating you actually do pick a winner is doing the opposite of what you originally intended.  I’d rather you never even had the idea in the first place!

Believe it or not, great ideas for marketing initiatives are the easy part.  Maintaining that marketing is what’s hard.

And it’s also what is absolutely necessary.

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.