Art Appreciation at my college was taught by one of the coolest profs in the world. I don’t remember his name, but one day late in the semester, he walked into class and said, “I don’t feel like teaching today. Go outside and take a look at the sky. Tell me on Monday how many shades of gray you noticed.”
That’s what we did – before going out and getting drunker than Lindsay Lohan at Mardi Gras – and I was amazed at how many shades of gray actually exist. The exercise was to teach us how many variations can exist in one set of ideas – colors, words, music, etc. It’s a lesson that I’ve remembered well after all the others.
So how many variations potentially exist in your marketing plan? Have you ever taken the time to observe them? There’s a spectacular chance you haven’t, but don’t run out into traffic just yet.
If you take one facet of your plan, and try and observe it from multiple angles, you’re going to find slight variations that might pan out into new directions. Those paths might not go a country mile, but a slight deviation can perk up your audience – and maybe grab a few new eyes, if you’re lucky.
Remember that when you find a variation, that it’s crucial keep the main message consistent. When you add new windows to your house, you don’t tear down the entire frame, right? When Lindsay Lohan goes on a binge, she doesn’t crash every car she owns, right? (Sorry, Ms. Lohan was the subject of a rambling conversation I had with a client this morning.)