August 2012 - Where Are You Holding The Elephant?

smartphone elephant
See the whole picture by targeting your audience with a multi-channel approach.


There is an ancient fable of three blind men who come upon an elephant. Not knowing what this beast might be, they determined that each would lay a hand upon it and describe it to the others.

The first laid his hand upon the elephant’s side. Nodding to himself, he was certain of what the elephant was like. “The elephant,” he announced, “is like a wall.”

The second laid his hand upon the elephant’s leg. At his friend’s pronouncement, the man shook his head knowingly. “No, you are mistaken,” he said. “The elephant is like a tree.”

The third shook his head at both of them. “My friends,” he said, holding onto the elephant’s tail with a smile, “you are both mistaken. The elephant is like a rope.”

This fable reflects the situation in which many marketers find themselves. For some, today’s marketplace is driven by print-related marketing. For others, it is driven by the Web. For others, it is all about social and mobile media.
elephant laptopIn most cases, it is all of these and none of these alone. Marketing campaigns need to include all of these elements or they will fall short—like describing an elephant by examining it only from the side, leg, or tail.

In order to be successful, you need to stand back and see the entire market from a broader perspective. How is your target audience interacting with media? How do they absorb information? What media (or combination of media) are they most likely to respond to? What incentives will be most effective?

elephant postcardWhen developing campaigns, you need to get into the mind of the customer and really get a sense of the bigger picture. Otherwise, you’re looking at only part of the elephant.