Bark Like a Dog or Quack Like a Duck

widgeon-ducks-1013tm-pic-1693Do You Quack or Bark?

You most certainly have heard the phrase, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…then it must be a duck.” A duck is very unique, docile and friendly enough to eat out of your hand at the park. Ducks quack. They are relatively harmless, unless they are swimming in your pool. Ducks are docile and lovable (unless you are a duck hunter).

IMG_0790Dogs are man's best friend, and they come in every size and color. I happen to own a 100 pound black lab. Buddy Guy or BG, for short, is one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet, but if a stranger comes to the door or if he sees another dog, he barks, and barks, and barks. This is just BG's way of saying “Hi”, but most people and dogs react as if he is mean and yelling at them. He is a very loving dog, and would not hurt anyone, but you have to be cautious with 100 pounds of enthusiasm!

To Bark Or To Quack?

So, when you are posting, emailing and communicating, are you barking (asking for attention) or quacking (simply being in the moment)? I can tell you from past experiences, I have had quacks that have gone unnoticed and barks that have created attention and sales. On the other hand, I have had barks that made people run away in fear and quacks that have created conversations.

business_110009289-012914-intKnow Your Audience

Some people run away from loud noises. If you are constantly yelling, then you run the risk of turning people off. Some people will not pay attention to gentle noises. If you are constantly commenting or philosophizing, then you run the risk of just becoming ambient noise. Next, you have to know that not every audience wants the same mix of bark and quack.  Here are a few methods:

  1. Bark First, Quack Often…Make a BIG announcement and then trickle reminders. Tell people what the big deal is and then softly remind them of why it's special.  Whether it is a product or a service announcement, don't kill the buzz by constantly over playing the hype. Announce the big deal and then dribble the benefits.
  2. Quack Often, then Bark Once…This is drip marketing before the pipe breaks. Leak tips, techniques, features and/or benefits, then do the big reveal. This method takes planning and measurement to work, but can be very effective. The point is to plan out each step leading up to the big reveal which better be worth the wait!
  3. Bark Quack, then Quack Bark…Try to mix it up. Be loud and proud and then drip away. Then, try the quiet approach ending with a BANG! Mix it up, measure and see what happens. The key here (and in every methodology) is measurement. Have a plan and then work the plan to get your messages heard and responded to!

Randomness Begets Randomness – Plan a Sequence

When communicating, it's best to have a plan. Think about how you are going to communicate, and then execute. Try one method and see how it works and then try another.  Measure what is working and what is not. Then try another and lather, rinse repeat. Remember, just because a method works for one audience, does not mean that it will work for all. You have to identify variances in different audiences and use different methods that are showing success in each segment.  If you have not defined segments, then hang on for a future post!

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

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