Not Responding to Alarms
Early yesterday morning while walking my dog, Sasha, I noticed a vehicle in my parking lot had been vandalized. The car was sitting on two slowly buckling milk crates and it was missing all four of its wheels. As I walked past that vehicle I realized that another vehicle beside it had one of its windows smashed. I called out management offices as I was heading into the office to alert them and get the police en route.
Towards the end of the day I ended up running into the property manager and inquired as to what he suspected happened and whether or not there had been other problems reported on the property. He told that me that it appeared to be targeted to the main vehicle because it had expensive tires and rims. I was surprised that my wife or I hadn’t woken up during the night when the vehicle’s alarm, presumably, went off while the car was being jacked up and the tires were being stolen. The property manager explained that the resident reported hearing his alarm go off but had just silenced it from his apartment figuring that it had been accidentally tripped by weather or an animal. Had he actually looked to see why the alarm was going off, it is possible that he could’ve interrupted the crime.
Besides ensuring that there was nothing left in my vehicles that could attract criminals, I began thinking about how oblivious we are to car alarms nowadays. We have become so accustomed to hearing alarms buzzing that many times we won’t even glance in the direction of the alarm while walking through a parking lot. Have you ever done that? I know I sure have. Now, related that to your marketing program. Are you ignoring the alarms going off all around you? Do you even realize that alarms may be sounding crying for your attention?
Identifying the Alarms
Being able to identify the alarm and knowing what you need to be listening for is the first step. What types of alarms should you be aware of? They can come in a variety of formats but some of them may include:
- Declining responses to a marketing campaign
- An increase in spam complaints
- Continued lack of engagement from your community
- A decline in RSS or email subscribers to your blog
- A lack of growth in followers, fans, or subscribers
These are just a few of the many alarms that could be sounding that you continue to hit the silence button on. Your alarms may be different than those that I have listed. Exactly what the alarms are really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you identify them so that you can properly respond to them before it’s too late.
Responding to the Alarms
So, you’ve identified the alarm, now what? You should develop both a strategic and tactical plan to address the issue and respond to it. The level of the response will be dictated on what the alarm actually is and based on how long you might’ve ignored it. Much like a progressive disease, the longer it goes untreated, the harder it may be to correct. What are some ways you can respond to the alarm(s)?
- Switch up the day and time you send your email marketing
- Review your site analytics over a period of time. Identify where the decline began or where it started to level off. What were you doing (or not doing) during that time?
- Did you recently update your blog and forget to add the “Subscribe” button back? Yep, I’ve done that before.
- Have you ever analyzed what type of content you produce? Is it one-way push? Are you promoting others? Do you only retweet others work?
The next steps are to continue monitoring the changes you have implemented and track whether or not they’ve been successful. Always monitor, evaluate, experiment and adapt. This will ensure that you’re staying alerted to alarms before it becomes too late. Much like the resident who lost all four of their tires, when you realize that you shouldn’t have hit the silence button, it may be too late. Worse case scenario is that you’re so blind to the alarms that you slowly bleed your entire community or customers and have nothing left. Just a hint: try to avoid that from happening. It’s usually not healthy for your business.
Do you silence the alarms going on around you?
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Photo Credit: wallyg