Very early yesterday morning, I drove to the picture-perfect New England town of Newport, New Hampshire. Since I had an early morning planning session with a key customer, I wanted to arrive early so that I could go over my notes, plus I wanted to talk to my favorite economist and her reaction to the Wednesday night Obama speech.
Picture Main Street, USA, and you have a mental image of what Main Street in Newport is. Neat, beautiful, picturesque and a perfect example of a small town community complete on one hand, with the headquarters of the Lake Sunappe Bank, the region’s leader, and also with my favorite place to have breakfast, The Main Street Bakery.
I walked down the stairs yesterday morning for my normal cup of tea and egg sandwich and, most importantly, to be able to listen to the owner, single employee, waitress, cook & bottlewasher and ask her what she thought about President Obama’s State of the Union comments.
Like most of us, she fell asleep during the speech, but the bottom line of what she, and most of my small and mid size business owners heard on Wednesday night was a wonderfully architected and highly marketed speech, which provided near zero real-life impact for their businesses.
Her comment was “I simply need a small business loan to be able to do more marketing, but there’s nothing that will come out of last night’s comments that will allow me to go the bank across the street and be able to do that.”
And all day yesterday, I heard the same reaction from business manager after business manager. “Nice marketing speech, but it does not do anything to make a difference at my business.”
In Texas, we call this type of Marketing, “Big Hat, No Cattle”, which is less a comment on politics (which is not my intent) and more of a reminder for all of us to communicate simply, to remember the Rule of Just Three Things, and to focus on the needs of our audience.