It’s hot. It’s sticky. We’re in no mood to put up with projects that go astray or silly debates when we’d rather be poolside soaking up every last ray of sun this summer. But is that the problem? Do we get too excited for the summer weather (and I don’t blame you!) and lose focus and make sloppy decisions? Possibly.
However, it’s not just this season that cause a lack of focus — it’s the lack of understanding for how to focus and where to focus that can be our real downfall. We’ve all been in those over-attended meetings where everyone throws in ideas, people get excited, and before you know it, the whole messaging platform and feature set of the product has expanded and shifted.
Wait… What?! So what happens when your team doesn’t know how to get out of that black hole?
Having experienced this happen time and again, here’s how to focus your marketing efforts and core feature sets, even during the hot and sticky summer months:
Always remember what you stand for
In June, I was visiting Cape Cod and observed a beachside restaurant demonstrating clear signs of a lack of focus. First, there was a massive line — and I mean 40+ people! I tried to figure out why. Then I saw it: the menu. 50+ options, spread across multiple whiteboards, on printed out pieces of paper, and posted all over the side of the building. How could customers ever make a decision? This small restaurant was trying far too hard to be everything to everyone — even offering calamari and Cod dishes — at the beach! Instead, they should have kept it simple with 1 easy-to-see menu with about a third of the options. That would have cut their line down significantly.
After observing this, I realized it applies to so many companies that try to be everything to everyone. They feel they need to add more and more features and functionalities that don’t match the core of what the company does, and in turn, that causes all facets of the company to suffer since they’re spread too far and wide. So in short, remember what you’re on a mission to do (and do well) and stay true to that. You will turn some people off, but perhaps they aren’t even your ideal customer.
Customer Needs/Wants/Desires First
You’ve probably been in those meetings where someone says “It’d be awesome if we had this in our app!”, and everyone nods and smiles at the idea. On occasion its fun to brainstorm all of the possibilities for what your product can do, but at the end of the day, it’s what your customers want and need that matters in your product. You and your team may not even be the target customer for your product, so as much as you’d love to see a feature added, do your users really want it?
Your customers may not be ‘wowed’ at all if they can’t even focus in on what to do with your product! Center back on your them and make sure that what you do is focused on the core set of features that makes them truly happy.
Realize your budgets, team capabilities and timeframes
It would be great if you could use every ad platform out there to accelerate lead gen and spread your messaging, but is that really affordable and manageable? Probably not. Anytime you’re planning for your next marketing campaign or activity, keep in mind how much money you realistically have to spend, how much time your team has to devote to it and when you need to realize results by. That will all be a big determinant of what you can do, and will keep you focused as well.
So whether it’s the summer heat making you tuned out and tired, or just the lack of organized decisions within your teams, use these above principles to bring back focus to the core of what you do. Have fun, dream of big plans, but always remember to focus in like the lens of a camera to make the right impact.
What other ways do you and your team maintain focus? Have things gone seriously awry, and how did you fix that? Leave your advice or experiences below!