It was Thanksgiving 2011 when I had MY first turkey emergency. I had planned my dinner for months, sent out the invitations for the feast and was expecting a full house after spending two month’s food budget on all the fixings for what I was hoping was going to be a good meal. Never have cooked a turkey before, I relied on my own home-grown learning and a combination of 8 YouTube videos! Hey I had started a successful blog, makes sense I could cook a great turkey dinner, right? It was a hour before the doorbell was supposed to ring and my turkey was still frozen! Argh, as Charlie Brown said to Lucy on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

Relying on social media to get me out of the problem that I put my self into I found the Butterball Turkey Talk-line®! My turkey emergency was solved!

Now, I am one for using analogies to solve marketing problems and this Turkey Talk-line® way to solve a problem has a strong tie-in to the challenges that many small- and mid-sized businesses experience! Most businesses don’t have a lifeline-like contestants on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and they don’t have an expert to call, unless it’s the college son of a friends who has created a Facebook page and has taken a marketing course in his freshman year. I am all for informal networks to support one’s efforts, however, in times of an emergency it’s better to have a better system, or to avoid the emergency all together!

Here Are The Top Four “Make It Better” Tips And How They Would Apply To Your Marketing Emergency.

  • Thawing with Ease = Planning Time For Your Marketing Event: The analogy can be made to allowing more thawing time for a larger turkey, you need to allow for more planning time for the size of a promotion. If you are doing a one-day sale vs. a Small Business Saturday Event ( #SmallBizSat ) you need time to prepare! However, there are always ways to fix lack of planning in the short-term, however, that is where the talk-line experts come in!
  • Food Prep 101 = Marketing Prep 101: This advice is not about providing sufficient time to plan, rather, it’s about doing the right things while you are preparing! You want to ensure all of your customer touchpoints (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, store signage, sales associated scripting, web site, email, phone messages, etc.) are coordinated so they support your event!
  • It’s All About How You Cook It = It’s All About How You Execute Your Plan: You may have the greatest recipe in the world with all of the best ingredients, but if you don’t know how to cook the turkey, then your meal will be a disaster! The same goes for your marketing planning. Remember, each tactic in your marketing plan is like a link in a chain … and the chain is only a strong as the weakest link. If someone comes into your store and is underwhelmed with your store signage or sales associates’ skills, then you have cooked up a turkey of an event!
  • Don’t Break the Bank = Spend Your Time, Resources and Budget Effectively: Much like the need to think about planning a Thanksgiving meal in advance, a business owner or marketing needs to start thinking about the event in advance and look for ways to save and to budget effectively. This planning does NOT mean to source everything on the cheap. It means finding the best support items at the most acceptable cost to get the job done!

Here are some other blog posts that might help you with your marketing emergency!

Now, if you did not heed this 4 key areas of advice for your upcoming Small Business Saturday event or any other marketing that you have planned, then a New Years resolution should be to find a resource similar to the Butterball Turkey Talk-line ®. This resolution can take three forms:

  1. Formalized Network Of Marketing Resources. Identify a local or virtual “mastermind” group that can be available to you via phone or email to help you solve your emergencies.
  2. Create A Virtual Board Of Directors. Similar to a “mastermind” group, this board help you through your emergency issues.
  3. Marketing Coach Or Agency Support. Create a relationship and an arrangement with a marketing expert to get your questions answered on a per-call basis!

Remember, there are a number of ways to cook a turkey to achieve the highest reward of ”mmmmmmmmm”. Remember the four ways to avoid your social media plan or marketing plan being a turkey and you will avoid needing to make an emergency call. If you do need to make a call, please avoid calling 1-800-Butterball, since YOU will then look like a turkey. Have a great holiday and think about creating your planning network or emergency response plan for 2013!