For years, Contractor was a business partner with Big Yellow. At first, it was a good relationship. Contractor paid Big Yellow a little cash and she brought Contractor business. Everyone was happy, but it would not last.
Contractor's friends noticed how much business he got from Big Yellow and decided to horn in on the action. Contractor didn't have an exclusive relationship with Big Yellow, so she was more than happy to help Contractor's friends. Contractor got less business because Big Yellow was putting forth just as much effort on behalf of Contractor's friends as she was on Contractor. He didn't like that.
Contractor called Big Yellow to complain. "Hey, I thought we were in this together. 'Win-win,' you said. I'm paying you more and getting less."
"Don't worry sweetie," replied Big Yellow. "You know you're my favorite. Let me swing by see what we can work out."
Contractor gulped. Big Yellow had a way of sashaying into his office wearing a skirt that made it hard to think. She was always able to get him to agree to things.
"Sweetie," said Big Yellow, "What you need is more column inches. You need a full page. You want more effort from me, you need a bigger ad than anyone else," cooed Big Yellow. "I'll even put you first in line."
Contractor wasn't sure how she did it, but Big Yellow walked out with a contract for a full page ad. It wasn't bad. It did work. True to her word, Big Yellow gave Contractor first position and the phone rang and rang… for three months.
The weather got mild and Contractor had to hustle to get leads. Contractor grumbled to Big Yellow about the need to pay her every month for an ad that only put out leads three months of the year. "Don't blame me for the weather," Big Yellow told him. "Why don't you increase the number of listings?"
Against his better judgment Contractor added listings and things got better for a little while. He began to suspect that Big Yellow was telling his friends the same thing, because more of them added column inches. Contractor began to think Big Yellow was too expensive and not exclusive enough. He was ready to become independent.
Contractor began to look for other marketing partners and reduced his involvement with Big Yellow. She caught on. She called and called. She pleaded. No matter. His mind was made up. He wanted to let her go.
At a business mixer Contractor met Pay-Per-Click. PPC looked like the complete package. She was fast. She was responsive. She was dazzling. If Contractor wanted to pay, she would play. PPC was… complex. Contractor tried to figure her out, but found her extremely time consuming. Still, high maintenance or not, she did put out leads. Moreover, she didn't need a commitment. She was ideal.
Contractor learned that PPC was involved with Social Media. Social Media was young. Everyone was talking about her, but no one knew how to work with her. Contractor arranged to meet her.
"Like, it's all about the relationships," said Social Media as she chewed her gum. "If you don't get it, you just don't get it."
"I'm trying to," said Contractor.
"Just be yourself. Open up. Engage people," said Social Media.
Contractor discovered that Social Media liked to mix with his other marketing partners: Direct Mail, Website, Radio, and Television. She really was into multiple marketing relationships.
Contractor asked Social Media about a funny looking tattoo. "Oh that?"she answered. "That's a QR Code. They're very cool. They make it easy for people to visit Website. You outta get one. Even Big Yellow is thinking about a QR."
Big Yellow! Contractor had forgotten about her. He heard she was ill, maybe even dying. "I oughta check on her," he said to himself.
When Contractor found Big Yellow, he noticed she had lost weight. That's what illness can do, he thought.
Still, there was something about her that looked good. He finally figured it out. Most of Contractor's friends turned their backs on Big Yellow when she got ill. Desperate, she grew less demanding. She became more reasonable. If she didn't have all of the leads she used to have, Contractor didn't have as many friends vying for attention.
Contractor decided to give Big Yellow another spin. To his surprise, it was like the old days. Big Yellow was delivering once again and quite reasonably.
Contractor knew the future lay with Social Media and PPC. However, Big Yellow had a lot to offer. Over the years, Contractor knew one thing. Most of his friends had a herd mentality. When they zigged, Contractor like to zag. With everyone zigging away from Big Yellow, this might be the time to zag back to her. Contractor discovered he liked having multiple marketing partners.
Matt Michel is the president and CEO of the Service Roundtable. If you're looking for ways to zag, call the Service Roundtable toll free 877.262.3341 and ask for the Comanche Marketing Guide to Business Card Marketing. While you’re on the phone, ask for a free tour of the member side of the Service Roundtable website to get even more marketing ideas.