The Art of Ordering a Breakfast Taco
“Soliz Casa de Tacos” is the name of a legendary breakfast taco place in our neighborhood. “Soliz,” as it’s known by the locals, is perched on Dulles Avenue directly across from the Ft. Bend Community Library. Soliz’s smiling faces and “Pancho Villa Meets Houston Sports Teams” décor has welcomed and fed generations of starving students, blue collar workers, city officials, commuting business professionals and members of the Mitton family.
As I sit waiting for our Saturday morning bag of egg, cheese and bacon or chorizo-inspired goodness, I’m sometimes fascinated by the different types of questions people ask when ordering their breakfast tacos. Especially the “Soliz Newbie’s,” unfamiliar with the menu and rhythm of the restaurant.
Eric, Soliz’s MBC (Man behind the Counter,) says he doesn’t mind answering questions. “Answering questions is what helps us make sure the customer is getting exactly what they want, “says Eric. “A happy customer is a repeat customer and we love happy customers!”
Lack of Advertising Satisfaction
Being in the advertising business, Eric’s answer caused me to come up with a question of my own:
“When businesses plan and place advertising campaigns, are they asking the types of questions that lead to a satisfying experience?”
Can you imagine someone walking into a restaurant, telling the wait staff, “Just bring me what everybody else in the room is having tonight,” and leaving fully satisfied?
Yet this is exactly what happens with advertising budgets for hundreds of companies each year. Instead of asking questions that would lead to a successful experience, businesses default to doing exactly what they’ve always done and/or doing exactly what their competitors are doing to advertise products, services and/or employment opportunities!
Embracing “Good, Cheap & Easy”
When speaking to business groups about how to build effective advertising programs supported by creative messaging, I start by introducing our “MITTONMedia Value Pyramid.” One point of the pyramid is labeled “Good,” the second point “Cheap,” and third labeled as “Easy.”
As a group exercise, I ask participants to make a list of all the advertising tools and resources they use on a consistent basis. Then we take each one of the tools and resources and examine them from the standpoint of the Value Pyramid. We ask:
· Is it “Good?” (Effective)
· Is it “Cheap?” (Cost-Effective)
· Is it “Easy?” (Doesn’t take much of a person’s time to implement.)
· Why did you use it? (Rationale behind their decision making.)
Audience members are often surprised by the results of the exercise. Many look for a place to hide! Why? They just realized, perhaps for the first time, and admitted to the world that most of their advertising decisions are not based on effectiveness or cost-efficiencies but because they followed the path of least resistance.
Instead of asking the questions that help identify effective, cost-efficient resources and solutions, their decision making process is based on making a quick phone call and getting the project off their plate as quickly as possible. When participants are asked to explain their behavior, answers usually fall under one of three categories: “I don’t have time to think about it.”; “Because our company has always done it this way.”; “Because that’s where all of our competitors put their advertising.”
“Waiter, just bring me what everyone else in the restaurant is having tonight. I’m sure it will be fine.”
Use Questions to Create Your Own Success:
Many have described an effective advertising program as one that:
· Puts the right message…
· In front of the right people…
· In the right places…
· And at the right times…
The challenge becomes how to put an advertising campaign together that accomplishes these four goals.
At MITTONMedia we use our own SPOT-ON ASSESSMENT® IN-HOUSE SURVEY as a starting point with customers. Each survey contains a list of questions customized for the individual client’s industry, situation and unique needs. Answers to the questions usually reveal a path to follow and validate our recommendations for both media placement and creative messaging hot points.
Either on your own or with a group of colleagues, take out a sheet of paper and write down as many questions as you can about your company, products, services, and/or workplace. Begin with the “Good, Cheap & Easy” questions and go from there. Your goal is to come up with a list of questions that, when answered, will give you the information you need to create an advertising campaign that: puts the right message; in front of the right people; in the right places; at the right times.
If you need assistance getting starting, I’d be happy to help. Send me an email at email@example.com or pick up the phone and call 832.969.5627.
John Mitton is President of MITTONMedia®, a proactive advertising firm in Houston, Texas. Working with a number of companies across a variety of industries, MITTONMedia’s strengths are: knowing people; knowing where to find specific target groups; reaching target groups in an effective and cost-efficient manner; and crafting creative messages that engage and compel a higher number of qualified responses. Reach John by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 832.969.5627.