Lead Forensics

Marketing, Milk and Cookies: Why You Might Need to Mix it Up


A wood table has a small bowl of cookies and a glass of milk on it.

Some of the best things in life happened by accident. For instance, think about cookies. They are everywhere: whole grocery store aisles are dedicated to cookies, shops exist solely to market cookies and no lunchbox is complete without a sandwich cookie or two.

Did you know that the cookie dates back to the 7th century in Persia? This region was the first to harvest sugar cane, and cookies are believed to have their origin in miniature cakes used to test the temperature of the oven.

Of course, these early cookies were lacking the variety of flavors of today’s cookies. Cookies made in Elizabethan England were bland, using egg yolks and spices to make small, square cookies. As Europeans began to migrate across the Atlantic, they took cookie recipes with them and they evolved. Housewives in the Southern colonies made simple butter cookies, while in Europe the predecessor of the animal cracker was simply called, “animals.”

Cookies continued to change and improve as time went on, and accidents still yielded delicious results. In 1937, the chocolate chip cookie was first made when Ruth Graves Wakefield ran out of baker’s chocolate and substituted a bar of semisweet chocolate in her butter cookie recipe.

Several chocolate chip cookies placed on a white plate, which is on a table.

Happy Accidents or Strategic Steps?

You may have experienced some happy accidents along the way in your small business. Maybe it was an idea for a product that came to you in an unusual way. You may have stumbled across a tagline that brilliantly communicated your brand message.

Whoever made the first cookie must have relished the popularity of those mini cakes that delighted everyone who tasted them. They may have even thought that the taste was so good, that it could never get any better.

With that kind of mindset, the world would never have tasted shortbread, snickerdoodles or (gasp!) Oreos.

If you don’t take some steps to mix up your marketing, you may miss the opportunity to be strategic and gain market share. You might also miss some happy accidents.

Reasons to Mix It Up

It’s possible that you are fine with the marketing version of those first little cake-cookies. Dry, bland and lacking any exciting textures, the marketing version of this cookie might include a once-a-year mailer, a few social media posts each year and a sponsorship of an event or two.

There might be a few reasons that you should think about a more strategic approach or making some changes to your marketing:

Competitor Activity: If you’ve always had a niche in the market because of your service, or because your quality makes you a standout in your industry, a competitor might make changes to challenge your position. If a competitor improves their product or develops a service policy that threatens your market share, it may be time to step up your marketing efforts and make some strategic changes.

Your Industry is Maturing: It’s typical for a business to experience a lot of growth in its initial stages. But as your product experiences a maturing, sales might be dropping off. That means it’s time to switch gears. Maybe you need to demonstrate your role as a thought leader in your industry or you should be providing how-to videos that provide exceptional value to your target audience.

Compliance, Packaging and Other Motivators: Sometimes it’s not about the product or service itself, but about outside factors influencing how you market your product. You might be required to change how you package your product by government regulations or you might learn that choosing an environmentally-friendly supplier is now a possibility where it wasn’t before.

These situations also represent an opportunity to mix up your marketing. It may not be a change you anticipated, but it is either required of your company or it is so beneficial that it seems almost impossible not to make the change.

Any time that you make a significant shift in your marketing strategy, there is an opportunity for chocolate chip cookie-level happy accidents to occur.

Chocolate chunk cookies and a scattering of broken chocolate chunks against a white background.

These are viral videos, funny social interactions that get noticed or the explosion of popularity among a market segment you didn’t realize might be your target audience.

As cookies move forward in history, they keep getting better, with more flavor and improved textures. And the same goes for your marketing. Will you mix it up and see if you can move your company forward, taking a strategic approach to bigger and better ideas?

When you’re ready to mix up your marketing, you can count on SJC Marketing to help you choose the right strategies to create growth. Contact us, and let’s get together to discuss your current marketing and where you would like to take your business.

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