“Then put your little hand in mine. There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb. Babe. I got you babe. I got you babe.” Can you hear Sonny and Cher’s, “I got you babe” blasting through the radio in small-town, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania? Do you see Bill Murray’s character waking up, yet again, on “Groundhog Day”? I love this movie. I may have watched it as many times as Bill Murray had to endure that day. Every time I watch it, I wonder what I would do if I was stuck living the same day over and over. What would I have to accomplish to move on to February 3? The answer lies in the lyrics; “I got you babe.” How does this apply to a marketing company? It’s simple. Marketing is all about learning the customer’s problem, not selling a random product. Essentially, it’s the company’s role to say, “I got you babe.”
It’s not about your growth. It’s about their need.
In the movie, Bill Murray’s character, Phil, is a bit of a narcissist with a bad attitude. “Phil? Like the groundhog, Phil?” Yes, like the groundhog, Phil. But this Phil isn’t cute and cuddly. He looks down on Punxsutawney and wants nothing more than to leave this one-horse town. Will this groundhog come out and see his shadow already so Phil can leave? It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s needs are or who is depending on him. It’s all about Phil, all the time.
When a company doesn’t focus on their customer’s needs first, they’re seen as tone-deaf and inauthentic by prospective clients. Why are we not seeing the growth we want to see? Perhaps it’s because you’re focusing on the growth you want to see and not meeting the needs of your clients. Without your clients, you won’t go anywhere, and you most definitely won’t see that growth you’re seeking. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Don’t be a Phil stuck in a Groundhog Day spiral.
Have you asked them what they need yet? Ask them again.
At first, Phil went into a bit of a depression and he tried some outlandish things to escape groundhog day. After what seemed like an eternity of being trapped on February 2, Phil decides to focus on the good he can do. Near the end of the movie, Phil had learned the patterns of all the people in town and intervened to prevent any catastrophe from happening. He paid careful attention to each event and noted the times of the day that people were in peril. He had every move timed, so he could be the unsung hero of Punxsutawney.
In business, we don’t have an exact pattern of replicated behaviours like Phil did. What we do have is our friends and families in the beginning. Asking the question, “When you do this activity, what is your biggest pain point?” is probably the simplest, yet hardest question you’ll ever have to ask. Allow me to explain. We all know our product or service will change the world. It has to, right? We are quite precious about it. It’s personal. This is our life’s work. The reality is, does the world want it? Many businesses fail on this critical point. If you have already created a minimum viable product (MVP), a prototype and gotten investors with little-to-no market research, you have done it backwards. Ask the questions first. Build your product after. Rinse and repeat. If you do it backwards, you could luck out and have the right product for the right time. However, it’s more likely that you will have missed the mark at some point and inhibited your growth. Be a Phil. Seek to understand your customer’s need first and fill that need.
Don’t be anyone else but you.
There was only one thing left on Phil’s list of things he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to win the heart of his producer—his big fish. Rita (Andi McDowell) wasn’t swayed by his usual tricks. She saw through each line and fake gesture. She was the real deal. To catch the real deal, you must be the real deal, yourself. Phil, again, took the time to learn about her. He listened and examined his own heart to determine if he could offer her what she needed. It was then that he was free. He had finally learned how to be authentically himself and selfless at the same time.
Jumping on what’s trending can be fun and it has the ability to get your name out there. It is tricky to know what trend is appropriate for you in all the hype. If you’re not a politically active or quirky company, you probably shouldn’t post that Bernie meme. If you’re not prepared to support a cause further than your trending post, you probably shouldn’t jump on that bandwagon. Your big fish recognize fake bait and they won’t bite a second time. In fact, if you fail to act in accordance with the trend you posted about, you could be called out in a negative way. Be a Phil. Learn who you are and embrace it.
Part of being a great Wingman is telling you when you’re a Phil at the beginning of “Groundhog Day” and helping you get to the Phil we know and love at the end of the movie. We will take your hand in ours and tell you, “I got you babe,” or in Wingman terms, “We got your back,” because you don’t have to fly solo. When you’re ready to learn more about how to grow organically and authentically, contact us to Book A Wingman. You don’t have to be stuck on February 2. It’s February 3 over here.