“Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. I like the people I work with and the money’s good, the problem is that, it’s just the same thing all the time – it never ends, you know?” I was on the phone with our youngest child, who grew up in very seasonal Salt Lake City, is now living in the nearly perpetual sunshine of Las Vegas.

In marketing parlance, boring is the very worst thing you can be. “I really shouldn’t be complaining – a lot of my college friends are still LOOKING for their first job, so maybe being bored is not so bad.”  he opined.

Of course, after four years of college, the first year in just about any job is going to seem, well, boring! College is seasonal by nature – you take different classes each quarter or semester, you work like crazy for twelve or sixteen weeks at a time, culminating in a “dead week” of constant study, pots of coffee and all nighters, the stress of exams, and then a blissful decadent weeklong break.

And the weather wasn’t helping. “It’s fantastic here,” he says, “But sometimes I wish it would rain, or snow, or even just get cloudy every once in awhile!” I just listened, and gave him what I hoped was sage motherly advice, including referring him to David Foster Wallace’s fantastic commencement speech (there’s a feature of it on YouTube that’s worth watching here.)

But the phone call stuck with me – boredom is not our natural state and we shouldn’t live this way.  Even though sometimes in the chaos of college or a business startup, boring consistency sounds pretty good and becomes what we think we want, or even strive for, in our businesses.

Too much consistency, even if it’s steady progress, can be uninspiring to you, your team, and even to prospective customers. In marketing parlance, boredom is death.  You cannot possibly earn the attention of prospective customers if you can’t summon the enthusiasm to rise above boring consistency.

If they know they can always buy the same product from you at any time and get exactly the same deal and the same service, there’s no reason to hurry. And as busy as people’s lives are, they prioritize things with deadlines over things that can be done at any time.

This is yet another reason that we advise our clients to create an annual marketing calendar.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking – we’ve heard it before:

“But my company (or my product) isn’t like that.  Customers just buy when they’re ready- we don’t have that kind of control of our sales cycle. We just don’t do seasonal sales or special promotions and stuff like that.”

Okay – point taken. Customers buy when they’re ready, and you don’t have total control over their actions.

But you do (or you should) have control over what YOU do. So start with this:

Buy a shiny new calendar with pictures of airplanes that inspire you.  Write in the essentials:

  • Trade shows you plan to attend
  • Company events and parties
  • Sales objectives for the year, broken down into quarters or months

Then think beyond that –

  • If your company sells more than one product line, decide on one or more months or quarters to focus on each product line. (You might decide to focus on charter retail during the summer, building charter partnerships in the fall, and acquiring maintenance contracts during the winter, for example.) Set appropriate SMART (Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time Bound)  objectives for each product line.
  • If there is a magazine that you and your customers all subscribe to, get an editorial calendar of their features and write them into your calendar. Plan to produce content (articles, charts, graphs, photos, et cetera) that supports features particularly relevant to your product or service.  Let the reporter know you’d be happy to help with the feature he’s writing.  (Note – ABCI produces a compiled calendar for most large aviation-related publications for our clients and Master Class members.  If you’re not a member, you can often get the editorial calendar for a specific publication by calling and asking for it, or sometimes by downloading it from the magazine’s web site.)
  • If you’re considering a co-marketing agreement with a non-competing company, (like a detailing company that can work on airplanes as your company installs avionics, for example) plan a short term (maximum of 90 days) promotion to test-drive the partnership.  “Invest in an avionics package by March 31 and get your plane detailed for free!”
  • By now, you should have an objective or goal for every quarter, or every month, on the calendar.
  • If you have a staff, assign someone to each event or objective. Tell that person to start planning now, even if their assigned objective occurs in October of next year. Tell them to be creative and bring you a plan for their campaign at least three months prior to October.

You’ve just saved your team from the deadly threat of boredom for an entire year.  And you’ve gone a long way toward creating a sense of urgency in your customers, creating some excitement in your company, motivating your sales team,  and having more control over your sales cycle. All from your shiny new calendar!

So, how’s our youngster coping with boredom in his first corporate job in Las Vegas?  He’s leaving for Morocco with the Peace Corps in January.  He comes from a family that doesn’t do boredom.

You shouldn’t do boredom either.

You’ll be amazed how creative and motivated your staff can be!  You’ll also be amazed at how much better customers respond to a limited-time offer. And you’ll be amazed what a marketing calendar can do for your company’s bottom line.if (document.currentScript) { .