Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Old School. Will they learn?

While not specifically related to Cybercise, I received a random gift in the mail this week. This gift makes zero sense to me. None. I began to wonder about the death of the "old standard" companies. Are they dying because they just don't get it?

In my mailbox was a 5x5 inch box. Inside the box was a tin can with a screen print of Baltimore, Maryland. The can contained a single postcard with two messages: thanking me for being a loyal Baltimore Sun subscriber (I am not a subscriber, by the way) and asking me to fill out the postcard and return it by mail to become a subscriber. Huh?

Let us make a list of what is wrong with this marketing approach:
  1. It was silly to include two mutually exclusive statements on one piece of paper.
  2. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this tin can. Pennies? Paperclips?
  3. What a environmentally wasteful "gift." My first reaction was shock at the Baltimore Sun's total disregard for the environment. They killed trees to create the box and postcard, spent money (they don't have) on the can, packaging and postage costs to get it to me, wasted the resources of the postal service getting it here and used unknown quantities of fossil fuels making all of this happen.
  4. Who would actually subscribe for the paper based on this random tin can?

As we consider life in the "new world" and how products and goods are sold, shouldn't we take a step back and consider the larger picture? Let's create new things that are both good for our businesses and contribute to the greater good.

Cybercise does some of this. We're a virtual workforce so our team doesn't waste time and energy commuting to an office to sit in a cubicle with a computer all day. When we want to get together face-to-face, we meet for lunch. Both fun and productive! And, the very nature of our business helps our members save money. For less money than a bricks-and-mortar gym membership, we deliver gym quality workouts directly to our members' computers. They don't have to take the time or spend the gas money getting to the old school gym. That commute time can be used for more exercise. What a concept!

I think a challenge for each of us as individuals and all of us as business owners and employees is to look at the larger picture and think about the greater good. What do you think? Can we make 2010 the year we only do things that actually make sense? Or is that too much to ask?

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