When was the last time you flossed?
In B2B as in life, there’s a whole genre of pains-in-the-arse that nobody ever talks about: things that are really annoying but not quite annoying enough to actually force you to do anything about. This class of arse-pain needs a name. I hereby suggest ‘Plaque’.
Plaque clogs up your life, degrading its quality without ever actually demanding your full attention. Like barnacles on a hull, plaque slows you down but never stops you dead in the water.
A smashed windscreen is an emergency. A slightly cracked windscreen is plaque.
A gushing pipe is a call to action. A dripping tap is plaque.
Some people have a low plaque threshold and spring into action the moment something happens to make their toaster or doorknob or light switch sub-par. I happen to have a very high plaque threshold. I can ignore almost anything until it’s a genuine emergency — except I’m not really ignoring it at all, I’m registering it, logging it, making that tooth-suck sound about it and regretting the hell out of it. (I tell myself that this is because I ‘have a life’ but really it’s because I just can’t be arsed.) (Is an American allowed to use the word ‘arse’ twice in one blog post without some kind of UK tax kicking in?) (What about three times?).
Anyhoo: here’s where I segue towards some semblance of relevance for B2B marketers like you: every B2B marketing department suffers from an accumulation of plaque.
The About Us page on your website doesn’t reflect what you do any more. The last press release in the News section was dated 1987. The logo on the powerpoint template is WAY too intrusive. The list goes on and on. And, here’s why all this kind of matters: while no single bit of plaque will seriously undermine your performance or cripple your KPIs, Gartner estimates (or surely will one day estimate) that, taken together, accumulated plaque can suck away 10-20 hard-earned Brand Mojo points. Fact.
So here’s a Velocity Two-Step Action Plan™ for your own personal War Against Plaque:
1) Every time you notice a bit of plaque, write it down on a whiteboard, flip chart or wiki page for all to see.
2) On the 3rd Friday of every month, spend one hour removing plaque – you can call it Floss Friday if you really want to.
Are you with me? I hope so — because I visited your website recently and there are some howlers on there. No offense.
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by kate*