"COUNTING SHEEP" IN TIMES SQUARE / Public Art 2011 - Times Square, Manhattan NYC - 03/04/11 (Photo credit: asterix611)
I don’t mean your neighbor’s barking dog. I mean when you are in bed and trying to fall sleep, but instead of counting sheep you count your business problems. We have all been there, and there is actually some good to it, since from time to time we wake up with a new insight, having let our subconscious do what it is paid to do.
I had heard someone from the National Speakers Association (It was over an hour ago so her name is lost forever in the increasingly foggy folds of my memory) mention “What keeps you up at night?” as one of the questions she asked her consulting clients, and I thought it was a good idea.
Fundamentally, every good marketing idea has but one purpose, which is to solve a problem. “What keeps you up at night?” is an unexpected, conversational and human approach to help discover what the problem might be. And when asked at the right time, will probably elicit more usable information than, “And please list the parameters of the situations that have manifold impact on the range of blah, blah, blah.”
Try it yourself. And think up other unexpected questions that you can pose to get a dialogue going, to help you get unexpected but surprisingly relevant answers.
You know, that just gave me an idea for a promotional mailing. Send out some OTC sleeping aids, with a note that says something to the effect of, “Business problems keeping you up at night? Take these, or call Porte advertising in the morning.” Is that really a good idea?