A wise person once said, “The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s a phrase that’s been used so many times, it’s hard to pinpoint who said it first.   Some say it was Einstein, others say it was Anthony Robbins or even Mark Twain. Whoever said it first probably noticed a pattern either he himself was doing or saw the pattern in someone else’s actions. In marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in a pattern of actions that, even though they seem different at first, wind up with the same or similar end results.

I’ve spoken about companies using different social media platforms to brand like crazy, yet finding little in the way of sales uplift.  Following what everybody else is doing is at times, my definition of insanity. Look at things from a different angle if you want to achieve different results. It’s a simple idea.

We had the opportunity to speak with several breweries across Canada.  It seems that directors or territory sales managers are pushing their marketing people to use more innovative ideas to push their swag (t-shirts, jackets and bags for example) to bring value back to the company.  Why aren’t marketers innovating enough?

Read more: You may like one of my latest blog posts Enough Fluff. – It’s time to sell and take it to the bank!

We instantly saw an overlooked opportunity that breweries could benefit from:  The humble coaster. Coasters are tabletop marketing at its best. – Capture the attention of someone who’s relaxing or waiting for food and drinks and has the time to read your marketing which is, by the way, right in front of him.  Instant entertainment. What about powering coasters with keywords to drive people to follow social media pages, register for a free t-shirt or enter a contest to win swag? Collect information about your customers with the simplicity of a coaster.

Doing something differently involves looking at what the others are doing, identifying what’s not working and making a change.  I think of Tim Ferriss, a widely popular author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. When he started his first sales job, out of college, he struggled massively to sell data storage to CEO’s and CTO’s.  The other sales reps weren’t performing that great either. He took a step back, observed and decided to experiment with doing the opposite of what the other sales reps did. The others placed their cold calls from 9am to 5pm.  Tim started calling from 7 to 8:30am and from 6 to 7:30pm, asked questions instead of pitching and read technical manuals to sound more like an engineer. Well, it worked. He ended up outselling his competitors and setting his career in motion.

The examples are out there. The ways to enhance your sales path is out there and possibly quicken your career path. You start by asking the question, “How can we do things differently?”