07/07

The Power of Just Because

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Spend enough time around any mature, successful industry – radio included – and you’ll find an environment that isn’t necessarily welcoming new ideas unless those new ideas are attached to a firm business plan.

On one hand, how can you blame folks for this? After all, shouldn’t everything we do at one stage or another add value to the consumer experience? And shouldn’t that value come back to us in the form of dollars?

Well, maybe not right away. And maybe not directly.

Revenue is usually an outcome of doing many things right, not any one thing right. And stuff that is valued just for the sheer pleasure of it may contribute to the company’s coffers several steps down the road.

This is why there’s a power to “just because.”

Should our brand do [blank]? Why? Just because.

Just because fans would enjoy it and it would further bind them to our brand.

Just because its fun and fresh and our fans come to us, in part, for what’s fun and fresh – not only for what’s selling and what’s sold.

Just because there are folks at your station with the will and the wherewithal to do it.

Just because what’s good for station morale is often good for audience morale, too.

Just because it will make you stand out from competitors who wouldn’t dream of summoning the nerve, the gumption, the time, the effort.

There’s an enterprise platform called Slack which features a helpful chat-based Slackbot:

…you can shape the way Slackbot responds to certain things you say to it within channels and private groups. For example, if you wanted to, you could set it up so that if you say, “Slackbot, do you love me?” it will respond, “Why, yes, I do.” This could be useful, or it could just be a way to provide a jolt during a long, difficult day.

For this and other reasons, users are in love with Slack. Does Slackbot need to have a ready response to amorous inquiries? No, it does not. But it can have one just because. Just because it’s another reason to love Slack, a platform not coincidentally valued at $2.8 billion after only two years.

We get so caught up in what we must do to maintain or grow profitability, we too often forget that consumers don’t care how profitable we are. They care only how excellent or exciting or entertaining or fun or useful we are. Profits are the cart, not the horse.

That’s why there’s so much power in “just because.”

So are you doing things only because they link directly to ROI?

Or are you making time also to do things “just because?”

Just because they’re fun to do and your audience will enjoy them.

Just because engagement follows desire, not the other way around.

Just because consumers will value your brand in direct proportion to the degree your brand is worth talking about to others.

Just because you can stand out from the crowd.

Just because clients will want to spend their money in the orbit of brands that matter to consumers’ lives, not simply brands that are good at being near the right meter at the right time.

Just because listeners fall in love with brands that do the unnecessary in addition to the essential.

So in that spirit, here’s a marketing lesson. Just because.

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