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What Freshly Cut Grass Can Teach Us About Business Development

Is Your Message for the Right Audience?

There is something about the smell of freshly cut grass. Most everyone but the most severe of allergy sufferers tends to revel in the sense it brings of spring and hope.

Scientists, however, now believe that the scent of springtime and summer afternoons is actually a chemical-based plant distress signal. German scientists, studying tobacco plant infestations, noticed that the plants released compounds to serve as a very specific call for help.

According to Science magazine, the journal in which the researchers published their study, “when the plants are attacked by tobacco hornworm caterpillars, the chemical compounds released by the plants were specifically modified to attract predatory bugs which prey on hornworm eggs and young larvae.” In other words, the tobacco plants did not merely release a distress signal, they released a very specific signal chemically engineered to attract the only audience that mattered.

If that doesn’t sound like your marketing and your message, you’re doing it wrong.

We live in a 24/7 cycle of pushed and promoted content. What CNN started with news, the combination of blogs, emails and social media have elevated with content.

Advice is everywhere. It’s incredibly hard to stand out.

That’s why it is important to listen to what we are being taught by that most patient of species – the plant.

Plants don’t care whether or not you are able to perceive their distress signals. You don’t matter to them; you are not their intended audience.

As more and more businesses place a priority on social media and building a platform, it is more important than ever to craft your message to attract your specific audience. Are you talking to CEOs or is the business owner’s CFO your better target audience? Do you need to reach the marketing director or will the IT team be the champions of your service or product?

It’s also important to choose the right channel.

Is Facebook right for you, or is your audience more likely to find you on Pinterest? Will your message resonate more with your market if you join the conversation on Twitter or will they instead tune into your own YouTube channel?

Your mission, before engaging a graphic designer, writing your first blog post, or spending one more day promoting your business on social media is to figure out the message to which your audience is most attuned – and where they’re most likely to be when you send it into the digital realm.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you care about marketing your business, the next time you cut your lawn or sit on the porch while your neighbor cuts his, don’t just smell the grass.

Listen to it.

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