Last week, I chatted with a marketing colleague over lunch. I hadn’t seen her in a while so it was great to catch up and hear about her new job. For the most part, she’s quite happy and thankful to have good work (hey, let’s be honest…unemployment sucks). But there was one detail that just stuck with me over the past few days…probably because we all can relate. She works with someone suffering from mural dyslexia.
What’s mural dyslexia? It’s an unfortunate condition affecting 96.3% (give or take a few percentage points) of otherwise smart and capable individuals today. Sadly, it doesn’t discriminate based on whether you’re a manager in Austin, marketer in Atlanta, software developer in Silicon Valley, or jobseeker in New York. It’s a debilitating disorder that may contribute to loss of job, income, and reputation. Mural dyslexia, in plain English, is the inability to read the writing on the wall.
Here’s the situation that she gave to me: a fellow marketer at her company had developed a very strong lead generation program for his product division. Roughly three years of hard work in developing a product brand, a trade show presence, a webinar series, and a collateral storehouse was driving in several new leads per week. Sounds good, right? Who wouldn’t want scores of leads for their sales team? When I commented about all the sales he was undoubtedly responsible for generating, she gave me a look that said, “Silly rabbit, who mentioned anything about new sales?”
Turns out this strong lead generation program wasn’t driving sales because it was attracting the wrong types of people – primarily individuals with little to no intent of buying the product. If you’re like me, you’re probably asking, “Then, why the hell is this lead generation program still running in its present, non-sales-producing form?” Because of mural dyslexia.
I’d like to say the cure for mural dyslexia is a swift kick in the ass. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple (or cathartic). You’re asking someone to change the way they see the world and themselves, which is always an emotionally charged issue. You could also say strong management focus on results would greatly help and you wouldn’t be wrong.
What’s your prescription for dealing with mural dyslexia – your own or someone else’s case?
photo credit: Mr. T in DC (via Flickr)