At Callimedia we’re a fan of adaptation, and this week has been no exception. Trevor, our General Manager, has been involved in a literal game of cat and mouse.
Our offices are in a beautiful part of the world on the Essex/Suffolk border, close to the river Stour, where John Constable painted the Haywain, and being rural we are sometimes subject to the odd animal visitor.
Recently we’ve had a regular little mouse visiting us, using our toilet rolls stores for bedding and, before we got wise, enjoying the odd Marks and Spencer cookie. While we love to have people visit us, not everyone is a fan of mice and it’s not the most hygienic of situations, so we purchased a small humane trap to encourage him to go back outside.
During this process we realised there’s no real difference in catching a mouse as there is to attracting clients to your brand:
We’ve all seen Tom and Jerry, so we unanimously felt that cheese was the obvious choice. We diligently placed some in the humane trap, and then waited with baited breath (pun slightly intended), Trevor faithfully checking each morning. On the second morning the trap was still empty, including now however also being empty of cheese, so our wily mouse was clearly cleverer than we bargained for
The outcome being that while we attracted the mouse, we didn’t get to know who the mouse was, so we needed to think a little deeper and really engage with his needs and desires.
Not one to be so easily thwarted (after all, we’re known for problem solving), we came up with the idea of a food somewhat less portable than cheese in order to keep the mouse in situ – and what would work better than delicious, sticky peanut butter? This did indeed prove far more successful at “engaging & acquiring”” the mouse on the first day, and to a collective cheer we successfully released him into the wild the following morning.
Our flaw here, was that we didn’t tag the mouse, we just let him go, but we had no way of knowing if the same mouse would come back.
However, Mr Mouse decided that our office was simply too good to miss, and returned only a day later. While we normally love customer retention, it’s not the best plan for when you have a mouse in the house.
Because we didn’t track or tag him, we weren’t 100% sure if it was the same mouse, or if it was one of his little friends.
Peanut butter once again proved a good bait (the offer was indeed attractive), and we released Mr Mouse back into the wild, just a little further away this time. Now we’re looking at how we can stop him getting gaining entry in the first place so searching for mouse shaped holes and access points, because we’ve had to repeat this process 3 times. We eventually tagged the mouse so then we could see if it was the same one.
The lesson of the story is, a lot like effective strategic marketing & direct mail strategies, know your audience, test different approaches and stick with what works in order to drive loyalty and retention – just focus on people (not mice). Make sure you know who they are, and that you take the time to get to know them, and understand if it’s the same ones coming back.