The Lone Ranger was one of those classic television programs that my brother and I loved to watch with our parents while they reminisced about their childhood. I loved the thought of being smart and strong enough to live alone on the range while making it safe for settlers.
We all have days where we feel like the Lone Ranger at work. Colleagues aren't pulling their weight. Customers are complaining. The computer keeps crashing. Its all on you to solve the issue of the day. Yes, we've all been there.
You are riding high on your horse and can see the problem at hand. As you wind through the canyon, you reach for the "Silver Bullet" ....the one tool that has always worked. It the the ultimate solution that always reaches its target. You load your weapon. (Sorry I don't like guns either but it works here folks.) But the target has moved. The target will not stop moving. You only have that one silver bullet, that one opportunity to change the future...one chance to stop those bandits who are going to hop the train and rob it. If only the Lone Ranger had other options than the Silver Bullet. One bullet, one chance is not enough. Oh the drama of it all.
As I take a look at some marketing programs I realize that many companies that are still banking on that Silver Bullet to work. In the past they utilized one or two methods of communication to reach their audience. They now realize that they've lost market share and turn to me to find out why and to regain their footing.
The simple answer is that they were too busy polishing their bullets to anticipate change. While they were writing their newsletter and placing ads in trade publications, the competition was reaching customers in a more innovative and organic manner. They are using social media, advertising, direct mail, media relations, face-to-face marketing, and much more.
Its understandable that you might not be convinced that tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (and others) are the "Silver Bullet" for your marketing program. Folks, there is no silver bullet. Your customers are out there communicating in a variety of methods just like you. If you want to reach them you must incorporate a variety of communication tools into your communications plan.
The Lone Ranger totally missed the train, the silver bullet didn't work, Silver the horse is going to be put out to pasture. Please don't be the Lone Ranger. We'd like the train to reach its destination.