Marcello Pizzeria was the place.
April 20th was the date.
Noon was the time.
My guest? Anonymous.
In hindsight, I did not arrange this luncheon to be secretive, clandestine or remotely mysterious. It was simply an opportunity for me to enjoy a first meeting with a highly regarded marketing maven. In some circles they call it networking. Critics may call it schmoozing. Detractors may call it glad-handing. Blah…blah…blah.
Perhaps below the surface of my sincere outer shell was the hope of establishing a newfound connection with this influencer of influencers. Indeed I am sure a daydream or two was played out on the HD brain screen called my imagination, which resulted in me triumphantly securing a major new business partnership. A session at the local confessional may have me admitting to desiring to impress this impresario so that I may be considered worthy of being a perceived member of his professional circle.
There is no harm in dreaming…but the itinerary was a very simple – and sincere – meet and greet. No need to read between these lines, I have not hidden any agenda in there. My expectations were along the lines of hoping for some pleasant conversation, a couple of laughs and maybe an insight, tidbit or tip about his perspectives on marketing.
Never did I expect to exit the restaurant filled not only with the ingredients that topped my Naples-style thin crust pizza, but also with an epiphany of epiphanies. In fact, I felt like a bit of an intellectual shoplifter…a term I use only due to the lack of a pithy version of “dine and dasher.”
Despite doing what I do for the past 72 years, I finally understood the secret to measurement of sponsorship and experiential marketing ROI. Yes, between bites and pleasantries, I managed to keep my lips sealed long enough to hear the gospel. It almost slipped past me like the last taxi on a rainy night. I almost swallowed it by accident with the porcini on my pizza. In hindsight, it all seems so simple.
We are in the business of changing behaviour.
Not generating Facebook likes. Nor earned media impressions. Nor pithy quotes allegedly from event goers.
Did we change behaviour?
So thanks to my unknown, newfound friend (not of the FB kind! I don’t even know if we are LinkedIn…who gives a Tweet?!) Let’s try again…so thanks to my newfound friend, my current clients will start to receive CBA’s (Changing Behaviour Analysis) on every completed project; my new prospective clients will receive BBR’s (Building Behaviour Recommendations) from us during the pitch; my partnership clients will revive BAO (Behaviour Altering Opportunity) proposals from my team; and my consulting clients will receive SBI (Strategic Behaviour Indexing) reports.
So now go ahead. Use this magic elixir on your own work. But behave yourself.