Signals Crossed

Last year I flew more than 60,000 miles. That is a lot of miles and a
lot of airports. I do not wear socks most of the time and that includes when I
travel. So when I am waiting in the security line, I find myself standing on
the sides of my feet trying to put as little skin on the floor as possible
because I know I am not the only one who does not wear socks when they travel.

  © 2010 Burak

Now, I fly out of pretty sophisticated airports like JFK, LaGuardia, and
Newark and into equally sophisticated airports like Seattle, Chicago, and
Atlanta as well as smaller airports like Birmingham and New Orleans. The other
day, however, I flew out of Mobile, Ala.

Stand out

Do you know what Mobile Regional Airport has that none of these other
— arguably way more sophisticated or at least far more travelled —
airports has? Antimicrobial mats that prevent the spread of foot fungi. You get
to stand on them when you are waiting in the security line. How do I know? It
says it right on the mat. I began to rave about the Mobile Regional Airport. I
may have even texted people while I was waiting for my flight. I went so far as
to “like” them on their Facebook page even though I’ll probably
never fly in or out of “MO” (as we fans on the Facebook page like to
call it) ever again. The marketing point to this charming and heartwarming
story is … if you are not telling people about what you are doing for
them, even if it may be considered secondary, tertiary or not even relevant to
your core business, then you are missing an awesome marketing

Mixed messages

Ask yourself this question: Where do my patients, clients, customers,
employees, potential employees, referral sources and influencers hang out,
wait, congregate, stand around? Consider this questions both physically and
virtually. Waiting room? Fitting room? Facebook page? Bathroom? Outside the
back door? Outside the front door? What do they need to know about you that is
going to make them feel better or like you more while they are “standing
in line in security without their shoes and socks on?”

I’ll give you one more example. Ever been to a public restroom in a
park or zoo in a state that is trying to reduce its fresh water usage? If they
did not have signs in the bathroom telling you that they are using “grey
water” in the toilets in an effort to conserve water, you might think they
never cleaned the toilets and your bathroom experience might leave you angry
and/or disgusted. What a difference a sign can make. The Bronx Zoo is one of
those zoos.

An article on the American Association of Museums website sums up the
bathroom situation at the Bronx Zoo well.

“By the sinks, soap, waterless urinals and hand dryers, there are
signs that interpret the rest of the restroom — explaining how the water
from hand washing goes into the garden to water the plants,” authors
Jessica Bicknell and Sonal Bhatt stated in the article. “Playful wording
was used when discussing these topics: Water from this sink will be a
plant’s drink!”

So, what signs are you putting in your bathrooms?

For more information:

Elizabeth Mansfield

Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing
Solutions. She can be reached

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