Why are You Doing What You Have Always Done?

Traditions – Why Are You Cutting off the Ends of the Ham?

A few years ago, I heard the story of a young girl who was watching her mother preparing a holiday meal. She watched as her mother cut off first one end of the ham and then the other and then place it into the large pot for roasting. The curious girl asked her mother why she was cutting off the ends of the ham, thinking there was a trick to cooking the ham that she enjoyed so much. She was surprised at her mother’s response: “I really don’t know why, honey, it is just the way my mother taught me to prepare the ham. It’s how we have always done it.”
By the time the rest of the family had arrived to celebrate and all of them had gathered for their traditional Christmas meal, the mother had forgotten about her daughter’s question. The young girl, however, was not satisfied with her mother’s answer. She looked across the table at her grandmother and asked, “Gramma, why do we cut the ends off the ham before we cook it?”
“What do you mean, dear?” her grandmother asked.
“Well, today when Mommy was cooking the ham, she told me she cut the ends off the ham because that’s how you always did it when she was growing up. I just wondered if that was the trick to making the ham taste so good.”
With a puzzled look, the grandmother turned to her own mother and asked, a little louder, the question that her granddaughter had just asked her. It seemed the child had asked a question that neither her mother nor grandmother could answer.
The great-grandmother looked at her great-granddaughter and smiled, remembering. “No, sweetheart, there is no trick. I always had to cut off the ends of the ham because that was the only way I could manage to get the ham to fit in my small pot! There is no reason to do that anymore, because the pots are much bigger today than they were when I was cooking Christmas dinner so many years ago.”

Traditional Marketing – Do you have Enough Business?

There is no denying that traditional marketing still plays an important part for local businesses today. Yet, whenever I ask local business owners the question, “Why aren’t you marketing your business online? Why don’t you have a website?” I am shocked at their naïve response: “I get all my business from referrals and word of mouth.”
I have to think they are like the woman who cuts off the ends of the ham because that is just how it has always been done. The only reason they aren’t getting more business today is because they aren’t online, where thousands of new customers are looking for them, but finding the competition!
If you are satisfied with the business you are getting, if you don’t need or want new customers, then, by all means, keep doing what you have always done! But if you want to take your business to the next level, to stop feeling the strains of the recession, you need to consider these statistics:
  • 80% of web users have watched a video ad online, 52% took action after viewing the ad. 15% visited the store and 12% made a purchase (The Yellow Pages)
  • 97% of Internet users in the US use the Internet to shop (NPD Group)
  • 81% of Internet users look for information online about a service or product they are thinking of buying. (Princeton Survey Research Associates, Intl)
  • 82% of people searching online follow up with in-store visits, phone calls, emails and purchases (comScore Networks and TMP Directional Marketing)
  • 54% of Americans have substituted the Internet for the phone book. (The Kelsey Group)

Chrissanne Long has a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing and is a co-founder of local Internet marketing company Marketing System Blueprints. Her passion is helping local businesses understand the importance of having and improving their online presence. Her company focuses on all elements of a business’s Internet marketing plan, to enhance their Search Engine Rankings (SEO) and Brand awareness across several platforms – Video, Mobile and Social Media.

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