On a recent Israel Scaventure Blogger Hunt, I was reminded of a fascinating episode in the history of Jerusalem. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the entire Jewish community of Jerusalem resided within the Old City walls. Overcrowding and lack of hygiene was a serious problem, so philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore proposed building a new neighborhood outside the walls. When the community balked due to security concerns, Montefiore did not give up. He built the neighborhood, named it Mishkenot Shaananim (Homes of Peace), closed it off with gates and provided free rent to all families. The neighborhood was soon populated, and despite the very real security problems, it survived and flourished. Today, the area is one of the most picturesque – and safest – neighborhoods in the city.

Think Outside the Walls

Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, just as leaving protective walls for the great unknown requires a big leap of faith. But the greatest rewards lie at the end of the path less traveled, and this is as true in marketing as it is in real life.

People are always saying, “Think outside the box,” but few actually do so. This is because our box is comfortable and simple. We fall into the trap of looking at our business one specific way and marketing it exactly in that manner. We stifle creativity from staff by not really listening when they come up with new and interesting ideas or we forget to pay attention to what our customers are telling us. This is how we get into a rut and make our business sound boring and routine.

It’s time to move beyond those walls! Encourage your own and your staff’s creative thinking and listen to customers, employees and friends when they talk about your brand. Ask anyone and everyone what they think of your business and use this data to reimagine your marketing. Scope out the competition – and do something totally different. List all the things that make your business unique and find ways to let your customers know about these selling points. Write exciting content, mine the web for compelling images and use video to enhance your messages.

I promise you, you’ll never want to hide behind those walls again!

For more information on seeing Jerusalem via scavenger hunt, go to israelscaventures.com.


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