Power of Focus


In the NFL, pundits are always looking forward; making predictions about what will happen in the next game. However, once the game happens the predictions are as lost to history as a duet by Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton.

The Seahawks held on for dear-life and won by a single point in Minnesota. Rather than look forward to next weekend, I decided to look back at the lead-up to the Seahawks-Vikings game. I came across an article where Doug Baldwin responds to the old saying, ‘practice makes perfect.’ Baldwin said, ‘Practice matters but it kind of switches at this point in the season…We’re more focused on being at the right spot at the right time.’ What struck me about that comment was the picture associated with it: Doug Baldwin, at the Seahawks’ indoor practice facility, making a one-handed catch.

One of the few highlights of the game for the Seahawks happened in the 3rd Quarter. The offense struggled all day where the frigid temperature hovered between -6° and -3°.  It was third down and ten and the Hawks need a spark on offense. Baldwin was in the right spot at the right time. He makes a leaping one-handed catch for a much needed first down.  Now that is what I call focus.


The Seahawks’ Hall of Fame Wide Receiver, Steve Largent, talked about what made him a great receiver. Was it his ‘good hands’, work ethic, or ability to run precise routes? Steve said what made him successful was the ability to narrow his focus.  He wouldn’t just keep his eye on the ball in order to make a catch. He would focus on the tip of the ball.  Now don’t get me wrong. Steve had great hands, an unbelievable work ethic, and is known as one of the best route-runners in the history of the game.  He did everything you would expect a successful wide receiver in the NFL to do. But what took him to the next level was the ability to narrow his focus on something so small, so simple – his competitors missed it, and he excelled because of it.

In marketing, it is easy to direct your attention to the big picture. TV, radio, billboard, and magazine campaigns can be effective if you want to reach a large audience.  But, there is only one medium where you have the opportunity to focus on speaking directly to one customer:  When a person takes the time to call your business.  That is the moment when you truly have the ear of your customer.  A carefully crafted program of advertising messages will speak right to them.  As a marketing vehicle, on-hold advertising is so small, so simple, and so inexpensive that many companies underestimate its importance.  But you get it. You are ready to put the power of focus to work for you and your customer.

Look at your overall marketing plan through the lens of your ideal customer who has just called you. They’re waiting on-hold right now and ready to do business with you.  This is not the time to reach a broad audience. The person you are trying to reach is in the right spot at the right time.  Now is the time to narrow your focus and take your customer experience to the next level.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee