Bananadrama – why the steps to success in marketing have to be taken carefully

In the mid-19th century, a man named Carl B. Frank began importing Panamanian bananas to New York City. The fruit quickly became a popular street food throughout America, but the surge in urban migration and lack of sanitation regulation posed a major problem in cities.

People often tossed their garbage into the streets, leading to a general foul stench and public waste buildup. A fresh banana peel might seem non-threatening, but a rotting banana peel was a slime-covered booby trap.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, slipping on a banana peel has been a fixture in physical comedy. The slipping-and-falling gag is widely accepted to have originated on the Vaudeville stage.

Mental Floss

There are many metaphorical banana skins littering the path to successful digital marketing.

  • the 1-star rating from a prospect or patient who feels aggrieved;
  • the snarky comment on your Page from an envious stranger;
  • the mythology that “none of our patients are on the internet”;
  • the reluctance shown by some team members who “didn’t come into dentistry to take selfies”.

Although the use of social media channels to promote your business has crossed the gap from innovation to early adoption in mainstream marketing, even my best clients hit those slime covered booby traps from time to time.

The questions raised:

  • are you prepared to accept the risk of slipping every now and then?
  • are you ready to answer a genuine reviewer’s grievances with thanks for the feedback and a commitment to learn and grow?
  • are you ready to deal with the occasional socio-mediapath who may come your way?
  • are you ready for the long haul of overcoming objections and engaging your team in the internal marketing opportunity that social media creates?

As I keep on saying:

  • Digital advertising (Google and Facebook ads) requires EXPENSE.
  • Social media marketing requires EFFORT.

Either way round, there are banana skins littering the pathway and you have to watch where you are walking very carefully.

If you do slip and fall, it’s not the end of the world. A few bruised knees and sore backsides are part of your learning curve.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.