5 Marketing Lessons That Will Make You a Better Parent (and Vice Versa)
One of these days, I have big plans to write an eBook entitled “Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned From My Kids”… because in a lot of ways, that’s true. That’s why I love marketing so much– the same things that make you a better marketer make you better in every area of your life, parenting included. Here are a few marketing principles that can make things happier for you at home– or parenting principles that will make you a better marketer.
However you want to do read it works for me!
Humor Almost Always Works
Say you want your reluctant three year old to get dressed in a hurry. Which of these options do you think would work faster: 1) You scold, coerce and otherwise wrestle with them until the clothes get past the gauntlet of their kicking feet, or 2) You play with the clothes and joke around until they get the idea that getting dressed is a fun idea.
I’d venture to guess that #2 will get you out the door faster every time.
It’s the same way with marketing. We naturally resent the feeling of being “sold to,” so it’s an uphill battle for marketers unless you’re selling something as desirable as big bags of cash for a quarter… and why would you do that, anyway? That’s why more and more marketers are using humor in their commercials, ads, titles and even status updates. They know their humor will work in their favor because it serves the dual purpose of entertainment and conveying a sales message.
If you’re stumped at why your message isn’t getting across either at home or in business, you might want to consider adding a bit more humor to your strategy.
Be Nice First, Ask for Stuff Later
It’s remarkable how many people still don’t get how important this is.
If you want someone to do something for you, whether that “something” is tie their shoes or share your blog post, you have to first establish a relationship of trust. And don’t assume that your previous interactions with a person entitle you to do straight for the results you want, either. You have to lay the groundwork as close to “in the moment” as you can.
Say nice things. Give compliments. Give without asking for anything in return. You cannot skip this step if you want results.
Talk Benefits, Not Features
Sometimes we get really caught up in describing how awesome our stuff is– our product, our blog, our idea, or our desired activity… but we forget that nobody really cares.
All people care about is, “how is what you’re offering me going to make my life better?”
If you don’t know the answer to that question, it’s about time you figure it out, because it’s what’s going to make all the difference for you. If your kids or your customers don’t have a really good concept of how your proposal is going to somehow improve their situation, there’s a pretty good chance your request is going to fall on deaf ears (even if it’s a perfectly reasonable request and it’s obvious to YOU how great it would be if they listened).
Have a Clear Call to Action
I know, I know, I talk about the CTA all the time– but that’s because it’s SO important and SO effective! In keeping with the previous item, you have to make sure your customer/kid knows what exactly you expect them to do– not just why they should do it, but what/how they can get it done.
The more time I spend managing teams, whether it’s at the International Bloggers Association, at my freelancing company, or even back in college when I was president of my chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, the more I learn how important it is to really spell out for people what you expect them to do.
The fact is, we live in a really distracting world. We have a million things to do, pretty much all the time. So if you want YOUR “thing to do” to rise to the top of someone’s priority list, it has to be simple, clear and manageable as opposed to some abstract concept of what might get the result you want. For example, “clean your room” might not be as effective a request as “put your clothes in the basket by the time this song is over”. Do you see the distinction?
Similarly, “share this post” isn’t quite as effective as “comment on this post on Google plus” with an embedded post right there. You’re baby-stepping them through the process of giving you what you want, making it as convenient as you can for them, and you’ll get better results that way. I promise.
We Care About the Things We Create
Lastly, whether you’re a parent or a marketer (or both), it’s valuable to recognize how much more willing we are to share and engage with things we create ourselves, versus things that have been created for us. A child is more likely to eat vegetables if he or she helped to grow them or at least prepare them.
Similarly, as marketers, we need to incorporate user-generated content into our strategy as much as we can. That means sharing posts written by OTHER people, not just our own.
I’ll admit, my ability to curate content for my followers on social media comes and goes based on how much free time I’m able to find, but I can still attest to how valuable this can be. Not only does it help build relationships with the people whose content you’re sharing, but it also shows your followers that you’re not all about #1– you’re generous and well read. You have good taste and you’re willing to share high quality posts with them.
When you share people’s content and/or mention them in your posts, they are much more inclined to share it with their followers. Think about how your content can draw attention to your audience, and that audience will often in turn draw their following to you.
We’re always marketing. All the time. Whether we know it or not, our words, our actions and even our tone of voice are creating in others an impression about who we are and what we are offering them. They’re making decisions about whether what we’re proposing is or is not a good idea. It’s up to us to do what it takes to convince them that it is.
Over to You
How have your personal relationships made you a better marketer (or vice versa?)