As a marketer for 13 years, and a mom for 5, I have learned a lot by experience. Many of the same basic principles apply to both my titles, as Marketing Manager, and Mom.
1) Benchmarks Matter: As a parent, I want to make sure my young kids are developing at or above the same level as their peers, or at least know what areas we need to work on. As a marketer, I need to focus on results and compare the results with industry standards, past results, or objectives. How did our marketing campaign do and why? What did we learn and how can we improve?
2) Listen more than you Talk: Communication is essential, and sometimes we tend to tune our kids out. They may be asking for the same thing over and over, or trying to tell you something while you are focused on another task. Just like with our customers, kids are not going to talk to us just when it is convenient for us. All feedback is valuable, and when our customers speak up, we need to listen. Often all our customers are looking for is someone to listen to them, provide empathy, and do what we say we are going to do.
3) Focus on Education: Kids learn new things everyday and we encourage them to be independent, seek answers, and make their own decisions. How are you educating your customers about your products? Are you educating them on the benefits, providing them with helpful whitepapers, videos or articles on your blog? Our customers are seeking information that will help them make a wise buying decision. What educational resources can you provide to help them?
4) Use your Connections: Parenting forums, mommy blogs, and networking with friends can all provide insight or a different point of view into a challenge that you are having with your kids. Just like when we network with other marketing professionals, we learn new ways of approaching a problem and learn from each other’s experiences. As marketers, this is what makes networking – both online and in real life, priceless.
5) Rewards Help: Every kid likes to feel special, whether it is a new toy, a special outing, or a just encouragement at the right time. Your customers are no different: a well thought out promotional gift, VIP event, free resources on your website, or just simple recognition can help set your brand apart and make your customers think the world of you.
6) Attitude is Everything: It is amazing how a smile and sense of humor can neutralize a potentially bad situation. We all know that it’s true: a rough morning with the kids, a marketing campaign that did not produce, or having to deal with an irate customer or co-worker. Think positive, smile, and try to find a little humor in the situation. Then try again.
In both my roles as marketer and mama, I have enjoyed the ride. The day-to-day journey is equally as important as the long-term goals.
What other ways do you see marketing and parenting to be similar? What marketing principles or parenting values do you think are the most important?