Never Underestimate the power of Treats...
It’s Mother’s Day today and for most of us, a time to think about our mom’s and the influence they’ve had on our lives (and then to call them and say thanks). This Mother’s Day, I’ve extended this thinking to all of the awesome moms I know out there and have found that the lessons they’ve taught me on motherhood can be applied to our marketing approaches as well – from high expectation and commitment to the power of treats.
Lesson #1: It’s ok to have high expectations
From my own mom I’ve learned that it’s ok to have high expectations – of yourself and of others. And that if you communicate those expectations in the right way, most people will rise to the occasion to prove you right. My mom is the ultimate “truth to power” communicator. She was (and still is) clear and concise in her expectations of us, when giving feedback and especially when she feels we can give more. She understands that words have power and is not afraid to “own her words”, especially when helping us to strive for more.
The marketing lesson? Choose your words wisely – and own them with pride – especially when it comes to key messages for your brand. And in doing so, don’t be afraid to have high expectations – for yourself and your brand.
Lesson #2: Be committed and show up
My sister has taught me that loyalty is a critical character trait for success in life and business. Whether she was standing up for me in the school yard or staying committed in the face of adversity, she always “shows up” to the meeting, the hockey game or the family reunion. She has an amazing ability to see through to the other side and know the role she can play to help people stay focused to achieve it.
The marketing lesson? Don’t get caught up in shiny and new. Stay committed to your campaigns, your content. In this world of short term wins, content is a long term game, and so is your relationship with your customers.
Lesson #3: Try to have an edge
My friend Nora is like a superhero. She’s a kick ass digital business leader by day, and a rock star mom by night. Whether it’s taking her kids to rock concerts, making sure they know about Bowie’s impact on music, culture and individuality or pulling off a bold red lip at her business meeting, she’s got just the right amount of edge to keep you on your toes.
The marketing lesson? It’s good to have an edge. Know what your position is in the marketplace and know what edges you need to keep sharp in order to continue to own it. Without it you’ll find your organization will flounder.
Lesson #4: Don’t be afraid to look good
My business partner is not only one of the smartest women I know, she has killer style. Everytime I see her she is put together with confidence – the kind of style that doesn’t even look like she’s really trying. I’ve seen firsthand the impact this visual cue has in conversations, meetings and presentations; it gives her already powerful words more weight.
The marketing lesson? Don’t be afraid to look good and invest in good design to help communicate your message – both the obvious and subtle ones. From email campaigns to websites to presentations and collateral. Good design is accessible, there is NO excuse.
Lesson #5: Patience and empathy are unsung heroes
I swear I have never seen my sister in law lose it with her kids. As a mother of 3 myself, I find this amazing. Her emotional intelligence is off the charts and her ability to read and respond – quickly and with grace and patience – is an enviable trait. She uses this handy red/yellow/green/blue chart to help her and her kids understand the zones they are in and self-regulate to (mostly) avoid blow ups.
The marketing lesson? Have patience and take time to build customer personas that work to understand the situation your customers find themselves in. During the sales process, work to consider what other feelings/pressures your customers might be bringing into their purchase decision (even if they’re not aware) and try to respond with empathy. Above all, keep your persona process dynamic so as things change (next normal anyone?), your brand can pivot and remain agile.
Lesson #6: Never underestimate the power of treats
Maybe it was a sneaky way to get us kids to come over for a visit, but whenever I went to my Grandma’s, she had a tupperware container full of chocolate bars – and not the halloween size. I always loved visiting my Grandma – she was patient, funny and always willing to play games. But knowing I’d get a chocolate bar too? Icing on the cake of an already great relationship.
The marketing lesson? Think about your customer experience. Think about who your customers are and what they value and work it into their experience with your brand. Whether it’s in the finishing touches of the package they receive on delivery, or the environment you create during your initial consultation, what things can you do to elevate your customer experience?
Happy Mother’s Day
I know there are plenty more amazing mother’s out there who I’ve missed – mothers who are raising resilient kids, running organizations, handling households and generally kicking some serious butt – and that means there are plenty more marketing lessons out there.
To all of you I haven’t mentioned and all of the others I haven’t met yet…..Happy Mother’s Day. You all rock.
What lessons have you learned from the mother’s you know?