Monday, June 7, 2010

Being a Marketer is Like Being a Parent

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 then 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 organizations like the MNAMA and social networking 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, 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.

Jackie Kaufenberg is the Marketing Manager for Altimate Medical Inc. in Morton, Minnesota. They manufacture standing frames for people who use wheelchairs and also have a blog for people with disabilities, and medical professionals. You can reach her via Twitter @jkaufenberg.
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Confessions of a Mom said...

Excellent article Jackie. Love it!

Sarah Manley said...

This is also a great "tutorial" for non-marketers to understand marketing objectives and why organizations need to avoid cutting marketing programs and personnel.

Sharon Fleming said...

What a great analogy, Jackie! I have been in marketing for over 15 years and have often felt like a mom on the job. I also think that actions speak louder than words, both with our clients, coworkers and children. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Sharon Fleming

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