As many of you know, I just took some time off to have a baby.
So the past couple months have been a foggy stretch of exhaustion, elation, and general insanity as we figure out our family’s new normal with the help of 1 toddling terror of a 2-year-old and 1 colicky princess of an infant.
Since this was already such a relaxing exercise, we decided to move into a new house a few weeks after bringing our bundle home. (You know how parents who’ve done it say you should never, under any circumstances, move with a newborn? Listen to them.)
So yeah, I’ve been a little busy recently. Somewhat distracted. Occasionally overwhelmed. Some days, I barely remembered to eat. But somehow, all my kids’ essential needs were still met—especially those needs that also fell into the want category, the needs they won’t let me forget. Like a full tummy and fresh diapers for the newborn, and yummy meals and fun playtime for the 2-year-old.
Which got me to thinking, these kids sure have the power of persuasion nailed. Even with a completely preoccupied mom who’s oblivious to most everyone and everything, including herself, they still manage to get my attention whenever they want it.
Here are their 3 best tricks:
Mini Marketing Lesson #1: Be Bold
When it’s time to play dinosaurs, my 2-year-old closes himself into the pantry, gives us warning with a loud knock-knock, and then bursts back into the kitchen as a roaring tyrannosaurus. And when I say roaring, I mean ROARING.
If we were thinking of getting some work done or unpacking a box, well, think again. He enters that room with a bang, and Mom & Dad have no choice but to shriek and jump and run to his heart’s content.
Now, I doubt that the right move for your brand is dino roaring. But there’s a big chance that the absolute right move is to make a big a splash with your marketing—do something your customers and prospects can’t help but stop and notice. Think bold. Think daring. Like Google Doodles or Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning.
Mini Marketing Lesson #2: Be Relentless
If a baby’s got a poopy diaper and you miss the first squawk they send out to let you know, there’s no need to worry. They’ll repeat themselves. And they’ll get more and more persuasive with each cry.
Effective marketing follows the same pattern: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And don’t stop until they remember you. After all, it’ll take at least 7 impressions to truly engage a prospect, so don’t bother throwing out a single squak and resting on your laurels. Instead, choose your message and be relentless in communicating it on every relevant platform: website, blog, social, e-mail, materials, webinars, ads, events, you name it.
And while you’re at it, take a cue from my daughter’s very effective strategy of starting with a little noise and cranking up to a highly convincing screech within a few short minutes. In other words, tailor your marketing message differently as folks get closer to taking action: become increasingly informative, appealing, and even forceful as your prospect moves through the conversion funnel.
Mini Marketing Lesson #3: Be Targeted
When it’s time to take Buzz and Woody on a mission to infinity and beyond, Mommy’s usually too preoccupied to participate. So my very clever toddler has learned to put less and less effort into enticing me to action-figure playtime while I’m standing at the kitchen sink or loading the washing machine.
Instead, he’s quickly learned that I now spend 30% of my day sitting in the family room with a nursing baby. I am the ultimate captive audience. I can’t move. So inevitably, my one free hand now spends most every nursing minute with either Buzz or Woody in it.
Frankly, my son’s natural knack for targeting his game-time invitations impresses me. And his simple approach is right on: make sure your marketing hits your audience when they’re most open and least occupied. Again and again, I’ve seen a single, well-timed e-mail garner that much awaited closing phone call from a hot prospect, while an expensive ad on a noisy news site yields big piles of traffic that go nowhere in the end. So be smart. Don’t spend for the sake of flash alone. Get creative, look for the right time and place, and then make your move.