December is a time for reflection and planning. This year, as I thought about 2015 challenges and achievements, I realized that some of my top lessons—personal and professional—came from an unlikely source: my toddler.
My son is almost two and, in the past year, he has taught me how to be a better mom and a better marketer. Here are a few lessons I will be applying in 2016:
- Mind What You Say: Nothing has delighted my son more this year than learning to communicate about what he sees and feels. But, it’s come with some challenges. My husband and I never know what’s going to go “Toddler Viral” and be repeated anytime, anywhere. It’s a good reminder to spokespeople and leaders alike—we talk all day long, but you can’t always know what’s going to be remembered, shared or quoted. Words are powerful, and should be chosen carefully in all settings.
- Packaging is Critical: Most parents have spent big bucks on a new toy, only to find that their son or daughter was more interested in making a fort or a car out of the box. I learned this the hard way, during Easter, with the fake nest/grass below the treats (thanks Nana!). As a strategic communications professional, I spend a lot of time thinking about the best way to package a new idea, an insight or a new piece of data to get the attention of the target audience. Packaging can turn a smart idea into a can’t-be-ignored suggestion, or something that’s easy to mark-as-read and file away. You’ve got to get attention before you can win over hearts and minds.
- Don’t Get Comfortable: Toddlers are fickle beings. My son went through a period where we had to have green beans at every dinner or risk a full tantrum. Now he spits them out. Just when I think I have him figured out, he goes through a change or learns a new skill. I’d venture to say your clients or audiences are the same way. If you’re confident you know what your targets’ top issues are in 2016, or how they like to consume content, think again. Ask questions, gather data and propose new ideas to test theories. As we say at Bliss, don’t accept the status quo, be disruptive in your thinking.
What are your top marketing lessons from 2015?
Photo Credit: Keri Toomey