While I do love working in the AEC industry, there isn’t anything I love more than my family. I’m the father of two little ones, both under five years old, and they keep our house buzzing. My wife and I are constantly trying to figure out creative ways to get them to listen to us, stay out of harm’s way, stop picking on each other, etc. One thing we’ve learned in our time as parents is that communication is EVERYTHING, not just what we say, but how we say it, when we say it and to whom.
Then the other night it dawned on me how similar marketing is to being a Dad (or Mom). Thus, the list of parenting, err…uh…marketing tips below was born. Enjoy!
Set a timer – Regardless of what activity we’re doing, with two kids we have to manage expectations. Part of that is communicating how long we’re going to do one activity before switching to the next. It seems simple, but without timing, marketing plans are no more than a to-do list that never has to get done.
Use words they can understand – There are all kinds of grown-up words for going to the bathroom, but when I need my kids to go, I say “go potty” and it works. Be direct with your client communications and use words they would use themselves.
Be consistent – Pretty self-explanatory, but difficult for both parents and marketers. Marketing shouldn’t only happen every once in a while. It’s a constant and your success depends on repetition and consistency.
Be creative – Doing the same things every day is boring. Kids and clients both will tune you out if you say the same thing in the same way day after day, month after month.
Contingency plan – Things don’t always go as planned…actually, they rarely do. For kids, you might need a change of clothes half-way through the day, for your marketing efforts, you’ll probably need a change in focus half-way through the year.
Capture (and share) the memories – I’ve never been a “picture” person until I had kids, now I can’t get enough. When it comes to marketing, the memories are really about the success stories and the metrics. Capture them, enjoy them and share them with the rest of your team.
Now…if anybody has any marketing-related advice that applies to me getting my kids to actually go to sleep, that would be great!