Six Marketing Truths Learned From Your Mother’s Mouth
Mama always knew what was really going on, didn’t she?
What is it about moms? They just innately know things, right?
How does a new mom know how to soothe her screaming newborn? Or stop her 2-year-old from having an epic tantrum about Snickers in the checkout line at Target? Or just know, without even looking, that the 10-year-old who vehemently claimed he flossed his teeth, really didn’t.
Mothers know everything. And they even know the essential truths about marketing (even though they’d deny it).
Here are the Six Integrated Marketing Truths
1. Don’t Get Smart With Me
I fully believe that everyone is good at something. And in my experience, if you’re an expert software developer, you’re probably not also an expert at getting people to buy your project management software.
The team that was hunched over for three years working out all the minute details of the product usually has difficulty explaining to a mom of two teenagers what the software does and why it will revolutionize her family’s life.
What runs around the expert’s head are the smarty pants, geek-level details of the product. But mom doesn’t care. What’s important to mom is if it’s safe for their kid to use and that it works with their phone.
Marketers know not to get too “smart” with their buyers.
If your buyers want to know about the software, don’t tell them it’s an omni-present, fully-integrated enterprise API with breakthrough UX using a high-level tech stack. Just tell them it’s something you quickly download to your phone so you can track your kids’ homework completion.
2. I’m Not Going to Tell You Again
You didn’t want to pick up that dirty sock. It was the second time she asked, but maybe she wouldn’t notice if you just slid out the door to go play without dealing with that sock. Yeah right. You got the exasperated ultimatum, “I’m not going to tell you again!”
So what does this have to do with marketing? Think of your buyers and repeat after me, “I’m not going to tell you again.” Sometimes we think that if we just give any and all buyers the same message over and over, that they will suddenly decide your product is right for them and make the purchase.
In reality, different things are important to different people. And what each buyer wants to know when they first hear about your product is very different from what they want to know when they are considering the product, which is still different from what is important to them right before they click to buy.
In marketing, your strategy shouldn’t be repetition—your strategy should include crafting individualized progressive messaging that is engaging to each segment of your pool of prospects.
3. If Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You Too?
Why doesn’t she just let me get those jeans? Everyone has them!
You remember that, right? You knew you weren’t getting those jeans as soon as she got out the first couple words of the dreaded “if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you, too?”
So annoying. She so doesn’t get it.
Actually, she did get it. She understood a lot more than you thought. Your mama didn’t want to raise a follower; she wanted to raise a leader.
She understood a lot more than she thought, too. She understood about marketing. In marketing, you hear so much about how the path to success is paved by following “best practices.”
But when you really think about best practices, it’s just high school all over again.
Everyone’s doing it. You think you should too.
If all 17,000 people at that conference on internet marketing followed the best practices they lectured about, how many of those would be on the first page of Google? On the second page, or the third?
There aren’t 17,000 spots on the first page of Google—there are ten. So when you think you want to follow best practices, remember: by doing what everyone else is doing, you’re jumping off the first page of Google and onto the 126th page.
4. Stop Fighting
If you had a sibling, you probably heard this one plenty of times. In business, you’re always going to have competition. And fighting with your brother or your competitor isn’t going to help you get the upper hand.
I’m not saying Coke has to be friends with Pepsi, but the clear winner is the one who uses fierce competition as an impetus to improve and innovate instead of getting distracted by fury.
5. Say Please
Why is it that every single time you asked for anything, your mother’s first response was always the instruction to “say please”? Even if you asked for that second cookie in a really sweet tone of voice, you got the same reply.
Your mother wanted to raise you right. She wanted you to be polite. But why? What is the merit in saying please? Why is being polite helpful in life?
Saying please shows you respect the other person.
Saying please helps you get what you want.
Whether you want a cookie or you want someone to buy your software, you have to approach the other with an attitude of respect.
Your mama didn’t owe you anything and neither do your prospects.
In marketing, your prospects don’t have to give you one bit of their time or attention. It’s on you to show them they have your respect.
Don’t assume that simply asking for the sale will make the sale. Ask for the sale—but also show the buyer that you respect them and the relationship is important to you.
6. If We All Work Together, It Will Only Take Five Minutes
Your mom never said that? Mine did—and we all rolled our eyes. All eleven of us.
The kitchen was a wreck. She was a great cook but she didn’t want to make dinner in a mess. She had the choice to do the cleaning herself and use up three hours of her time, or just ring the bell and have it done for her in no time.
Same thing in marketing—are you getting the word out about your product or service by trudging through and doing all the ads, video production, social media, and analytics by yourself? Or are you ringing the bell and getting it done at scale so you can get on with what you’re really good at and then sitting back and enjoying the ROI that comes with hiring a team of integrated marketing experts?
When you outsource your vision to a team of marketing experts, you have a huge team jumping into your project, expanding your vision, and diving through all the dirty details. When you ring that bell, you know your project will come back to you polished to a shine and in no time flat.
To Recap: Truth Is Truth
Mama loved you, she looked after you, and taught you epic truths.
The thing is, these truths aren’t just about how to run a happy home and raise noble citizens.
Truth is truth. No matter if you are a five-year-old trying to get away with bringing a pillowcase of Halloween candy to school or a business owner robbing from revenue to save profit by DIYing everything. The basic truths your mother nagged you about apply at any stage of the game—at home and at work.