As I was talking to a colleague a few weeks ago about what we were doing for the April school break this year, it dawned on me that raising a human, is a lot like growing your marketing campaign. I know-they aren't technically the same as one is a person, the other an action/job role, BUT the basic steps still apply to both. Below you will see the different phases it takes to grow your marketing campaign-as compared to raising a baby.
1. The NEWBORN phase: as the word eludes-this is the phase where one just begins on their journey. Everything is NEW, exciting, sometimes scary and overwhelming. You prepare by reading books, and getting advice from anyone and everywhere. You might not sleep a lot. There will be good days and bad days, but if you can make it through this phase smoother sailing is ahead. This is the same with new marketing campaigns. They can be scary, and overwhelming. You might often listen to fellow business owners, and colleagues to get their guidance on what direction to go on to mitigate the chances of wasting time, money and ultimately failing. You too read books-lots and lots of marketing trends, case studies, and product overviews to find the best fit of systems for your business. You invest time and money and resources to set the fly wheel in motion, all the while hoping that these efforts WON'T keep you up at night with worry your business won't succeed.
2. The TODDLER phase: Ah, anyone who has children knows this time in their life is when we as parent's begin to question where they came from, how did they know that, where and why did they learn that, and how can I teach them better? It's the time where distractions can you buy you 15 minutes extra in the supermarket, OR they will simply break you (despite your best efforts to please them) and you'll have to simply just try again the next day. The second phase of marketing is just like #toddlerlife. You'll be working out your growing pains, learning what works, and what doesn't to keep your leads and prospects happy (candy and toy bribes MAY or MAY NOT work in marketing) You'll be learning what will make you grow BIG as a company, and what might hinder your brand and reputation in the long run. You start to learn the ways of the world and how to get "your way" through trial and error. The same applies to marketing-some campaigns will be home-runs, some won't, and for those you have an opportunity to learn WHY and WHERE the disconnect was so the next go around is better.
3. The TEENAGE phase: You are trucking along, loving this new little person who listens, is thoughtful, always wants to be with you-then BOOM. Teenagers emerge. They will either make this time really easy or really difficult for you as a parent. I'd like to think that as long as we have done our job as parents and laid a solid foundation for right/wrong and respect for everyone that those rules and handwork upfront will carry us through. This phase leaves children more independent, as well as offers an opportunity for meaningful engagement. So is true with your teenage phase of marketing. Your campaign has gone through some growth spurts, went from the ugly duckling to the swan, and is now the hot guy that everyone wants to go to prom with*. You begin to see leads come in fro your efforts the past months, and all of a sudden your pipeline starts to fill with good fit potential clients for your sales team to work with.
4. Finally, ADULTHOOD: As parent's this is your time to shine! You have done your job the past 25 years, and raised a person that can hold a job, do their work, and that you actually want to hang out with again! Your marketing too will be an adult if you have been doing it right. Your brand will become more notable, your taglines and jingle will be recognizable to people, and ultimately your marketing efforts will be on auto pilot for the most part. I say most part as you NEVER want to get too comfortable with anything-change is good for everyone, including your clients, so don't let your messaging get stale). Congratulations are in order, you have made it to marketing success heaven.
BONUS: once you have a second child you get to do it all over again! The same applies when you find a GREAT marketing formula. Just wash, rinse and repeat since you spent so many hours trying to get it right the first time; with minor tweaks you should get the desired results.
As I'm sure you can tell by now, this post was meant to be a bit tongue and cheek, however, the truth remains that creating, managing, and seeing success from your marketing campaigns takes lots of work. It is no small task to whip together a campaign; marketing is your life blood for new lead generation growth, and is super important in the overall survival of your company. If you need help figuring out where to start-LET'S TALK.
If you have ideas on being successful, or any fun parenting stories you see being applicable to marketing then please share your thoughts below.
*or girl-your choice for prom date :)