Marketing from the age of 1
I am getting a taste of push marketing from my 8 month old and 7 year old sons! Yes, my sons are practicing the art of marketing... Funny way to think about it but it's true. My youngest will jump up and down in his saucer when he is happy (providing me a message that says "I am happy right now"). Later he will perhaps change marketing messages and start to whine a bit, telling me to start getting that food lined up or else.
My 7 year old son also is practicing the art of marketing. He does have the advantage of fine tuning his message with actual words I can understand. They can be direct ("may I please have desert?") or subtle (he gets all his toys out on the floor to imply he is going to play right now even though he really should be putting things away). Other times he co-brands his message ("Mommy said I could have a snack").
My favorite youth marketing technique is the shout / scream method. This is when the original message is not well received so the message is modified and delivered in a high volume, sometimes over some distance ("DADDY.... DADDY..... CAN I GET MY TOYS OUT OF TOY JAIL??? DADDY!!!!" delivered from the top of the stairway) When that high volume shouting does not work the tone of the message is modified almost instantaneously ("I AM GETTING MAD IF YOU DON'T GET MY TOYS OUT OF TOY JAIL!!!"). Then the message is combined with some good old fashioned meeting time ("DADDY" as he stomps downstairs and grabs my hand and drags me over to the toy jail (top of the fridge for those that are interested) and then hangs on my hand while continuing verbal message "I WANT THAT TOY BACK!").
Now imagine what you are doing with your customers / potential customers and your messages. Are you shouting? Have you dragged your potential customers around by the hand and told them what to do? Are you saying please? Did you even offer the opportunity to ask why? Have you been doing this time and time again and getting so response? Have you felt ignored?
The best kid marketing tactics are when they come up and say things that are totally unsolicited, spontaneous, and in the end not really asking for anything but saying thank you ("Daddy, thanks for the Indiana Jones Lego set, I really love it..." ... "Will you play with me?") OK, they sometimes tack on a request that is sometimes hard to turn down :) So say "thank you" in a simple way to your future customers.
Some great starting points to learn:
- Chris Brogan "Five Tools I Use for Listening"
- Seth Godin "Useless marketing"
- Chris Penn "The Most Effective Marketing A Non-Profit Can Do Is Build The Database"