I recently became a father to a lovely girl. Her name is Jacquelyn and she is eight weeks old. From the moment Jacquelyn was born, my view of the world changed. No longer am I focussed on my own interests and needs. My number one concern is my baby girl’s well-being…and it will always be that way.
The first evidence of this change of philosophy was my appearance. In the first few weeks of Jacquelyn’s life I looked like a drifter…..unbathed, scruffy beard, often wearing the same clothes for three days. Next came contact with the outside world. I stopped sailing (temporarily), declined social invitations from friends, and even missed The Boss concert! However, these things did not matter in comparison to spending time with my daughter and fulfilling her needs.
Vicky and I thought we were prepared for parenthood. Although the pre-natal classes, ‘what to expect’ books, and advice from friends and family were helpful, when we got Jacquelyn home….well, it was pandemonium. Most of the common techniques used to soothe and settle babies simply did not apply for Jacquelyn. Through improvisation, we are finding out what helps her. And we have learnt that what may work for the general baby population, will not necessarily work for your unique baby.
So how do these fatherhood anecdotes relate to marketing? Here’s how:
Demonstrate empathy to truly understand someone
The best marketers show empathy. They can put themselves in the shoes of others and fully appreciate how that person might feel, think, and act. By putting aside my own biases and interests, I am able to take the time to better understand Jacquelyn’s needs, and thus, have a stronger relationship with her.
Use different techniques to engage different customers
Be creative and try new methods to reach those ‘difficult’ customers. Don’t give up because what worked for one group of customers is not working for another. Vicky and I have discovered that chanting like a Native American Indian whilst bouncing Jacquelyn in our arms is the best way to settle her when she is tired and grizzly. She loves it!
Focus on the things that truly make a difference
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Your job as a marketer is to increase sales and profits for your organisation. Everything you do should support this goal, otherwise it’s a distraction. Having a single-minded focus is one area of parenting that Vicky and I feel we have got right – we give Jacquelyn lots of love and attention. Aside from her basic needs for security and food, nothing else matters.