Look At Marketing Through A Child’s Eyes

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If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you have no doubt seen ultrasound shots of our soon-to-arrive second daughter. This will make 3 for us and we plan for a fourth. The joy I feel about our next addition is something I cannot describe and only other parents would understand.

photo credit: apdk

photo credit: apdk


Since I am always a guy who has an entrepreneurial spirit, I have pondered the evolution of my industry through the eyes of my children. When my oldest son was born, I had already evolved from hi5 and received the coveted Facebook invitation. ┬áBut at that time, the world was more interested in Tom’s good ol’ MySpace. By the time my oldest daughter was born, I had migrated exclusively to Facebook. Early in my career, living in the print world, my main marketing focus was brand identity, brand consistency, and traditional methods to share that brand. As I have mentioned in a previous post, sometimes it could take weeks or months for a brand to create enough awareness to have true engagement and activity. The more I ran down the branding & marketing path in my career, I found myself living in the online world. I was (and still am) a sponge, soaking up every bit of information I can about how to engage potential clients and customers through SEO, SEM, social media and solid websites. As our next addition arrives in June, I see another shift in the marketing world with visual marketing, augmented reality, content creation, engaging activity online and many other online practices.

With so many new marketing avenues, ideas, solutions and best practices, it would be easy to remain stuck in ways that worked in the past. As we get older it’s easier to become comfortable or even rigid in our patterns and solutions finding. So from the perspective of new life, I submit some ways we can see marketing with a fresh perspective.

  • Never lose the wonder like in a child’s eyes. Mad Men worked 60 years ago, but today things are different. There are always new ideas and products being offered that can wonder and amaze. But being in awe doesn’t mean acceptance. The New Myspace is cool, but is it right for some marketing purposes? Maybe not, but it’s still pretty sweet.
  • Be flexible and adaptable. The moment that you lose the ability to change is when you might as well get out of the business. Some tried and true systems still work, SEO for example, but there are always new ones to try. Even SEO isn’t the be-all-end-all anymore and should be combined with social media activities.
  • Laugh a lot. Some things aren’t going to work. Sometimes it will cause major headaches, but most of the time it can be laughed off and the next solution can be tried. There isn’t a need to get stressed out, especially when there are so many possible solutions to solve problems out there.
  • Release your inner crayons and paint brushes. There comes a time in school when the crayons are replaced with pens and computers. Part of me laments the day when that happens to my kids, so we’ll always have coloring books and crayons at the ready. Sometimes the solutions aren’t found in pen and ink, but Neon Carrot and Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown.
  • It’s ok to get messy. Play. We have an immense sandbox to play in with all these cool toys. We don’t know what they’ll do unless we play with them, try them out, maybe even break a few. If you’re standing in your kitchen afterward all dirty and messy, it’s OK. You’ll clean up and you’ll have learned a lot.
  • Look up to the adults. There are people who are doing what you’re doing better than you. Find one, get mentored and grow.
  • Pass on your adventures to the next generation.

Marketing is a field that has the power to influence, for better or for worse. If we are able to maintain our ability to be in awe, in wonder and be inspired by what our industry is capable of, like a child…then… well… who knows what will be next.

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Jeff Howell

Jeff Howell

Principle, Jeff Howell Consulting at Jeff Howell Consulting
Jeff Howell is a sales and marketing professional based in Michigan He is principal of Jeff Howell Consulting, a marketing consulting and sales training agency. Jeff is a leader in integrated marketing and has developed successful marketing campaigns. Crazy coffee lover, Red Sox fanatic, and amazingly admits to being a fan of the Detroit Lions.
Jeff Howell

@JeffHowell76

Marketing & Sales professional. Seeing the bottom of my coffee cup frightens me. Innovator, Marketer...Sarcasimator? Proudly rocking the boat since 1976
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Comments

  1. Jeff,

    All great points! I especially like your mention of crayons, as I love to color.

    If we are not creative, marketing gets stale. Color. Even outside the lines (out of the box). Indeed, it's okay to get messy!! :)

    Thanks for sharing your insights,

    ~Keri

  2. completely agree with all of your points, Jeff! especially the laughter part :)
    I also think it's important to let kids foster their creativity – and for us adults to not tell them "no" too often. For example, at my Thanksgiving dinner this past year, there was a 4 year old who announced he wanted to hide under the turkey so that no one could see him. Everyone at the table immediately said "no, you can't do that." He wasn't going to literally do it, he just had an imagination (as most kids do) and wanted to disappear for a few seconds. Being a kid myself (I never truly grew up!) I immediately pretended that we were hiding under the turkey – like in the movie Hook (except we weren't eating the food – we were hiding under it). He had so much fun. Seeing things from a kid's perspective is often more exciting than the alternative :) thanks for reminding me of its importance!

    • Hi Jessica…
      Somewhere along the line of growing up, we get too serious about stuff or whatever. I have to remind myself constantly about laughing and its ok being a kid.
      Nice Hook reference… We should be more Peter Pan and less Rufio…

  3. Mallie Hart says:

    Love this:

    "Release your inner crayons and paint brushes. There comes a time in school when the crayons are replaced with pens and computers. Part of me laments the day when that happens to my kids, so we’ll always have coloring books and crayons at the ready. Sometimes the solutions aren’t found in pen and ink, but Neon Carrot and Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown".

    Absolutely my mentality, hello – I have characters!

  4. Gettysburg Gerry says:

    "Release your inner crayons and paint brushes." Best line ever…love that. I agree, that childlike innocence is so hard to reconnect with at times, and at the same time it is so important. I think you have a great theme here and I know I will be back from time to time to check it out to remember your message.

    • I wonder at which point in growing up we lose that innocence. Maybe the adults in high school drive it out? Maybe in college? Our first boss out of school? A combination of both? Or maybe we just have to start teaching our kids to be their own person, not let others force them into a mold and be innovative…
      Thanks for commenting, Gerry!

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