Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely LOVE my dog.  So perhaps it is no surprise that while I was enjoying my Saturday cup of coffee with Callie draped over my lap, I was inspired to write this post. Here are the top ten things my pet reinforces about marketing on a regular basis:

  1. ANTICIPATION  Let’s be honest.  Is there any other living thing on Earth that better exudes ANTICIPATION better than your family dog? The second the key goes into the door or the garage door opens –  without fail – there he or she is waiting at the door to greet you.  Your pet has been expecting you… anticipating your arrival.  As a marketer, this reminds me that building anticipation in your audience is a wonderful opportunity and one that needs to be followed through on. The worst possible mistake to make is getting your audience’s attention, building anticipation in the minds of you customers, and then not following
  2. DISCIPLINE  Marketing initiatives and strategies are not going to work if there is no discipline around execution.  Using social media as a tool to further a content marketing strategy is a perfect example.  Posting haphazardly without any rhyme or reason to what your posting or when WON’T yield the results you’re looking for.  Instead, having a plan with goals, a schedule for organizing / scheduling posts, and a method to measure results is in order. Being disciplined to act with intention is crucial and the key to sustained success.  I had to be disciplined when I was training Callie as a puppy; no giving up on structure because you are tired or busy with something else.  It will be worth the long-term  sustainable results.
  3. EXCITEMENT  Ummm…YEAH! Marketing should be exciting! All that good, fun, and enthusiastic energy I see in Callie when we’re playing Frisbee at the park or chasing her around the house…. THAT’S exactly the sort of energy I want to channel into my marketing efforts.  It’s pure. It’s fun. It’s raw.  There is no room for ho-hum, blah blah marketing. Don’t be boring unless you want your customers to be bored.
  4. CONSISTENCY  It is like the magical ingredient of marketing.  Doing something once has zero, I mean ZERO impact.  Doing something consistently whether it be delivering quality customer service every time, following a clearly defined email campaign schedule, or posting to social media – is what breeds success.  It’s the same magical ingredient when you are training your pets. Repetition and consistency – make sure you’re doing this.
  5. COMMITMENT  Any great marketing effort has committed people working to see it succeed.  The first attempt might not yield the results you were looking for, so you may have to adjust your strategy.  Some marketing campaigns have longer cycles than others.  And often times, new channels of marketing can take weeks if not months to really ramp up and impact the bottom line. Marketing is not for the lazy or flighty.  Be patient, be diligent, be committed.  Anyone who has a pet knows what a huge commitment it is… and how incredibly rewarding it is to be all in.
  6. MOTIVATION  When I am holding a treat in my hand, Callie would probably do ANYTHING in order to earn it.  She is highly motivated to do whatever it takes to get that reward.  Imagine if all of us worked with that much focused motivation!  We might come up with better ideas, be that much more creative in our approach, work that much harder to beat out our competition.  When I look in the face of my dog when she is that laser-focused, ready and willing – all I can think is how can I sustain that sort of motivation in my own efforts to reap the rewards I am so hungrily pursuing.
  7. LOYALTY  Dog person or not, I think we can all agree that dogs are the most loyal of animals.  As marketers and business owners, are you doing everything you can to encourage, inspire, and reinforce brand loyalty in your customers by taking care of their needs, providing them with the best products and services, being someone they can trust and rely on?  Loyalty is earned.  Some facet of your marketing efforts should be focused on building brand loyalty through how your brand is lived out through you, your employees, and the products and services you provide.  Amazon and Apple are two big brands I can think of off the top of my head that are SO AMAZING at this.  Take a page out of their book.
  8. brand loyaltyCOMPANIONSHIP  Stick with your audience and enjoy your relationship with them.  No matter how great your marketing is, your content, advertising, promotions – it all boils down to PEOPLE. Rather than talking at the proverbial “other” in your marketing, get engaged with your audience and customers. Participate in conversation and enjoy their company (especially online). Your customers are your business’s BEST FRIENDS, so never forget to treasure them.
  9. SIMPLICITY   Marketing messages shouldn’t be overly complicated.  Figure out what you are trying to accomplish and then just do it.  Over-thinking it can lead to confusing messages.  Be clear and be concise.  I have worked with businesses that want to say many different things through one piece of content. No. Keep it simple. Callie helps to remind me that keeping it simple and focused on needs will lead to happy outcomes.
  10. HONESTY  Unlike people, dogs can’t lie. The best application of marketing is when it is honest and genuine and doesn’t deceive to get what it wants. Be a source of truth for your business, product, or service.  It is simply the right thing to do.

What random, seemingly unrelated aspect of your life inspires you and makes you better in your profession?? I’d love to hear from you!