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Is Your Marketing Planning Better than a 5 Year Old?

Listening to a 5 year old explain what he wants is both educational and humorous beyond words. The linkage between cause and effect in a five year old mind is one that should be retained for life. Sadly, we forget this simple skill set as we age and process more information. We, as parents and adults should continue to admire the tenacity, focus, and “sales pitch” that assaults us each time a child embarks on a personal agenda for a favorite toy, event, food, or to avoid taking the deadly bath and going to bed.

Marketing Strategy

Changing gears to marketing, we can learn many lessons from the process that a 5 year old goes through to execute “strategy”. The top three are consistency of message, follow through, and attention to detail. The 5 year old is deep in the process of developing lifelong communication skills and abilities surrounding getting what they want from others. He is driven, focused, and socially unfettered. Truly amazing! I for one, have fallen prey too many times to the ingenuity of my little task master and regularly pause in admiration.

Keep marketing messages simple

Think like a 5 year old when building marketing plans

Clear and Convincing Messages

In any marketing relationship a clear message that resonates with both speaker and audience is critical to success. The key components include simplicity, easy interpretation, relevancy, and expectations for response. The only way to achieve success is to keep everything consistent and set realistic expectations, abide by adequate measurements, and provide flexibility in the process. In the case of the 5 year old, he describes a desire for a toy, explains how good he will be in return (expectation), will only play with it when allowed, and still remains open to other toy selections (flexibility). He also includes benefits provided by not enduring his potential bad behavior. All in effort to justify his request and provide his parent with a way to better their lives and his. Quite a sales feat for a little person.

It’s ALL in the Details

As we age, we tend to muddy the waters and focus too much on what others might think, the critical steps in the process, and what is in it for everyone else. Take a lesson from our 5 year old guru and provide a simple yet compelling message to your audience and watch the positive results pour in. At the top of his game, the five year old is the role model for follow through and attention to detail. How many times have you had to extricate yourself from a thoughtless comment or “bad deal” because your little nemesis has “recorded” your earlier promise and won’t change his perception. Eventually, he will win or “cry trying.” Truly, keeping everything simple and direct creates a powerful and convincing argument regardless of position.

Taking Action

Review your last marketing campaign and decide if it delivered the goods or failed because of complexity and over-thinking. I have, and found results could have been better if I had listened to my inner 5 year old, simplified my message, and clearly understood my goal. Marketing can be as complex as you want to make it but focus on simplicity will give better results.

Here is a basic road map:

1. Develop your initiative within a budget and for a targeted audience

2. Define the “simple” message and expectations

3. Describe the process and evaluate feasibility and plausibility

4. Establish a series of tasks, milestones, and feedback mechanism(s)

5. Choose or create compelling graphics and key words for impact

6. Execute and prepare for change

Probably sounds like what many other marketers have said but the difference is in your mindset. All I ask is that you adopt the clarity and forcefulness of a 5 year old mind, uncluttered and focused, rather than continuing with status quo. Send your results as a private message to me.

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