In the shadow of Mother's Day, I got to thinking about the many lessons I've learned from my mother and which ones could be applied to marketing, and I realized that, hey, there are quite a few!

Marketing Lessons From Your Mom

1. Share! Okay, so mom was probably referring to things like toys -- not content -- but isn't it coincidental that the concept of sharing was probably one of the first things your mom taught you and also one of the most important parts of inbound marketing? Successful business marketers understand that sharing -- particularly content sharing -- is an extremely important part of inbound marketing . Their moms would be proud.

2. Plan ahead. I don't know about yours, but my mom was never a huge proponent of procrastination. In most situations, she taught me it was a good idea to come up with a plan of attack. Same goes for marketers. Likely, you have some goals to accomplish, whether they be in terms of traffic, leads, or even customers. While some spontaneity can make sense from time to time, your modern marketing team should always be planning ahead, whether it be in terms of a content strategy, an events schedule, or other marketing programs and initiatives.

3. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. The Golden Rule needn't only apply to your elementary school years. In the world of marketing, businesses should treat prospects the way they'd prefer to be treated. Be mindful of how your audience would respond to your marketing tactics, and ask yourself, if I were the one being marketed to , is this how I'd like to be treated?

4. Stay in touch. When you got older, you went off to college or moved into your own place to start your first job, leaving good ole mom behind. One of her few requests was likely that you keep in touch. Just like you wouldn't ignore your mom, don't ignore your community, whether it be prospects, customers, fans, or followers. Stay connected with your target audiences by frequently engaging with them via social media , email , or events.

5. Have an open mind, and don’t be afraid to try new things. When your mom said this, she was likely referring to those green veggies you were pushing around your plate, but even some of the most innovative marketers are the ones who aren't afraid to experiment with new marketing techniques and channels. Don't shy away from trying out new marketing trends ; just be sure to do your research first, and take caution. Then evaluate your results, and make smart decisions about whether to stick with that marketing channel or focus on something else.

6. Stay up-to-date with current events. My mom always encouraged me to stay up-to-date with the news, and it's no different in marketing. Read news about your industry so you can stay on top of trends and developments. Understanding what's currently happening in your industry will make you a more intelligent marketer, and it might also even inspire some topic ideas for content creation. Make it easy to stay on top of industry news by subscribing to relevant industry blogs or news sites.

7. Tell the truth. Lying is another thing that has never been tolerated by my mom, and it won't get you very far as a marketer either. Particularly in this increasingly online world, transparency is key for businesses. Lies don't last long on the internet, and marketers who deceive their prospects and customers won't exactly get a reputation as the most trustworthy brand around.

8. Admit when you’re wrong, and say you’re sorry when you mess up. "We all make mistakes," said mom. Even in the business world, no one is perfect. Even though we have the best intentions, sooner or later, we might make a mistake. To successfully handle crises that arise, communicate! Admit that you're wrong, fix your mistake, and if an apology is necessary, make it. Likely, your audience will respect your recognition of the error and will be more likely to forgive your mistake if you approach it head-on.

9. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. You fell off your bike, but mom encouraged you to brush the dust off your pants, get back on, and try again. Similarly, there will be months when your marketing programs just aren't performing the way you want them to, and your goals seem impossible to achieve. Maybe you experimented with something new, and it failed miserably. Pick your head up, come up with a new plan, and try again. Your mom will love you for it... and so will your CMO.

What other life lessons has mom taught you that are applicable to marketing?

Photo Credit: Robert Morris

Originally published May 25, 2011 12:01:00 PM, updated June 10 2021


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