By Monica Paul
Once in our lives, we were all five-year-old , I’m sure we all began learning fundamental lessons and basic education that we still apply in our lives. Despite of what many may believe, the Kindergarten is a place where we learn much more than sharing and coloring; it is actually a formative period where we learn the fundamentals of our education, those rules that stick to us for the rest of our lives in terms of interaction and social development with others, and much more.
Most of these formative lessons become a comprehensive part of our daily life and regular behavior. This is great… in most cases. But fortunately five-years-old don’t have C-level marketing positions in the Fortune 500 companies; because there are three Kindergarten lessons that marketers should definitely ignore:
1. Play it Safe
“Don’t jump!” said the teacher. “You may fall down and hurt your knee.” Crying kids with hurt knees make it difficult for the teachers in a Kindergarten environment, so it’s no surprise that children are taught to play safe and avoid risks. Playing it safe might be one of the most influential lessons taught in Kindergarten, no one teaches us to live in a risks’ environment. But this lesson doesn’t apply when we work on a Marketing Business Plan where we have to learn to play “Controlled Risks”.
In Marketing we have to “Keep it Fresh” and have some spontaneity to succeed, we can’t post the same every single day in all media, we have to innovate and take risks; we also have to learn how to control the risk we take. For example, the “Los Angeles Kings” hockey team gained a massive amount of fans followers by showing some snark and attitude on Twitter. So there it is! Playing it safe is the best way to go nowhere. You can thank your Kindergarten teachers for a lot of things, but you may want to ignore their lessons when it comes to your Marketing Business Plan.
2. Don’t Look at Anyone Else Work
I once had a teacher who, when she caught you trying to look at others paper, would ask “Are you a dancer? Because you’ve got ‘jumping’ eyes.” She’d take your paper and send you out of the classroom.
When we, marketers, develop a business plan, we look at EVERYONE’S PAPERS. This is not cheating but analyzing our market, our competitors, their products and our target prospects. Additionally to the market and competitors analysis, the world has become an “open” forum and we must be always monitoring what is going on either with our products and the others products or ‘papers’ – I like the analogy 🙂 -. We are allowed to take ideas and answers that work, and like a school good cheater, we’d put them in our own words.
From all the ideas we get from looking at the others papers, we’d help ourselves to build up a better Marketing Business Plan, one that is effective and aggressive enough to defeat our opponents in this daily race. I got the idea for this article from a friend who is a kindergarten teacher, she told me what she was thinking about writing a short illustrated booklet to make children “follow the rules”.
3. Don’t Interrupt When Somebody Else is Talking
If you remember your Kindergarten school days, you recall that teachers used to ask students to raise their hand before speaking to avoid the classroom to become a chaos; all the kids would have their turn to speak. We all know how important this is in that environment, and keeping quiet while others are talking is a great rule for many social and business situations. However, it isn’t a good rule when engaging in social media. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are constantly shifting and changing. In just one week, the top trending topics on Twitter might go from a political decision to a pop star’s behavior on stage. To be successful you need to stay on top of your game and ALWAYS talk when others are talking or even before the others talk. You don’t have time to wait your turn.
The success of your marketing business plan depends on your ability to be always on the top and on the right time, specifically regarding the social media strategy hence these campaigns’ success depend on you being timely and in-the-moment. Oreo probably does it better than anyone else, and showed how important immediacy is with their Super Bowl ad homerun. “Be active when the conversation is active”.
When talking about developing a Marketing Business Plan, the rules comes to become literally the opposite of those you learned at the Kindergarten, this doesn’t mean you’d become less educated; this means you became an aggressive marketer who directs the efforts to reach the goals and of course the ROI and the income.