Last week my wife and I sat at the dinner table with my 5 year old daughter. We were talking about young family members and what they wanted to do for their careers. My daughter sat quietly, listening intently about life ambitions of one of her cousins. I ask her, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I was expecting veterinarian. It wouldn’t be the first time she said it, but I decided to see if that changed. I could see her little eyes darting back and forth as she pondered best what she wanted and responded.
I want to do what you do, Daddy.
How do I explain marketing to a 5 year old child? There is a lot in digital marketing that I do. Most of what I do is help businesses be successful in reaching their goals and customers. So I asked, “Why do you want to do what I do?”
It looks fun.
You can’t expect a more honest answer than that. When I pressed a little further, she only said, “You work on the computer.”
Describing Marketing to My Daughter
My daughter is vibrant and full of life, and one of her favorite things to do is tell stories. She loves to share a story, happy or sad, to get your undivided attention. I saw an opportunity. So I used her storytelling as an example.
“Do you know how you like to tell me stories to make me laugh?”
“Marketing is a lot like that. You tell me a story to get me excited, happy, or sad. You make me want to hear the whole story. In a way, you’re already a marketer!”
There is a lot more to our profession than stories, but engaging customers where they are or in those moments of truth that get them to act plays a big part. Even in digital marketing.
Addressing the Bigger Picture
When visiting our children’s classrooms, let’s use stories and visuals to show students what marketers do. And more importantly, let’s demonstrate the impact of our work. – Dennis Shiao
Dennis Shiao’s story teaching personal branding to high school students and how we need to teach kids about marketing really brought everything full circle. Talk about timing! There’s a fog around marketing. Is marketing the same as promotion? Is it only about “tricking” people into doing something?
No and no. Marketing is rapidly changing. The best marketing is personal. The best marketing makes you feel compelled because you believe in what is being shared.
Coca Cola’s recent “Share a Coke” campaign is an excellent example. While proving direct sales as a result is difficult, but social networks and blogs were afizz because people were sharing digital bottles of coke with friends. People were excited! I am betting even though that famous red label wasn’t within reach, taste buds were screaming for that familiar taste.
Note: I’m now thirsty.
Share ways you can explain your profession to kids – even if it’s not marketing!