A Lesson in Business Marketing from my Nan.

I come from a rich family up bringing and had the luxury of two very awesome but two very different Nans. One was the spoiling and loving type and the other from the school of manners, decorum and tough love (while still being very caring).

It is the later I want to talk to you about, my Nan Harper. My Nan was a tall, beautiful women holding all the airs and graces you’d expect from the era she was brought up in. With an English background she was strict and disciplined in her beliefs and in how to raise respectful and responsible children and grandchildren. On her softer side was a caring and gentle nature that let you know you were always loved. So, friendly but fair, and firm because she knows what’s best for you.

This story is not my own, it’s my fathers which I’ve heard relayed many times, although not until I was older did I begin to realise it’s significance.

Dad used to tell me when he was a child, in an effort to avoid going to church on Sundays he would deliberately lay in bed a little longer, in the hope that his mum might forget to wake him. But without fail, this never happened  (because Nan new what was best). So when the time came, Nan would come to Dad’s room and say come on Ian, up you hop it’s time to get ready for church.
With that dad would reply with you guessed it “Do I have too?”
Now here’s the lessons in marketing. Nan Harper, so I’m told would reply with these 6 simple words.
“No, but I’d like you to”

So what’s so special about that?
Well let me pull it apart for you. There are 3 lessons to be learnt here. And in a world where our marketing is becoming more digitized  and automated (which is great by the way), it is important to step back and review some of the fundamentals of business marketing and ensure there’s a human component as well.

Lesson 1 – Show Leadership
“Follow me, its happening with or with out you”.
So firstly, Nan simply led the way. If you are to review any of the great companies in our past and specifically those you resonate with their marketing messages the most, I’d suspect that they were (or still are), leaderful companies. Organisations pursuing a higher purpose or a more meaningful ‘Why’ (check out Simon Sinek’s now famous concept of the Golden Circle), than their main stream competitors. You see, when someone stands for a higher cause and is clear about their intent, great leadership happens. As consumers (or children in this example) we become almost compelled to follow.

Lesson 2 – Use Emotion
We all know the power of connection and engagement in a real sense and now in a digital sense we are constantly hearing about how we must drive better engagement and seek metrics out that tells exactly what our supposed ‘engagement level’ is through click through rates (CTR) and the like. Well here we see how Nan gave herself the best chance of engagement by making it personal. By leveraging off her existing relationship (Mother), she used the words “I would like you…”.  ‘I’ leveraged off her existing relationship. ‘would like’ evoked the emotional outcome Dad would get to experience and be a part of if he were to act. ‘…you to’, made it personal. All this brings us back to sales and marketing 101. People buy with emotion, and back up their decision later with the facts. Nan didn’t try to convince with fact and reason, she simply used the power of emotional drivers to get this deal across the line.

Lesson 3 – Be Succinct
Her message was short n sweet. It cut through. No long winded explanation, nothing to cloud or murky the waters. She was understood immediately. In the noisy market place in which we operate now, often less is more. But that is not always easy to achieve. You actually have to work harder to create simplicity. Nan did it brilliantly.

At the core of this message, is that while we operate in a crazy, fast paced, ever changing digital market place, at the end of the day we are all humans, and it is humans who are making the buying decisions. So doesn’t it make sense to remember this when we are building that next business marketing campaign?

Think as a human, reach out as human, and you may be surprised just how many other like minded humans, you attract.