10 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Our Moms
My mom learned about child rearing from her mom (and a few books). My grandmother learned the ropes from her mother, and so on. My mother instilled in me a strong sense of identity and purpose. She taught me kindness, compassion, and motivation. She was my #1 fan on the journey toward my dreams.
My mom didn’t even know it but she set me up for success in marketing. Check out these 10 things that motherhood teaches about marketing.
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #1: Be true to who you are.
Mom will always tell her little one to be authentic. She encourages her baby to follow her dreams and live for more than herself. Mom is your #1 fan and she knows that you can be a world-changer.
In a business environment where trust is at an all time low, you must show your integrity one interaction at a time.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Know your mission, vision, and values.
- Mama reminded you of who you are. Do you know who your company is? Craft a list of business objectives, company values, and a mission statement. Use these outlines to define your content, unify your voice, and maintain the same feel across your brand and among various channels.
- Your mother was your conscience in each situation, nudging you to be true to yourself. Allow every interaction with a customer build up your reputation and enhance your integrity. Be authentic about your strengths and weaknesses. Your clients will always find it better to work with a real person instead of a “fake” one.
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #2: Be nice to your brothers and sisters.
From the time you know how to hold a toy Mom is saying, “Play nice. Don’t snatch. Share your toys.” Parents know that siblings who share make for a peaceful home, especially when Mama is home all day long! Mom’s foster community (and justice).
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Know your audience.
- Mother never let you forget that those other kids in your house were your siblings and you had a duty to respect them. Discover who your audience is. Develop buyer personas that shifts a vague audience into specific people. Aim for 2-4 personas.
- Mama said you have 2 ears and 1 mouth; be better at listening to your audience.
- Mom, dad, brothers, sisters and friends are all personally connected to you. Create content that speaks like a one-on-one conversation. Call them “you.”
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #3: Be nice to your friends.
Mom taught that community starts at home, and then it extends outward. Being kind to others, being a member of the community, and making your area a better place is an integral value to many mothers.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Be a part of your community.
- Develop relationships with your neighbors or others who share similar interests. Mom would be so proud!
- My parents always liked it when I brought friends over to our house. They knew where I was, who I was with and what I was doing. Make your brand like that: invite influencers “over” as a way to contribute valuable content and credible reviews.
- Share quality information and the talents that you have. Again, this would make Mama so proud of her baby!
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #4: Keep your room clean.
Even if you mother wasn’t the best housekeeper, she made you clean your room and pick up your toys. It kept your house organized and running in a smooth manner (although I’m sure you disagree when you were growing up).
Many parents also strategically select a neighborhood. They want one near the best schools so their children get a quality education. They want a safe place where their kids can play outside. They want one that has parks and other families around. They want a house with enough charm and amenities that it feels like home.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Keep your channels presentable and relevant.
- Much like Mama moved your family to a new home or neighborhood, make sure your company is in the right digital neighborhood. Are you clients on Instagram? Then you should be too! Does LinkedIn have a plethora of ideal leads? Get set up on there too.
- You keep your bedroom clean so it’s functional to play and sleep. Keep your platforms clean and functional too. Instagram is all about photos so feature your best pics there. Facebook promotes interactions so post polls or surveys there.
- You probably had a smaller bedroom than your parents. 1 kid doesn’t need as much space as two adults. Content is similar; one size doesn’t fit all. Align your content appropriately across digital channels. Hint: reuse existing content! One LinkedIn article can be transformed into a short video for YouTube or an infographic for Instagram.
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #5: Eat your fruits and veggies.
One of mom’s responsibilities is to feed her family. Kids always wants something sugary and usually mom is on food patrol for more fruits and veggies. Can she sneak a vegetable into a meatloaf? Yep. Can mom find a way to add fruit to a dessert? Of course.
Mother knows best. She knows that we need a balanced diet in order to thrive. She’s also smart to think ahead. My mom often would make a double batch of lasagna or a casserole: one for tonight, one for the freezer to be eaten at a later time.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Offer a well-balanced variety of content.
- Your audience needs a complete diet of content, just like your mom knew you needed a healthy dose of fruits and veggies. Provide a variety of content including helpful information, solutions to their problems, and how you can help.
- Imagine that your content freezer was as stocked as Mama’s. Take that piece of content and reuse it for leftovers. Find a piece you wrote years ago and revamp it (either by modifying it or by transforming it into another form, like an infographic).
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #6: Words are powerful.
When you’re itty-bitty, Mom encourages you to use your words. “If you want help, say ‘help.’” “Say ‘please’ if you want more chicken.” As you grow into a school-aged kid, Mom wants to hear about your day at school. And time around the family dinner table is a safe place for all manner of conversations.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Words and stories are memorable.
- Stories are memorable, just like the nursery rhymes Mom sang to you as a kid. How can you harness the power of stories in a way that will captivate your audience?
- Be picky about the words you use. Mom certainly was (think back to her “naughty word list”). Don’t skimp on headlines or titles; these will attract your audience.
- Expand your vocabulary, just like Mama said when you were studying for a spelling test. Try different words with different forms of content or to target varying audiences.
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #7: Look your best.
Mom dresses you as a toddler, but eventually you want to dress yourself in your most fashionable outfit (like cowboy boots with swimming shorts and a princess pajama shirt topped with a fireman’s hat, of course). It’s cute when you’re little, but you eventually grow out of that. Impressions make a lasting impact.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Be presentable.
- Mom isn’t a fan of run-on sentences or broken grammar. Make sure your content is correct.
- Make your content attractive, just like a nicely dressed child. It should be easy to read, with average sized text and whitespace, plus bold headings and colored links.
- Presentations should be done on an 8th grade reading level. If Mom catches you using too many fancy words she will get suspicious, and so will your reader.
- Would you have your mom double check your outfit before picture day? Have an editor proof your content before publishing.
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #8: Don’t forget your homework.
Mom knew how to get on your nerves everyday: by asking you what you had for homework. She knew that homework was the extra practice needed in order to master a concept.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Take the extra time to research and learn before creating your own content.
- Brainstorm a list of content ideas. Don’t be afraid to look for inspiration from similar fields or authors.
- Was your Mom’s coffee table strewn with magazines? I bet it still is! Take a cue from Mom and subscribe to relevant magazines, newsletters, or emails for a regular dose of continuing education.
- On the same note, read everyday. Don’t stop learning.
- My mom always had a calendar on our refrigerator. Whenever I had a question about a date, she’d send me straight to the fridge. Likewise, use an editorial calendar. It may feel tedious but it will save you time in the long run.
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #9: Clean house.
I thought chores were going to be the death of me. Which is actually quite sad in hindsight because I hardly had any responsibilities growing up. My task was to dry dishes and to keep my room clean. And I didn’t earn an allowance either. But my parents were quick to model teach that hard work reaps benefits and earns money.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Connect your content with its results.
- Chores kept the house clean and earned an allowance from Mom. Put in the effort and time to craft awesome content. Your talents will yield results!
- Mom was quick to admire a sparkling home. Be quick to analyze the results of your content. Hint: Check analytics and include CTAs!
Mom’s Marketing Lesson #10: Go outside and play.
Whenever we have a sunny day after a week of rain I remember my mom kindly shouting, “Go outside and play! Enjoy the day!” This meant interacting with friends, burning off energy, and building up our strength through running and playing.
MindShift Marketing Motivations: Play with your peers in the industry.
- Attend industry events. Go to industry conferences. Meet similar businesses in your community. Get inspiration from what they’re doing well and be motivated to fill in the gaps where they need improvement.
- Distribute your content gradually. Mom knows that one afternoon outside is not sufficient for an entire week. Keep the content flowing; visibility yields results.
My mom knows absolutely nothing about marketing. But she’s an expert at mothering. It’s a beautiful parallel between the two!
My mom knew how to communicate her love, hopes, dreams, and desires for me. Likewise, content marketing is about caring for your audience, prospects, readers, clients, employees, and the general public.
Moms words help me know my own identity and how to interact with others. Marketing shares who you are with the world and also guides your buyers toward an informed decision with relevant information.
Oh the joys of motherhood! And of the blessings of community through marketing.
Thanks to all of the Moms out there who equipped us to be kind, generous, compassionate, thoughtful, and contributing adults and marketers!