You don’t ever truly forget some of the essential marketing lessons and facts that you learn earlier on in your career. But while trying to keep up with the latest technology and trends that will appeal to your audiences and best your competitors, sometimes you need a refresher on these marketing essentials.
For me, that reminder came during a recent ClickDimensions ice cream social. As the name implies, that’s where the ClickDimensions team takes a brief break to socialize over bowls or cones of ice cream and all the delicious toppings that come with it. Here are the five essential marketing lessons that occurred to me that day:
- Listen. Ice cream socials are one of my favorite ClickDimensions events. Beyond the obvious perk of eating ice cream, I always learn something new about at least one of my fellow ClickDimensions colleagues. But that requires one very important thing – listening. Take the time to listen to your customers, prospects and even your own co-workers. You may uncover challenges you never knew existed, new ways to communicate or ideas to take your marketing to the next level.
- Everyone loves a treat. When was the last time you treated your customers or prospects? Whether it’s an unexpected sale or a new and helpful piece of content, make sure that you are regularly rewarding your audiences simply for being them. These large-scale rewards are important, but don’t forget to take it to the individual level too. Whether it’s a birthday email, a thank you card or branded swag to celebrate a customer’s anniversary of doing business with you, be sure to recognize and delight your customers as individuals as part of a memorable customer experience.
- Take a break. It takes a lot of hard work to be a successful marketer, but it also takes the ability to step back from work too. Whether you’re taking a brief break with your co-workers or relaxing with your family and friends on the weekends, it’s important to not be all work and no play. And yes, that includes not checking your email too. Taking breaks, even really short ones, allows you to recharge and refocus on your work so you can see challenges in new ways, find the creativity to form new ideas and just generally be a better marketer.
- Try new things. Peppermint bark on cookie dough ice cream? I had never had it before, but as I stood there contemplating my ice cream/topping combo, it seemed like a good one. While it could have been a disappointment, it was quite delicious. And it reminded me that it’s important to experiment with your marketing efforts as much as – if not more than! – you do with your ice cream toppings. Even if a particular tactic is working well for you, don’t forget the importance of trying new things. You could discover that even small tweaks can make a big difference.
- Look for ideas in unexpected places. This blog post is a great example of that lesson. As I sat there with my colleagues, one of these lessons after another came to mind and I thought, “This would make a good blog post!” The trick is to be open to that inspiration and to look for it in seemingly ordinary moments in your life. Creativity often occurs when we aren’t actively looking for it. Also, seek out ideas from other industries. If you work in manufacturing, for example, you’ve likely already seen much of what other manufacturers are doing. Try focusing your attention on other industries to see how you can take what they are doing and successfully adapt it for your own.