What 2-year-old twins can teach you about the ins and outs of persuasion and marketing.
Don't be deceived by this column. I'm no marketing expert!
I may think I know all the tricks in the book, but that just isn't the case. I may even be a bit of a fraud. As they say, the truth inevitably comes out.
Just ask my 2-year-old twins. If the consumer is boss, the twins are co-CEOs, and trust me, they know what's up!
Lately I've been trying to master the ins and outs of persuasion and marketing in the context of getting my lovable twins to do certain things. It's a humbling exercise, constantly requiring pause for introspection, retooling, and an occasional dab of self-pity. Oh, and I'm hardly immune from the occasional head scratching from my wife, Erika.
For example, almost every morning I dress the kids and take them to childcare. I instinctively start the process with delusions of Web 2.0 speed and efficiency and overly romanticized notions of "conversation." It's always a delightful and heartwarming process, but it rarely lines up with the marketing plan -- or my desired product-launch timing.
With challenge come both humility and learning. Here are a few of the truths and principles my twins have taught me:
Parenting is an absolute joy and honor, and strangely enough I actually think I'm becoming a better, more intuitive marketer.
You just might want to run your next marketing plan by your kids.
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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