Yo Momma’s a Marketing Genius

About two weeks ago, the calendar and media decreed that we pause to celebrate mothers. One full day dedicated to the most over-worked and under-thanked people in the world. As part of my slightly late gift, this article is dedicated to all mothers. They’ve taught us more about marketing, media buying and advertising than any book or degree can. Here’s how-

Frequency & the power of saying it over & over:
“This is the last time I’m telling you..” how many times have you heard a mother say that and follow it up with something she says every day – like make your bed, clean your room, chew slowly, sit straight, be polite and don’t get into a fight. Just like brands trying to get their message across, Moms know that repetition not only increases their chances of getting heard, it also increases retention and impact. Do you run the risk of getting irritating? Sometimes. But wrap your message up in an engaging creative and you get the message across, every time.

The importance of doing your homework:
A Mother is the first one to teach you the importance of setting priorities. If you grew up in the age when video games were becoming the rage, you would remember your mother saying “no playing until your homework’s done.” Successful marketers, both on the brand’s and the agency’s side are those who learnt their lesson and never forget to do their homework before pitching for new business or launching new campaigns. It’s not the fun, creative, arty part, but like mom said, we’ll get to that once the less glamorous tasks are done.

How to smuggle it in:
A Mother is a great smuggler. She’ll tell you the most interesting stories and ‘smuggle’ in the moral that she wants you to retain. She cooks delicious food, and still ‘smuggles’ in the veggies somehow. And isn’t all memorable advertising doing the same thing? It’s entertaining, but in a way that it allows the agency to ‘smuggle’ in a product benefit at the end. When an ad is well-constructed, it’s clever, it’s funny, it’s bang on strategy and the product fits in without a twitch.

I have my eyes on you:
She’ll be doing something else, but somehow a mother will always know exactly what is going on. As marketers, even though we don’t have eyes at the back of our heads like moms seem to have, we do know the importance of having a 360 degree view of things in order to know what’s really happening. Ergo, we invest in research and let others be our eyes and ears.
Get to the point:
A mother isn’t the most patient listener. She has a million things to get to, so if you were telling her a long winded story, chances are she’d tell you to get to the point already. Your customer’s no different. What mom teaches us, is to take pride in how few words we could use to tell a story, not how many. As the noise-o-sphere gets noisier than ever, short and punchy is the way to go.

It’s hot outside, wear a cap:
“Are you going out wearing that?”or “it’s cold outside, wear a sweater” – every mother has said that at one time or another. It’s not something to appreciate while growing up, but she was right, it is important to dress appropriately for the situation. A casual creative meeting calls for a different dress code than the first meeting with a client. And just because you work in advertising, doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to wear anything.
Your mom is a genius. And in case you weren’t paying attention to your poor mother way back when you were growing up, I hope you will now. Listen to her and watch it all just magically fall in place. Just make sure you wear a cap – it is very hot outside, you know.

Authored by: Vandan Chopra, Director, Foolish