Why Your 5 Year Old is a Better Marketer Then You.

I was hanging out with my 5 year old niece recently and we inevitably wandered into a toy store. As she ran around trying to grab everything in sight she saw the holy grail. A 6 foot tall realistic looking rocking horse. She wanted it bad. Begged for it. Pleaded with me to buy it for her. Seeing the whopping $5500 price tag I responded that it was too expensive. She was puzzled. After some pressing I tried to explain that it was too much money, but she wasn’t letting up. She replied, “Just make more money”. Now I’m curious, so I ask her how...and she told me to “Sell a horse like this one but better”.

There it was. A 5 year old grasping the fundamental rule of marketing and business. Have a product that’s better than your competition and you’ll succeed. Sounds pretty simple right? That’s the thing with 5 year olds. They speak to the point and they see the world as endless possibility and opportunity. If you want something, just do it. Sounds familiar right? So how do we take this sage advice of my 5 year old niece and translate it into reality? And do we really need to have a better product then our competition to succeed?

The first step is to remember that whatever your business is, you already have a competitive edge over somebody else. Define it and expand on it. If you have a small retail oriented business that means going into your neighborhood and the adjacent ones to see what kind of advertising and special offers your competition is currently promoting. Become their customer and see how their facilities stack up to yours. See what the customer service experience is like. You’ll quickly realize how you stand out and how you can even improve in some areas. Whatever business you are in, this fundamental approach to evaluate and learn can help. There is low hanging fruit everywhere. There are customers of your competition that would be happier if they only knew about your business and what makes you special. The trick is to figure out who they are, what they want and help them find you.

Beating your competition doesn’t necessarily have to always be reinventing the wheel or undercutting price points (and your own profitability). Instead, look at your industry through the eyes of a 5 year old. Be direct, trust your gut. You know what makes your business special and what your clients want. Seeing customers and developing messaging through this lense allows you to not be bogged down by extra rhetoric and tactics. If you try to say everything to everybody, then nobody hears anything. Distill down what you know is most important to your customers and say it.

Be concise with your message. When focusing what you say, you will start to clearly define and segment your audience. With an understanding of who your customers are and what they need; you can speak directly to them and resonate with your message. You can say it like a 5 year old. Direct and to the point.

Evan Roosevelt