The marketing whisperer ( a marketing lesson from Maggie the mostly lab)

Maggietable You may remember that there was an addition to the McLellan family this fall — Maggie the mostly lab (no idea what she's mixed with.) And yes…that's her sitting on the deck table.  And yes, I did tell her to get down.  Now you see the problem.

Since her arrival, two things have happened.  She's gotten a lot bigger.  And she's gotten a lot less obedient.  Think Marley and Me without popcorn or previews. 

I took her to puppy school.  Pretty sure we only passed because the instructor did not want us back.  As she was standing on her hind legs, paws on the kitchen counter… eating what was supposed to be dinner (ours, not hers) and I am shouting at her (without her even blinking of course) I realized I needed more help.

So I found a dog whisperer.  She doesn't call herself that…but that's who she is.  She came by yesterday for our first "in home" training appointment and it was amazing.  Truly amazing.

Within 20 minutes, she had Maggie calm, sitting and laying down without giving her a verbal command.  While she trained the dog….she was really training me.  

What she didn't realize is that she's also a marketing whisperer.  Here were her key lessons for yesterday. 

Dogs (potential customers) aren't going to pay any more attention to you if you shout.  If you're not speaking their language, it doesn't matter how loud you are.  Shouting just scares or irritates them.

Dogs (potential customers) will behave the way you want them to because there's something in it for them.  We don't go to work because we love it, we work because of the paycheck.  Show the dog (potential customer) what they get and they'll change their behavior.

Dogs (potential customers) need consistent behavior.  It's what reassures them and makes them comfortable.  When you behave erratically or there's lots of inconsistency — it scares them.  They don't know what to expect or believe.

Dogs (potential customers) have very short attention spans.  Better to train/talk to them in lots of 2 minute increments, rather than a single hour-long session.

There you have it….words of wisdom from our very own marketing whisperer.  Which of those training rules are you breaking?  Have you learned a tough lesson by breaking one of them?

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24 comments on “The marketing whisperer ( a marketing lesson from Maggie the mostly lab)

  1. Hi Drew

    Great comparison!
    The last item (short attention span) we frequently use – try to that is – in our email campaigns. In my – almost, still loads of writing work to do for it – about to be relaunched AWeber guide I will compare the so-calles Vertical Sales-Letter (the single one hour long session) with my preferred Horizontal Sales Letter.
    It took us a while to ‘convert’ to this type ourselves, but it works a treat!

    Karin H (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  2. Chris O says:

    An extremely creative post although I would argue this point -> “We don’t go to work because we love it, we work because of the paycheck.”

    You should come work at Referral Key… believe me, it’s not the pay.

    best,
    Chris O.
    Blog Director
    http://www.referralkey.com/
    Your Trusted Referral Network

  3. Drew,

    What insightful parallels between dogs and potential customers. I never put those two together before, but you’re absolutely right.

    Perhaps I’ll start testing my offers and campaigns on my spirited German shepherd. 😉 And maybe give potential customers an equally enticing offer as goldfish crackers, which always work with the dog.

    Thanks for the fun read.

    Casey

  4. Karin,

    These are the foundational marketing lessons that it’s easy to lose sight of. But when we break these rules…our potential customers do not “behave!”

    Drew

  5. Chris,

    So are you saying the pay is lousy or you’d work there for free? ;-}

    Drew

  6. Casey,

    That could be a whole new source of revenue for you. Like a focus group but oh so different.

    And the best part is, you can compensate your dog with treats. Much cheaper than most focus groups!

    Drew

  7. Hi Drew,

    My name is Ben and I just became part an innovative marketing team with Referral Key.

    I’m right in the middle of a career change so keep the marketing whisperer going. I’ll take all the good advice I can get.

    My favorite and most applicable piece of advice is, “Dogs (potential customers) will behave the way you want them to because there’s something in it for them.” I agree. You have to show the customer the “gold” in your pitch or proposition. The customer needs to know, right away, what’s in it for them.

    I’m glad we found such a relevant blog and I look forward to blogging with you in the future

    Best,

    Ben S.
    Assistant Blog Manager
    Referral Key
    http://www.referralkey.com/
    Your Trusted Referral Network

  8. Mike says:

    THAT is what a marketing relates blog post should be, it does what it should do and I absolutely loved it and can actionize it.

    THANKS !

  9. Sean Fleming says:

    Drew – this is an excellent post! It’ll make me look at my well-behaved black Lab in a whole new light.

    I’m not prepared to admit in public how it’ll make me view our prospect hit rate..!

  10. David Brim says:

    Hi Drew,
    Having a seven month old puppy (golden retriever) and being a marketing professional, I really enjoyed this post.

    Thanks

  11. Drew,

    I couldn’t help but laughing when I read this post. My family has always had dogs, so I can totally relate to your “problems”. It’s great how you link it to marketing and I think there is a lot of truth to the lessons you listed. Conditioning works a lot better on my dog than on consumers though…

    Tobi

  12. Great post, love the analogies!

  13. Kamy Herbst says:

    Drew, I love this post and I’ve recently discovered some of the same key points you make… however, my discovery comes with raising a 2 1/2 yr old boy!
    I think I just compared my son to your puppy??
    Its a wonderful reality check that people don’t change, much. How we learn and/or what we like is very elementary. Yet, so often forgot.
    Thank you for putting it into easily understood words ;0

  14. MPE says:

    @Kamy Herbst

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. We often forget the basics and focus too much on big pictures and others behaviors when really we need to remember the first steps, focus on details, and reflect not only on the other but also our selves.

  15. I’ll keep you all posted — we have visit #2 of the dog whisperer tomorrow. Glad this struck a chord with all of you!

    Drew

  16. hampers says:

    Your analysis was so good that even the gesture of dogs can be consummated to a potential customer. Your deliberation was so “loud” and very clear enough for those who are not that good in convincing others to further their talent by following your practical tips.

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  18. bookabuffet says:

    Great comparison. Especially the fact it doesnt matter how loud you speak if you are speaking wrong language or in the wrong direction you just wont be listened to. even thougght may be heard. http://www.cateringglasgow.com

  19. Great comparison. A learning process that starts from scratch.

  20. I appreciate you taking the time to write all this up for us.

  21. Now this is highly recommended post for me. I will surely email this to my friend.

  22. The horizontal integration strategy like the most recent news on Nestlé is a good lesson for Nestlé. I believe that the Nestlé future is continue.

  23. This was a really quality post. Thanks for posting this informative article.

  24. colic calm says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. We often forget the basics and focus too much on big pictures and others behaviors when really we need to remember the first steps, focus on details, and reflect not only on the other but also our selves.

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