It hurts to admit it. But my mom was right.
Even without formal communications training, she regularly demonstrated how a repetitive message benefits from the “power of compounding.”
I remember how my mom would tell me to “Have fun, but be smart about it” year after year after year. (And don’t be fooled by the way I wrote this sentence. This was not a once-a-year thing for mom. I heard it weekly. She’d say “Have fun, but be smart about it” to us kids the way most folks say “Have a nice day” to other adults.)
Whether I was going fishing with my 4th grade buddies at the nearby pond or going to Chicago for a day at Shedd Aquarium with my wife and daughters many years later, mom would always whisper “have fun – be smart” in my ear right before departure time. Always.
And every time she’d do this, I’d shrug and give her my best “Of course, I will, mom” look. (How embarrassing! Sheeesh… what’d she think was going to happen?)
Anyway, as much as I wish I didn’t have this “Have fun, but be smart about it” phrase permanently embedded in my memory bank – right next to my “It’s time to open your presents” favorite – I’ve got to admit that my mom was spot on, even if she didn’t really know it.
Especially as it relates to how we should market to millennials today.
It seems that my mom’s few words summarize the best way to connect with the young parents choosing our schools and programs.
The magazine Mental Floss offered five tips in marketing to millennials. This web-based info site also presented an article on the “11 Things Created by Paul Bunyan.”
Because it aggressively markets to millennials, this publication incorporates an intentional “have fun / be smart” balance in its featured content every day.
I’d write the editors to tell them that my mom was an early advocate of their strategic paradigm back in the 1960’s, but I don’t want to burst their bubble.
Why upset them? Their five tips for marketing to millennials are good for us to know:
1. Be smart with your message. Millennials like to plan and set goals.
2. Have fun. Play. Add whimsy. Millennials aren’t rebellious.
3. Create flexible messages. Millennials check their devices 24/7.
4. Ask questions. Promote engagement. Millennials are sharers.
5. Build value. Foster trust. Millennials don’t chase the cheapest.
“Have fun, but be smart about it.”
Thanks, mom! You and Seth Godin really come up with some great quotes!