7 marketing tips from the stories of Dr Seuss
The famous books of Dr Seuss speak very wise words for marketers. Here are seven lessons you can learn from the iconic literature.
1. Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try! (The Thinks You Can Think)
Some of the thinks Dr Seuss was thinking in The Thinks You Can Think are – admittedly – off the chart. Why is it that Beft always go to the left?
However, the message is simple and clear – use your imagination. Don’t be bogged down by convention. Create something new, something unique. Something people haven’t created before. The only limit to your creativity is whatever you decide.
In reality, sometimes it is what the boss or even the budget decides. But you can use those constraints to your advantage. Lean on your teammates for advice and feedback. They will know the products and services, and their potential, as well as anyone.
Take the time to brainstorm. Encourage one another to throw silly ideas around. Dr Seuss wouldn’t be where he is today if he hadn’t! Step out of your marketers’ shoes and mindset and look at the problem from the point of a poet or a Hollywood producer. What would they do? How would they see things? Be John Malkovich for a day.
Changing your working space can also help lead to new ideas. Head to the cafe, park maybe even the zoo for your next ideas session. Who knows what you will drum up.
Andre Michelin, founder of the global tire company that bears his name, imagined a pile of tires coming together to form a man when he attended a Paris art exhibition - and the iconic Michelin man was born.
2. Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! (Happy Birthday To You!)
And remember, you’re in your position because you’re you. You’re not a robot, a clone or a drone. So embrace your uniqueness and give whatever you do your own very special twist.
No one looks at life, and work, the way you do. No one else has the experience and ideas quite the same as yours.
Use them. Leverage them.
They might not always form the finished product. But they might lay part of the path that leads you to that great campaign or the spark that starts the fire or breaks through that ideas block.
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is a great example of someone who used her own personal experiences as inspiration for original and unique ideas and that have become an unmistakable brand in their own right.
3. Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store (The Grinch)
The Grinch. Now there’s a marketer’s dream.
He turned from hate to love by discovering the true meaning of Christmas. If the Whoville branch of Christmas had a CMO they’d be up for some serious awards.
Just like Christmas, a lot of brands have identity issues. Christmas’ true purpose isn’t consumerism. The Grinch just didn’t know it. And how many of your potential customers don’t know your brand purpose or brand story?
Keep on telling it, and tell it in different ways. Because one day you’ll be able to turn even the Grinchiest of customers into raving fans.
4. The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go (Oh! The Places You’ll Go)
If you stand still you go backward in pretty much every profession. And it’s especially true in the ever-changing world of marketing.
Make time each week, if not each day, to read, watch or listen to others in the sector. Find out what they know – and what they don’t – and use it to your advantage. Your current job will benefit – as will your career.
5. Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple (Dr Seuss)
Let’s be honest … a lot of marketers have a tendency to overcomplicate things – especially when it comes to data and insights. And really, the answers are usually pretty simple.
Your board doesn’t want complicated, and neither do your customers. Strip it all back – after all, simplicity is beauty.
6. I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny (The Cat in the Hat)
The Cat in the Hat didn’t let a spot of rain spoil his fun – he made the best of what he had.
And while we will always want more budget, more staff, more exciting things to talk about, the reality is it’s not likely to happen.
So take a leaf out of the Cat in the Hat’s approach to life – don’t let the what ifs derail your thought process – make the most of what you have.
7. There are so many things you can learn about, but you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut (I Can Read With My Eyes Shut)
The books of Dr Seuss created worlds that no one could have possibly envisaged. The creativity of his stories is incredible.
In a world, and profession, that’s so dominated by data, it’s vital that marketers keep their minds – and eyes – open to creating something new, something different.
The data and insights we access today provide huge intelligence to what’s gone before. (This is where Interpris comes in.) And overlay them with a huge dollop of Dr Seuss-esque originality.
Your customers – and your board – will thank you.
Oh, the places your career will go (and the thinks you will think) when you revolutionize how you use your customer data with Interpris!