As a working mom, I have two full-time jobs. The job that pays the bills is overseeing Marketing & Communications at WKU, and the job that I go home to every evening is parenting a teen and a tween and running a household with my hubby. I’ve been a ‘practitioner’ in both fields for 15+ years, so, while I don’t claim to be an expert at either, I feel sufficiently qualified to talk about them both and to point out the similarities that have been swirling around in my head. I realize it seems like a bit of a stretch, but read on, and I think it will make sense.
Marketing and Parenting are a lot alike in that:
- Most of my efforts go smoother with Planning and preparation, but even the best plans have to be flexible.
- In both jobs I am trying to reach a specific Audience and hoping like heck that they listen.
- I often have an important Message to get across to the intended audiences, usually hoping for some specific action in return, but they don’t always do what I want them to do. Sometimes I have to ask several times before anyone seems to react as I had hoped.
- Social Media plays a big part in the communication with my audience (I can get my son’s immediate attention if I hack his facebook!)
- There is all kinds of Competition vying for the audience’s attention. I can’t ignore those competitors or pretend that they don’t exist lest they lure my audience away.
- Every situation requires a careful Situational Analysis to figure out how to handle it. Knee jerk reactions aren’t usually productive.
- I can learn more about the audience by Listening to and Communicating with them, rather than by constantly talking AT them.
- The Results of my efforts over time can be extremely rewarding, but there are bound to be frustrations along the way. The key is to not give up.
- There is constant Change, and I have to accept it and adapt to it or risk getting left behind.
Both of my jobs come with good days and bad days, fun days and crazy days. But I am thankful for the rewards I get from both roles – and that is true every day.