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Mufasa Was Right – Marketing Lessons From The Lion King

We get up every morning, go to work, sit down… and forget who we are.

Somewhere in the transition from private citizen to marketer… we forget that we are our customers.

We forget what gets our attention, what means something and what motivates us. We look through a glass into the world and we market as if something magical will motivate those on the other side to do our bidding. All the while – we forget that we are them.

Marketing lessons I learned from reading DifferenceI recently read Difference by Bernadette Jiwa and was struck by the similarities between marketing and our own motivations.

She asks the basic marketing questions about purpose, people, changing perception, creating belief and changing behavior. But what really struck a chord was a short section called “The Thing That Differentiates a Good Idea from a Great One.”

“Actually, what differentiates a good anything from a great anything is that the great stuff, the things we give a damn about, have the heart left in them.”

Ah – the heart left in them.

Do we have our hearts left in us as we go through the work day?

Do the meetings, client schedules, client deliverables, marketing rules of the road, the 23rd round of revisions, need to do it faster and cheaper, late trains, bad traffic, lights too bright, lights too dim, noisy co-workers, phones, emails, outside noise, meetings, lunch dates, dinner plans, kid’s soccer schedules, church meetings, bills, bosses, tight shoes, soggy jackets, texts, tech glitches and being next in line right after the coffee runs out, deter us from why we are here in the first place?

Does your day begin with the end in mind so much that you vault over the working part of your day? Yes it can…yes it does.

So, how do we intercept life as it permeates our days and create a truly great product for our clients? We remember who we are. 

We are the ones to whom we market. We are the ones who need to be a part of the story, to feel the empathy and emotion. We are the ones who just know what is right for us…what is right for our company. Then how do we lose that when we sit on the opposite side of the desk? We try too hard.

As our agency uses data-driven strategies to develop user-centered experiences – I am irreversibly committed to working with the numbers to target, analyze and optimize. But lest we forget the creative side of things when crafting our marketing:

  • What challenge is our marketing being asked to solve?
  • What is the real difference the product or service has versus the competition?
  • What job is the product being asked to do?
  • What about it moves you – makes you a part of its story or want to be a part of it?

We all have the heart for our customer journeys as consumers; don’t check that heart at the door when you go to work every day. Mufasa really was right… “Remember who you are.”

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