Most marketers are focused way too much on the future. They’re only developing marketing plans and creating programs for next week, next month, and next year. The problem is that these people aren’t taking advantage of what’s happening right now, today, this moment. We need to develop some Marketing Mindfulness to reach buyers when they’re ready.
I got to thinking about what I’m calling Marketing Mindfulness while reading Dan Harris’ book 10% Happier on a long flight from Hong Kong to Boston.
After having a nationally televised panic attack, Harris knew he had to make some changes. He realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. Eventually Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain.
The meditation that Harris describes is a tool for living in the moment. (I actually enjoyed my Cathay Pacific flight more than I would have by applying some of Harris’ ideas to the flight I was on while reading the book.)
A very simplistic take is that mindfulness means rather than worrying about the meeting you have to go to tomorrow, anticipating the great things you will do this weekend, and imagining life after your next promotion, you live right now.
In the Marketing Moment
That’s the idea of Marketing Mindfulness. Instead of only working on stuff for the future, like your email marketing copy for next week, the tradeshow booth for next month, and the product launch for next quarter, effective marketers should also be focused on what’s happening right now.
- Right now there are people visiting your website. What are they doing? How can you influence them?
- People are talking about your market, your industry, your geography, and perhaps even you and your company on social networks right now. Are you a part of the conversation?
- News is constantly breaking and the news cycle is incredibly short. When a story appears in your area of expertise, are you commenting in real-time to add your take on the news? This strategy, what I call Newsjacking, is an effective way to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business. But you must react when the moment is right.
- When a sales lead comes into your organization, are you responding right away? A study published in Harvard Business Review titled The Short Life of Online Sales Leads suggests this is a simple but incredibly effective strategy. “Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead (which we defined as having a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker) as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later—and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.”
Marketing Mindfulness doesn’t mean you never plan for the future. By all means prepare. But to be effective, we must be focused on what’s going on right now as buyers are evaluating products and services to buy and organizations to do business with.