More advice for marketers from moms

Mom and her 2 children in a Scottish phone booth.

Mom always makes room for the kids.

Once again Mother’s Day has arrived and we all should take a moment to honor our moms.

To that end, I’d like to reprise a post from two years ago, Happy Mother’s Day: advice for marketers from moms, and add some more motherly advice to guide us in marketing. Many thanks to my colleagues who contributed their pearls of wisdom for this post!

Play well with others and share your stuff
My colleague Joanne Butzier submitted this advice from her mother, which she thinks is particularly applicable to social media marketing. Being a team player is key and the more we work together and share content, the more our message gets out to our prospects and customers. I believe sharing “our stuff” is a critical component of marketing and should be incorporated into our overall marketing strategy.

Don't get married before you are 25 years old, have traveled to Europe with your girlfriends and have lived on your own.
This one is from my team-mate Beth Kasson, who added that her mom Elaine Haubold would explain that you have the rest of your life to be married, but you need to learn to pay your own bills and take care of yourself. As for Europe, she said " traveling after you are married and have kids is never the same as traveling with your girlfriends."

I think the value of this one in terms of our data-driven world is to know the value of perspective and experience for valuable context when your data is incomplete or shows conflicting conclusions. This is particularly useful with big data when using visual analytics for early conclusions and setting direction that informs deeper analysis.

Trust your instincts
Similar to the advice from Mrs. Haubold above, advice given to Lisa Chappell (my good friend at, is good for guidance when you don’t have all the data or when it’s conflicting. She added that the instincts you're given with each child often trump all of the well-meaning advice you might get from other people - even with doctors and teachers Be comfortable giving as much weight to your instincts as you do their advice.

Keep two dimes in your pocket in case you need to call home
This advice (from the days of coin-operated pay phones) clearly emphasizes the need to think ahead and use your resources wisely. It comes from Karen Morse’s mom, Ada Jackson, and relates to the reality of all marketers today: we all have to do more with less.

So, plan a “rainy day fund” into your budget with the idea that you’ll need to act quickly at some point and then plan to use your spare dimes well. With the exception of mom-and-pop operations with a small list of products, all marketers today have countless customers, many product lines and an exploding number of channels. Nothing beats marketing optimization (MO) for knowing which messages work best for which customers on which channels. Using MO, you can confidently know how to use your rainy day fund for the biggest impact.

You not only have to do what's right, you have to appear to do what's right.
My cousin-in-law Anne Lunsford shared this advice from her grandmother, referring to the age-old saying “perception is reality.” In marketing, this shows up in the increasing recognition of customer-centered content-driven marketing as the most effective way to engage with customers. Since they engage with our brands online through search engines and via social media, marketers need to enable a purchase decision, as well as a string of experiences that give the customer confidence that a purchase decision is the best move for them. The bottom line is that what other people say about your brand is as important as what you say to your customers in your marketing messages. Go to marketing with content that’s valuable and consistent to enable that outcome.

Start as you mean to continue
This advice from Marnie Davey, my colleague in SAS Australia, relates to that advice above from Anne Lunsford – consistency is key. And in this case, the idea is to be consistent from the very beginning, even as you plan your initiative. Just like in construction projects, changes made along the way usually come at a cost. Considering tighter budgets, hungrier competitors and socially-savvy “empowered customers,” consistency is never more important.

You can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar
Setting aside the general perception of flies as pests, my dear friend Pat Zug, shared this classic advice from her mom that certainly applies to marketing. In fact, many of these pearls of wisdom relate to one another in that knowing your customer and providing then with what they like or need is the best way to get the outcome you want. And do it consistently. You don’t want to become known as the provider that produces great honey but the occasional batch of vinegar, especially if it’s delivered as a surprise to your customers. In today’s digital world, it’s never been more true that news travels fast and bad news travels faster!

For extra helpings of advice for marketers from moms, take a look at the previous post about marketing advice from moms. And remember to sit up straight and use your manners – good behavior will never lead you in the wrong direction. Happy mother’s day to all the mothers out there!


About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm John Balla - a Digital Marketing Principal here at SAS focused on Content Strategy. I co-founded the SAS Customer Intelligence blog and served as Editor for five years. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions and maybe even challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I stay busy with my wife and I keeping up with my 2 awesome college-age kids, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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