What I Learned About Marketing from My Cat

arketing is the art and science of connecting an audience to a brand. It’s so important to businesses that an entire industry has grown to support this fundamental practice. There’s martech (marketing technology), blogs about marketing, and marketing philosophy. It’s so large that there are entire blogs devoted to teaching marketers how to market, and those blogs themselves are a form of marketing.

Although much has been written about how to market, trends in marketing, marketing apps, and so on, I think we can simplify it to its basic lessons. And just as the Web adores marketing articles, I believe we can learn a lot from another Internet mainstay: cats.

Cats have several marketing lessons to teach us. Listening to their wisdom might just help you level up your marketing game. (Be sure to thank them later, or they won’t let you forget it.)

Use gentle touches

My cat taps my face every morning to alert me that he is starving and must be fed. Despite the urgency of the situation, he’s never aggressive. He doesn’t punch me in the face to make his demands; he uses gentle touches.

Let this be a lesson to you marketers: Your audience doesn’t want to be punched in the face with your content. Instead, nurture that relationship and gently touch them with great blogs, social media posts, and emails. Keep it cool: no matter how much you want to scream your brand’s awesomeness at them.

Be confident

Cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians — and as we know, not much has changed since then. Cats have definitely learned that they hold a strange power over us humans, and they have the confidence to back it up.

As a marketer, you too hold power (though not over cats, silly). Your audience wants to hear what you have to say. The key is to convince them that you can solve their problems or make their lives better. To do that, you need to be confident. Don’t weasel around what you offer to your audience or whether or not you can do it. Be a cat, not a weasel.

Own your mistakes

Whenever my cat has found themselves in a moment of instant regret, they simply shake it off and strut to their next destination, tail high in the air. It’s as though to say, “I totally meant to do that.” Here, I would not advise following my cat’s example. But we can still learn something from them.

These days, consumers appreciate authenticity. When you make a mistake, whether it’s a tone-deaf social media post or a price surge that hurt your business, own up to it. This will breed more trust with your brand’s community than simply sweeping it under the rug.

Plot to take over the world

Many have (correctly) surmised that when cats are staring at nothing — or you — they’re likely plotting. Whether it’s your demise or just when to suddenly leap five feet into the air for no reason, nobody knows. Still, we can learn from this practice.

Take time to lay out your plan of action before making the leap. Make reflection and goal-setting a key part of your marketing strategy. This helps boost your business’ resilience and adaptability to changing circumstances; plus, you’ll understand where you’re going, which is crucial to measuring your results! (I’m sure my cat was aiming for four feet and surpassed his goal.)

We can learn a lot from cats. Were they in business, they’d probably be excellent marketers (although not very productive). They teach us to be strategic, confident, and authentic, all of which are crucial to connecting with consumers who have heard and seen it all. Most importantly, cats teach us the importance of making others feel appreciated and entertained. At that, they are experts. We as marketers should take note.

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Writer by day, circus artist by night. I write about art, media, culture, health, science, and where they all meet. Join my list: http://eepurl.com/gD53QP

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