I felt compelled to share this story for many reasons, first I think it is hilarious and second, while having this conversation with my daughter, I too, was reminded of a learned and valuable lesson.

Let’s start at the beginning….it was the day before my six year old daughter was starting first grade and we sat down to read a book. She was a bit rusty as this summer she just did kid things – attended camps and played with the neighborhood kids. It was a bit of a complicated book but nonetheless we tried to push through. There were lots of tears, and “ I can’t’s” along the way.  We decided to take a break and she crawled on my lap for a little chat. I said to her, “What do you want to be when you grow up, what do you like to do?”  I know she likes to cook with me so I suggested cooking. I went on to tell her that you have to know how to read if you want to cook – you have to read recipes and know math too as you might double or cut in a half a recipe. She decided she didn’t want to be a cook.  She then said, “Mommy, I want to be a doctor”.  I said that’s wonderful and went on to explain how in that profession, you too have to read and also study science and math. She decided that wasn’t for her either.  Then she said, “Mommy, I just want to be a mommy”.  I said that was great too, but she needed to be able to read as well – she would have to read medicine labels, and be able to read a map and directions if she were going to take her kids out. She was looking very sad at this point. She looked around and saw one of our dogs sitting on the floor, she then turned to me and with a very exasperated tone in her voice said, “Mommy, I just want to be a dog.”  We both laughed.

This story parallels the same exercise of what many companies go through – continual iterations – because they have not set clear objectives against the campaigns they are executing.  It’s important to understand beneficial attributes of certain mediums.

For example, grass roots marketing, direct response, and social media are different mediums to deliver one brand.  However, the objectives are different for each approach.  A company needs to align their objectives with the benefits of the correct medium.  As a marketer, you don’t want to execute grass roots, social media, and then direct response to find out the attributes of direct response were the most aligned with your objectives.  By developing a clear marketing plan and gaining alignment from all key stakeholders, and then executing, you are creating a recipe for success.


Stacey Marshall
Co-Founder, Principal, Maven Marketing Solutions