Marketing to a 5-year-old

I’d like to share a marketing reminder I got from observing my 5-year-old last week.

Thursday was a big day for my youngest daughter. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. It was finally the day for her dental appointment and her physical so she would be ready for Kindergarten. Actually she has been ready to be in Kindergarten for the past year because just like her oldest sister, she is an “older” in her class with a birthday in October. But would getting to go to Kindergarten alone make her be that excited to go to the dentist and the doctor – and in the same day no less? Well, besides getting closer to being in school I found another reason for her enthusiasm – the reward at the end of each visit.

Here is what she was actually excited about. After her dental appointment, she did not have any cavities so she got to have her picture taken with a tiara while holding a gold “no cavities” trophy. This picture was then printed and pinned on a board with all the other kids’ photos. So she got to pin her new photo on the board and find last visit’s photo to take home with her. Then anyone who does a good job holding still and listening to instructions during the cleaning get’s to pick 3 prizes from the prize shelf and add them to a bag containing a new toothbrush, travel size toothpaste, and floss. She happily picked out some special little trinkets and added them to her bag. Quite a haul I’d say for a soon to be 6-year-old.

It was a very similar story for the doctor’s visit. Going into the appointment she knew from experience (and several reminders from her siblings) that an update to her vaccinations would be coming. But she also knew that she’d be getting stickers and some other prizes because of those shots. She handled them much better than either of her sisters have in the past and I believe it was because of the anticipated reward. The second big prize haul of the day – a pinwheel, three stickers, a color changing pencil, and a new book, helped my daughter endure the pain of the those shots like a champ.

For both of these appointments, there was a great reward to be collected at the end. This is very much like what happens in the world of advertising and marketing.

The prizes at the end of those appointments made me think of some of the creative we’ve designed recently at BLÜ. The purpose of advertising and marketing is to get your target audience to take action – to switch to your brand, to buy your product, to subscribe to your service. Those “prizes” offered need to compel people to change, to buy again, or to reinforce their decision not to buy from your competitor. In the end you want your customer to feel they have been rewarded for taking the action you’ve asked them to take.

Is your advertising and marketing offering the right prize to your audience? Will they endure the pain of change (shots) to switch to your brand vs. continuing to buy from your competitor? Our clients have been seeing some great results from partnering with us. Are you happy with the results you’re getting? If not, let us help you refine those prizes so you get the results you’re looking for.