Is your marketing fully engaged and connected with what’s happening, what’s changing, and what’s important to your audience? Are you able to keep the big picture in view or are you caught up in day-to-day details, with marketing running on automatic?
With so many things to do and choices to make in the way we market, it's easy to get pulled down into the chaos and noise. Maybe just for a little while at first, but it isn't long before marketing is racing along according to plan – But is it delivering? Don’t get me wrong, plans are good. Goals and strategy are good, in fact, they are essential! But to be effective, marketing needs to do more than “follow the plan" – It needs to be mindful.
What is Mindfulness?
I think of mindfulness as rising above all the lists, the noise, the meetings, the deadlines, the data – taking a different perspective and gaining a deeper awareness of what's really going on. Kind of like staring out the window of an airplane at 30,000 feet, then closing my eyes and letting that moment shift my focus and re-set my thinking. According to Psychology Today: "Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad...mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience."
Elite athletes use the discipline of mindfulness to break out of counterproductive thinking, focus energy on the moment, reduce stress, and improve their performance. Imagine the possibilities if we take this approach to marketing!
Making Marketing More Mindful
As marketers, we can benefit from developing the ability to step away and gain a “here and now" sense of what’s going on. Mindfulness can help us get in touch with where things are on a gut level, beyond the tools and data. With that new awareness, we can re-engage with better marketing and deliver greater results.
What can we do as marketers, as small business owners, to make marketing more mindful? Here are a few simple steps to bring mindfulness into your marketing:
Stop. Take time every day to stop doing. Stop the busy, step away from the routine. No distractions, no multitasking, no list-making. Give your mind some white space, room to breathe, and calm your thinking.
Pay attention. In that calm, be mindful of your customers and tune into their lives and the reality of your market landscape. Consider how your marketing can be less busy and more intentional and connected to what matters.
Refocus. Take your eyes off the data long enough to look for the meaning and purpose. Is your marketing helping you build trust, create an outstanding experience, nurture excellence?
Before you dive into the next marketing report, or approve the next ad spend, or order a new brochure, step back. Discover how a more mindful approach can make you a better marketer and make your marketing more effective.
I've been practicing these three basic steps over the past month, and it's proving to Be Brilliant! with our own marketing and with client projects. Try it out for yourself and let me know how it goes!
My special thanks to the brilliant Brian Solis for encouraging me to pursue the topic and introduce marketing to mindfulness! (Scroll down to read the story behind this post.)
Kellie Nolan is co-founder and managing partner at Brilliant Lens. She translates ideas and vision into actionable plans with strategic goals. Kellie works with clients to craft memorable messages and use storytelling to bring relevance and clarity to business communications. Whether it's B2B or B2C marketing, employee communications, or non-profit community building, her goal is to help brands engage, inspire, lead, and succeed.
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the story behind this post...
I began writing this blog post a little more than a month ago, after signing up for a course on personal mindfulness that teased me with "the practice of mindfulness as an antidote to the relentless pace, attention overload and stress of modern life.” I was curious to find out if mindfulness could help me "unhook from unproductive behaviors, and engage more fully with life.” Thinking about it, I realized there was just as much potential to apply the principles of mindfulness to the marketing work I do every day for clients and our own business. Could a more mindful approach to marketing improve results, get people more fully engaged? I outlined my thoughts and started writing this post, only to set things aside to travel to San Diego for Social Media Marketing World 2016 (look for more posts inspired by our experiences at the conference). I was sitting in the audience as Brian Solis presented a mind-blowing session when he put up this slide:
... it all clicked: I was on the right track in my pursuit of more mindful marketing. As he explained "Marketing needs more mindful, less strategy," I felt a great boost of validation and heard the answers to my question. I'm not usually one to track down a speaker, so when I saw Brian in the convention center later that day, I was hesitant to bother him, but happy to have the opportunity to thank him and let him know what his presentation meant to me. Encouraged by him, I began crafting my approach to marketing with more mindfulness and less busy-ness.
Watch this Be! Blog for updates and examples of how we are using more mindful marketing.
What do you think about mindful marketing? I'd love to hear from you! Contact me