BUSINESS

October 24, 2022

Kaitlin Last

Kaitlin is a mother, marketer, dreamer, and doer—and oftentimes, all four at once.

On Marketing and Motherhood

Straight-faced negotiation, tight deadlines, constantly evolving metrics, demanding bosses, heavily invested stakeholders with a lot of opinions... Can you guess what I’m talking about?

As a marketing “newb”, there has been plenty to learn. Lots of books to read, people to learn from, theories and strategies to learn and apply. The world of marketing is moves at breakneck speed, or so it seems. It definitely feels uphill both ways in knee deep snow.

While the technical details of marketing differ greatly from motherhood, obviously, the two have a lot more in common than I had anticipated. Remember that list ^^ up there?

Motherhood is complex. We’re blessed with these little humans that we become 100% responsible for, and we play a pivotal role in their journey to becoming kind adults. It’s a huge weight, especially when there’s no license required or a rule book included. 

Similarly, marketing is our “baby”. We develop and implement strategies for success. We hope that we did enough of the “right stuff” to hit our target metrics. When things don’t go to plan, we pivot and try something new. 

Motherhood and marketing require testing, analyzing, and testing some more. If it feels like a stretch, let me explain a little further.

Think back to when you were a nervous first-time mother or parent. (I can’t be the only one, right?) 

If you’re anything like me, you read every parenting book you could get your hands on. You Googled until your eyes felt like they were going to melt. You consumed as much literature as humanly possible until that child was born. I took every piece of advice to heart and thought 

Okay, I can do this. I’ve got all the knowledge, the how-to, the rules

Turns out the joke is on me. 

Parenting (and parenting toddlers in particular) doesn’t follow a rule book. It’s more of a… guideline? A suggestion? 

When my son was born, I felt like I had stepped into a warped reality–everything I learned had just flown out the window. Sort of how I imagine dashing toward the wall at Platform 9 and ¾ might feel, only to realize it actually is a solid wall. 

All bets are off, no one has the “right” answer (whatever that is), those books were mostly trash (sorry), suddenly everyone has a million opinions on how you should do things because that’s the way they did it and everyone survived (which, by the way, isn’t helpful advice at all), etc., etc.

How do you move forward?

By testing things out. Pivoting when you’re stumped. Analyzing every breath, burp, and bowel movement (well, maybe not). And trusting your gut.

Am I doing this right? 

Adjust and get back at it.

But at some point, in the not so far off future, you settle in, you find your intuition, you remember the 8,000 things you read, learned, or were told and apply the tactics… and you find your groove.

You quickly analyze what’s in front of you and course correct if needed. You listen and connect on a deeper level. You anticipate their wants, needs, and fears before they even realize it themselves. Hopefully you get it right, but if you don’t, you head back to the drawing board and try the backup plan.

Marketing, I mean motherhood, doesn’t seem too scary after all.

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