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Why I’m teaching my 10 year old Marketing Strategy

I'm always telling my son that the most important thing in life is to be kind to others. He always says, “Yeah Mum … and also to be a millionaire.” Hmmm. Right.

Charlie is a fairly savvy ten-year-old. His (current) master plan to becoming a millionaire is to sell professional fingerboards from our basement. He’s set up his workshop right next to the washing machine and Christmas decorations, where he has already finished a small inventory of boards. And just like that, Tiger Fingerboards is ready to take the world by storm.

Like most new businesses, Charlie is keen to get going. He has a nice-looking product, a name for the company and even a few orders from friends, so as far as he is concerned, he is open for business. But, he is so keen to start selling that he has overlooked a few fundamental Marketing steps critical to his future success.

Now, I had no idea what a professional fingerboard was until a month ago, but after a little research I can now talk deck, tracks and bearings with the best of the them. From what I can see there are plenty of people willing to spend Large amounts of money on tiny skateboards, including all the ramps and accessories that go along with them. However, there is a lot of fingerboard competition out there - who all look and sound pretty much the same. My son’s decks, admittedly to my untrained eye, look just like the rest.

So, I requested a business meeting with my son to highlight his need for a solid Marketing strategy. I explained why a lack of a clear positioning would hold “Tiger Fingerboards” back from realising its full potential, bringing in those big bucks. He hired me immediately.

Getting a 10-year-old to understand the principles of Marketing strategy isn’t actually that difficult. It’s not rocket science after all. But working with him to develop a Marketing strategy wasn’t easy, because it requires making fundamental choices. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a ten-year old with a basement business or the CMO of a multinational mega brand, making choices is difficult. It’s human-nature to hedge our bets.

Deciding on your target audience, your key insight and your positioning are big decisions to make. But, as I told my son, and as we believe at Big M, the secret to Marketing success is to focus. The strongest brands in the world all have one thing in common: a crystal-clear focus on the one thing they want to be famous for. They then relentlessly align all of their activities to consistently deliver on this one promise.

Who knows what the fate of Tiger Fingerboards will be. At Big M we are always eager to help companies of all shapes and sizes on the journey to finding their focus.

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