It was a sunny and glorious Sunday in Columbus after cold and cloudy days of winter. My husband and I began to strategize about how to do all the things we needed to with a baby and toddler. We’re in that phase of life where even simple tasks need careful planning because of life with two littles. 

We landed on my 3.5-year-old helping me clean our car and mini van during the baby’s nap while my husband studied for his master’s degree work. And then in the late afternoon my husband would mow the lawn. And everything would somehow get done on this glorious Sunday. 

Now, we’ve tried having the toddler “help” clean the vehicles before and his attention span just wasn’t enough. But digital marketing has certainly taught me the power of testing and retesting. Finally, he seems ready for the task but it still had its comical moments that reminded me of the rebuttals that I hear from clients when I suggest digital marketing ideas. Here’s the parallel between the two.

Testing All the Tools for About 30 Seconds Each

The moment we got outside, my toddler wanted to try it all. He went from the wash mitt to the squeegee, to the brush designed to help reach the top of the van to the drying towels. Everything was new and exciting and he couldn’t wait to see the results from each tool.

Businesses do this far too often with digital marketing. They rush to try everything they’ve read about or heard from a friend without a clear strategy or maybe even the manpower to do the job right.

There’s a reason why digital marketing professionals recommend a certain order to tasks and initiatives. If you try drying the van before washing it, all you’ll get is a dirty towel or in marketing terms, you might get a few clicks but no conversions or leads. 

Then He Got Defensive When I Cleaned the Wheels “He Already Cleaned”

I was grateful for the help and that we finally seemed to have a breakthrough on washing vehicles together. But my 3.5-year-old is fiercely independent. So when I went to do some touchups on the wheels that he had seen as his job, he got defensive because “he’d already cleaned them.”

I hear this from clients too. We already tried blogging and saw no results. Or, PPC ads just cost us money with no returns. But the key difference is in expertise. Business owners are incredible and I have all the respect in the world for them. They wear many hats and have magnificent minds that built something out of nothing. But that doesn’t make them experts at everything, which means sometimes a small tweak in a blogging strategy or PPC campaign can truly make all the difference.

There Are Clearly Nuances Between the Terms Wheels and Tires

I asked him to take the wheel brush and clean the wheels. Then I turned around and found him washing the tires. You know, the part that drives around on roads and really offers no value to washing. And that’s when I realized that terms can have nuances.

I don’t use jargon with customers for that very reason. They then either have to ask tons of clarifying questions or might think they know what I said and agree to something different in their mind than what I was explaining.

No one benefits when digital marketing professionals use jargon because you can’t get your message across. I was recently writing an email to a prospect and caught myself using the terms “lead funnels” and “customer buying journey.” Neither one was going to make me look smarter or land the customer, so I took them out. 

He Wanted to Keep Scrubbing When It Was Time to Dry

As I prepared to move onto the drying phase, there was my toddler with the soapy wash mitt taking us back a step. So instead of picking up a towel, I had to go turn the hose back on to rinse off the soapy water once again.

Disordered priorities are common with companies who just want to see marketing results right away and it can cause them to jump from thing to thing or digital marketing professional to digital marketing professional despite the timing or strategy not being quite right.

Once I’d Rinsed the Soap Off He Proudly Declared It “Clean as New”

The van is dripping and the sun is shining creating water spots faster than I can explain to my toddler there’s still one more important step to really seeing results from our hard work. But there he is saying the van is as clean as new. 

Clients can be the same way wanting to skip ahead to analytics and just see results. The test and retest phase can frustrate clients because they’re ready to be done and seeing the results. But it doesn’t work that way and you can’t just skip ahead to the end. 

And Then He Put the Towels in the Soapy Water While I Was Rinsing the Soap Off the Van

I have no analogy for this one. Just a reminder to give parents of young children lots of grace. They’re seriously going through a lot even with minor household tasks. 

And if you see a minivan covered in water spots cruising around Columbus, Ohio, be sure to wave. 😄