How Feeding Hungry Children Made Me a Better Marketing Consultant

Posted in Marketing | May 8,2020

what's your 20 20 vision

Perspective. In the dictionary, you see it defined as the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship. Essentially, perspective is nothing more than how one sees the world around them based on their knowledge, experience, environment, etc.

So how does this have anything to do with marketing? My honest answer – I’m not sure, but I do know that after having recently volunteered for a local charity whose mission is feeding starving children all over the world – my perspective was affected. And as a marketer, the decisions I make, the ideas I generate, the plans I recommend – they all are affected by perspective.

The Power of First Impressions

It’s human nature to make very quick judgments based on our initial interaction with people. If you doubt that, just remember those blind dates you’ve endured!

Upon arriving to Feed My Starving Children, I was immediately struck by how well organized they are. I had to meet my wife and kids there, and they were running late (somehow kids never know where their shoes are); so when we finally made our way inside, the director had already started going through the guidelines. Nevertheless, my family was warmly greeted with a “Welcome guys! Thank you for coming and volunteering your time! You are truly making a difference in the world.” Now that’s what I call a welcome greeting!

As a marketing consultant who works primarily with medical practices, the absolute number one priority is what we call “the patient experience”. You can have the slickest brochures, the catchiest radio ads, the most engaging social media posts, BUT if you don’t offer a great patient experience, you’re just accelerating your eventual demise – because unhappy patients WILL let the world know about it. And with online reviews being so readily accessible, you simply CAN’T afford negative patient interactions. Make the patient feel like they are the MOST important person when they enter your practice and they’ll make your practice the MOST successful one around.

Passion Drives Excellence

So if first impressions are crucial, how do you ensure your team is consistently delivering? One word…passion. The enemy of excellence is apathy. If you don’t care, you won’t care about failing.

As I listened to the director talk about what our evening would consist of, I looked around the room at the volunteers. There was a detectable feeling of excitement and joy. At first, it almost seemed weird to me – I mean we’re here to send out food to children who are essentially starving to death. But I continued listening as the director spoke more about what we’d be doing and why. Her passion was undeniable. She wasn’t just going through the motions, she genuinely cared and wanted to make a difference. It was inspiring to all of us – we wanted to make a difference, too!

From a marketing standpoint, this equates to finding your “why” and using that as the compass to direct your message. Are you an ophthalmology practice committed to giving people the best vision and care possible? Perfect! That’s a mission everyone can understand and believe in. Perhaps a bariatric surgeon who wants to give people compassionate care, free from any judgment? Yes! That’s a difference-maker – a very marketable one at that! Whatever you do – know your why and make sure your team knows and commits to it every step of the way.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The last thing that really stood out was the unparalleled level of teamwork among both the volunteers and the staff at Feed My Starving Children. There’s no doubt that the level of passion has everything to do with how well everyone worked together, and just like so many things in life, you can’t have one without the other. For me, the takeaway was that everyone checked their ego at the door. Titles didn’t matter. Experience didn’t matter either. Pulling together to accomplish the mission was the sole focus – and we had fun doing it! Whether it was filling bags with food, packing boxes to be shipped or simply sweeping up at the end – everyone was eager to contribute.

Ok. Now What?

So is any of this groundbreaking, state-of-the-art, “this changes everything” marketing magic? No. But in our technology-driven world, it’s easy to get hyper-focused on the metrics and data (ROI, CTR, KPI, clicks, shares, etc), so it’s helpful to step back and understand that at the end of the day, we’re all humans who still make decisions based on our experiences – just remember that when you’re thinking about your next marketing campaign.

And if you’d like to partner with a team that can help guide you, we’d love to hear from you.