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Having kids is like being on Jeopardy for, like, 20 years: they give you the answers, you just have to figure out the questions they’re asking!

And they’ve taught me a lot about marketing. Here’s their insight:

Positioning matters. Ask a 4 year old girl if she wants a pony tail = no! Ask the same girl if she wants ‘super-high, flowing pony hair’ and you’ve got a pretty excited kid standing in line at your feet.

Make it special–novelty matters. If you’re having trouble feeding your kids the same ol’ thing just try cutting things into funky shapes. I keep cookie cutters handy–makes turning a pedestrian pancake into a butterfly easy. All of a sudden they wanna get some. With marketing, every so often, just change course. Keeps clients and prospects on their toes.

Slow down–be sincere. Ever try to read a book on fast forward? My kids called me out on that on the quick. It really made me think: life is about the here and now–if you’re not gonna do it right, don’t do it at all. Your audience isn’t schooled in your products like you are, so slow down a bit–let folks d i g e s t…

Too many choices is counter productive. Kids love choices–and if you stay disciplined, you can get your kids to do a lot of things if you avoid overdoing it. Same with clients, colleagues, direct reports. A or B? that’s a 15-minute decision. A, B, C, Ca, T, R or Z? That’s a black hole.

Get the core stuff right and nothing else matters. Kids love constant change–but they really just want you to love them in a straight-forward and consistent way. Your clients and prospects too: give them something really good and be consistent. Everything else is distracting and confusing.