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The 5 Most Important Things I Learned from My Dog About Marketing and Social Media

(Full disclosure – I also learned this from knowing other dogs and working on great pet brands.)

1) Age is Meaningless
Is Abby 9 or 63? Sure, there are real health management concerns with an aging Airedale. But that shouldn’t mean not experiencing life and all the new things that continue evolving around us. It’s not about teaching or learning new tricks, but simply being open to the reality that new tricks are almost always built on the shoulders of old ones. So, what’s old is in fact new!

2) Barking is Like Spitting into the Wind
Yes, it gets attention, feels empowering if you are doing it to ward off intruders, but in the end, making noise or drool doesn’t mean much…especially if it blows back in your direction. Marketing used to be akin to this, but social media has changed the pushing of messaging into a new form of active engagement that leads to attitudinal and behavioral change.

3) A Smell Test is Still the Best Way of Figuring Stuff Out
Zappos has it in their DNA about touching, sniffing, and trying stuff on by the boat load – just like Abby gives everything her own smell test, and likes interacting with things before trusting them completely – with no downside to the customer. But more than that, more than ever, marketing outreach and social media are all about giving people the ability to experience brands or corporate cultures through informational transparency unimaginable a decade ago. This inclusiveness is credited with helping create deeper loyalty on the consumer, customer amd employee fronts – even in the “Occupy Age” of today.

4) Leashes Don’t Choke, People Do! (Or Something Like That.)
The simple truth is, we live in a device world. What marketers do and how they innovate with smart phones, tablets, etc. – let alone on social platforms and app-forms – is what matters in the end, especially to the end users. Great brand stewards like Apple and Amazon have done an amazing job of making a commodity of themselves. They’ve become objects of desire and utility that have kept the marketplace flowing. Pulling on the leash too hard could hurt creativity and a brand’s potential.

5) Once You Know Unconditional Love, There’s No Turning Back
Everyone who has or has had a pet knows that there’s a symbiotic life enrichment that takes place between both parties, and it’s hard to imagine not having that in your life after you’ve experienced it. Social media has given us the same thing. Social related sharing has made connecting people to people, people to causes, and people to brands so easy it is hard to imagine ever not being in the emotionally rich flow so many of us find ourselves in today. We all have seen too many photos, read too many OMG! reunion posts and watched too many ridiculous pet videos to ever think that new media is “new” anymore!

Thanks for reading and here’s some more maple bacon to enjoy with that adorable, talking dog!