5 Unforgettable Marketing Lessons I Learned from My Cats

Cats are extremely good at getting what they want. They might be the best at doing so. Thus, it warrants further investigation into why cats are the best marketers ever.

Lucy girl is cute without trying

If you’re cute, you don’t need to try very hard for attention.

Okay maybe this one is not such a big secret, but it was my cat that just reminded me of this fact. There’s generally three ways to get attention: be the loudest, say it the most times, or be the cutest. Most businesses seem to be spending the most time with the first two, spamming their messages through email and social media, forgetting that “cute” things don’t need to try very hard for attention. If you’re not being cute, then you’re probably acting annoying.

“Cute” means something that you voluntarily want to look at, and share with your social and professional networks. Viral infographics that get shared, those are cute. Cats are cute, naturally. That’s why I’m making this article about cats. And marketing, of course.

It’s also worth mentioning that cats resort to meow’ing over and over again when they’re hungry. They too are guilty of spamming their messages until they get what they want-- but they use it as a last resort if simply being cute is not working.


Less is More

It’s so rare that my cats want attention, I’m so appreciative of the moments that they want it.

Concentrate harder on quality over quantity. Think about what your target market really wants to read. [this section purposely left blank to highlight “less is more”]


“I don’t like my belly rubbed.”

There’s a major difference between cats and dogs. One group loves getting their bellies rubbed, and one hates it. Do you know which is which?

I was a dog guy most of my life, so I had no clue that cats hated getting their bellies rubbed. The first thing I would do when being introduced to a cat was to flip the cat over and rub its belly. Reactions varied from mild discomfort to bloody murder.

I’m a little bit stubborn so it took me a few cats to realize this pattern, that they hated it. I’m the same friendly guy, but why do I have trouble building relationships with cats? It was a communication problem and I was at fault. I was trying to communicate that “I’m a friend” and “I like you” but the cats were not receiving my message such. I was using “dog language” and that clearly was not working.

So, I started to ignore them. I would only pet a cat when it approached me and asked for attention. I stopped rubbing their bellies and they warmed up to me slowly over a few weeks.

The marketing lesson here sounds like common sense: treat people (or cats) how they want to be treated. The same marketing message might need to be tweaked for the intended audience. What works with one group might completely fail with another group.


Just be yourself

Sometimes we become so concerned about what our customers think that we lose our own identity in the process. I realized this when I saw Lily, one of my cats, batting around one of her fake mouse toys, completely ignorant to the fact that I was watching her. She was just lost in her own joy.

Cats are just being themselves, and there are a certain number of us who gravitate towards them. Marketing your business can be that simple: just do what you do best and promote it. You can’t win them all (customers), but those you do win over will love you for being yourself.


Unexpected Attention is the Best!

I have two black cats, Lily and Lucy. Rarely do either of them give me the time of day when I want to pet them. However, each of them will approach me at the most random of moments, seeking attention. Sometimes it is the worst timing, like when I am headed out the door for work-- but I will always spend a few minutes when they approach because it is so unexpected, kind of like how surprise birthdays are just a bit more fulfilling.

The marketing lesson here is-- people love surprises. Your customers expect that once-a-month email marketing newsletter. Send them something they’re not expecting. Did you capture their birthday at any point in time? A simple “happy birthday” email goes a long way-- an attached offer/coupon/discount even better!

Lucy forgets she hates belly rubs

Next time you’re fresh out of marketing ideas, stop and think, “WWMCD” (what would my cat do?). Surprise your clients. Be Cute. Be Yourself. And, don’t rub their bellies, unless that’s what they like.

[Pictures are of Lucy-girl. Lucy was not harmed in the production of this blog post.]


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