What A 5 Year Old Taught Me About Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Passengers of Train Number 12684, Bangalore-Ernakulam Superfast Express, Coach S3 would hardly ever forget their journey on 24th October 2013. And though for different reasons, neither would I.

Nothing special had happened actually. It was just another train journey; except the fact that the guy from seat 32 was seen typing away furiously on his laptop, even long after everyone else had fallen asleep. The same guy who had previously slapped a drunkard for making a nuisance in the coach.

Needless to say, the guy from seat 32 was me. The typing away furiously is the same reason you’re now reading this post, which I actually wrote in train. The second reason, was all thanks to the Karnataka Beverage Corporation’s donation to some retard who came all drunk in the coach and was disturbing a pregnant lady in my nearby seat, along with her kid.

The very same 5 year old kid, who is the central character of this blog post.

5 year old girl

After the hue and cry with the drunkard had died down and I had become some sort of a “Coach Hero”, we all were sitting and chatting away, getting to know each other. The uncle who runs a Chartered Flight Booking Agency, the pregnant lady who’s a school teacher (along with her 5 year old daughter) and the college kid who’s going back home were my fellow passengers.

As we were talking, I noticed the 5 year old little girl was pestering her mom regularly to buy a packet of Lays. At first the aunty ignored her but when the frequency of the pestering grew, she said a rigid no as the final judgment. But we know kids – they never have no for an answer. And that’s exactly when what the kid did, thoroughly impressed me.

As the next guy selling Lays came, the girl went and hugged the man’s legs tightly, chanting out to her mom her craving for the packet of air. No matter how much the guy or her mom tried, she just didn’t let go of him. End result – 5 minutes later she was sitting at the window, happily munching at her packet of air….uh… Lays.

I bloody hell work in the marketing field and even I have never been able to convince any client why he needs my services, as simple and as fast as that little girl convinced her mom to get her a pack of Lays!

Bollocks I tell ya. If it wasn’t against the law and common sense, I would have definitely hired that little girl as my Marketing Manager. And she wouldn’t even need a salary. Candies and Lays would suffice am sure 😀

In retrospect, the little girl actually did teach me an important lesson. Not just in marketing, but on basic human nature. One, she never gave up on her goal, even after being told a rigid no. So unlike us, who mostly give up something so very easily without giving it all that we got. Secondly, she knew the right method to get the deal sealed. She understood her client (mom), what would actually get her attention (holding on to the Chips-waala), what would question her ego (the people looking on) and then seal the deal on a mutually loss-less transaction which would result in both agency-client satisfaction (she got her Lays and mom her peace of mind).

And to think we people go for an MBA and still don’t get the basics right. Sheesh!

Man and girl cartoon despicable me

Maybe it’s the innocence, maybe it’s the purity of thought. But if we just look around, we can actually learn a lot by just observing the toddlers. It’s almost like they have full knowledge about their “Client”, know how well to do “Market Study”, understand what exactly gets into the heads (or nerves) of their “Target Audience” and develop a “Strategy” to almost always get their desired result. And with their attitude of I-will-get-what-I-want, there’s a thing or two to be learnt by Entrepreneurs too.

Ah well, am neither an MBA, nor a parent, nor a marketing guy by default. Just some observations by the guy from seat 32.

Image Courtesy - Despicable Me