Finding_the_Zen_in_Marketing_with_Bacon.pngThe daily pace of marketing has accelerated to a break-neck, frenetic state.  Today’s world is an always-on, hustling-bustling, interrupt-driven, multi-tasking landscape of digital devices, content and apps.  There’s always another campaign to run, more content to create, more needs of the sales team, more data to process, more channels to leverage, more, more, more… With all these demands, there is precious little time to step back from the tactical execution of the moment and contemplate the big picture and think the strategic thoughts.

But there is hope!  You can practice yoga.  You can meditate.  Or, if you are like me, you can seek “Moments of Zen” in your everyday life, and find calm and clarity within things you do everyday.

For example, one of my treasured Zen moments is cooking bacon.  Yes, you read that right.  I truly find mental focus, clarity and refreshment through the act of cooking bacon.  Upon introspection, I have distinguished what makes this the case.  It turns out that these same principles that work for me to find Zen in my kitchen, can be applied to finding Zen in marketing.

  • Data-Driven Confidence. I know that cooking bacon will lead to success.  I know this from the household satisfaction data and breakfast consumption metrics.  Does your data provide insights that give you confidence you are doing the right things?  Or are you left guessing?
  • Audience Understanding. I understand my audience (aka my family) and know that they like the bacon, how crispy they each like it cooked, and when and how much of it they will eat.  As a marketer, you should be seeking deep audience understanding, truly understanding your buyers and how they buy so you can satisfy their needs with compelling messages and content in their prefered formats and channels.
  • Self-sufficiency. I am 100% self-sufficient in cooking bacon.  I have the right tools (an electric griddle and a pair of silicon tongs) and they are perfect for me to get the job done. I know where everything is, and can operate it without IT support 😉
  • Processes. My whole bacon cooking process is systematized.  It leads to efficiency and repeatability.  Can you say that about your everyday marketing practices?  Or is each time you need to brainstorm content an on-the-fly process?  Once you achieve repeatability, you can find the optimizations.  Ie. Flipping two pieces at a time is faster than one, but trying to flip three leads to more mess.

These attributes are what enable me to find Zen in cooking bacon, and what can lead to finding Zen in the things that you do, be it at the office or at home.  And these moments of Zen are precious.  They can yield the magic of inspiration, they are the open space for developing thoughts that have been percolating, and at the least they are opportunities to recharge your mental energy in preparation for charging forward with vigor.