Sometimes there is no better feeling than coming home after a long day to your furry friend. Maybe this? https://giphy.com/gifs/funny-dog-mad-18LZm8w9R8T0Q No, wait! What about this? https://giphy.com/gifs/barkpost-funny-dog-gif-lawn-mowing-26uf43dkw9ByWsjLi Gosh, I just love it when they do chores. You know what, my fluffy friend? Why don’t you just take a load off. https://giphy.com/gifs/funny-dog-bswGDO7Rh1ONO You may not know it, but your dog is a marketer and a darn good one at that. Here are three marketing lessons you can learn from man’s best friend: 1. Be Authentic Sure, you’ve come home to an absolute mess before. But not like this. The front door swings open and you find that Bosco, your sweet golden retriever, decided it was in his best interest to annihilate the throw pillows on the couch and then dump the trash can. While you may have just reached levels of frustration that you didn’t even think were possible, let me ask you this: did Bosco act like a dog? Yes. Yes, he did. More than just being pros at creating a huge mess, dogs are authentic. They give you unconditional love no matter what, think about you the entire time you’re at work (sometimes so much that they destroy the house), and no matter what mood you’re in, they still want to cuddle you and give you kisses. And what does it do to you? It melts you heart and strengthens the bond between you two. The first takeaway from our fluffy friends is that no matter their behavior, dogs are good at being dogs. And if we can be good at being humans (authentic humans, that is), we will forge stronger connections with our intended audience. So stop selling, stop talking at your customers and begin a 1-1 dialogue where both parties learn about each other. Heck, become best friends! But know that the way to every customers heart is through your authentic self. Customers want to see behind the curtain and know that on the other side, good people are taking of them and thinking about their best interests. That’s how you get customers to repeatedly buy from you and be advocates for your brand. 2. Know When to Say Sorry https://giphy.com/gifs/cheezburger-dog-sad-ZsjU4Mk3SiwFy Dogs know when they screwed up. They put their heads down, tail in between their legs, and beg for our forgiveness. And who are we kidding! They look so cute when they’re guilty so we tend to forgive them right away! As marketers, we’re not always the best at admitting when we made a BIG error. You know, the kind of error like when you email your suppression list of 200,000 agitated subscribers and you receive thousands of nasty replies (not saying that’s ever happened to anyone). In line with the first point of being authentic, we need to know when to say sorry. By design, marketers are urged to push the boundaries of the so-called “norm” and it’s all to get the attention of our customers. So while it might be well intentioned, we don’t always hit the mark and we may offend some folks. It is at this crucial moment that we define ourselves. Are we the marketers that are willing to sacrifice our brand image to try edgy messaging or are we continually placing our customers at the forefront of our minds in everything we do? Are we willing to except responsibility, say we are sorry, and humanize ourselves and our brand to be more relatable? The answer is always yes. We love dogs because they can admit their faults and if we can do it too, our customers will love us. 3. Don’t Know When to Quit https://giphy.com/gifs/vidme-dog-cute-please-R6nV6C5uC16Fy Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t know when to quit. No matter how much you ask your pooch to stop begging at the table, what will he do? BEG, BEG, BEG, then beg some more. Then what do you do? Give him some food. That’ll do the trick, right? No! He continues to beg! Despite how irritatingly cute this sort of behavior can be, it can teach us two very import lessons. 1) Stay focused on one thing at a time and 2) Be persistent. We marketers can be distracted by shiny objects (much like dogs) where we want to chase after every new idea that comes across the table (much like dogs). But when we can’t just focus on one thing, we divide our attention and efforts across too many things and find that we can’t succeed or do any one project well. So the point is to find the one or two projects that you think will move the needle, give them all of your focus, and don’t rest until you complete them from A-Z. The marketers that do well are the ones that do one or two projects well a quarter, not 15 projects poorly. Lastly, don’t know when to quit or rather, don’t quit until you know it’s really time to quit. Follow your intuitions, test, rewrite copy, and test again. Push on a new idea until you know with 100% certainty that it simply won’t work for the business. Learning to accept failure as a learning opportunity is possibly the most important career lesson you’ll ever learn. I hope this blog gave you a new-found appreciation for your best friend at home! Do you have any other lessons to add to this list? Is your dog a better marketer than Bosco, the golden retriever? Let me know in the comments below!