If you are a parent, then you have undoubtedly fought the bedtime battle with your children.  bedtimeEarly on, you do anything that works, really leaving the child in control. But, as time goes by you decide to “get serious” and start a routine in hopes of restoring some normalcy to your life.

My son is nearing his 2nd birthday. For the most part he is a pretty good sleeper. Some big changes like a move, new bed and his little sister being born recently threw him off a little bit. Instead of the nice, easy process that we used to have, it really became a struggle and there were nights that it took more than 2 hours to get him down. After a lot of persistence, he is finally back on track. The other night, I was laying there during “Night-Night” (I’ll explain in a bit) and began relating this whole process to marketing.

Below are nine points that putting your children to bed can teach you about your marketing results.

Run him ragged

We, like all parents, have found that the more we get our kids to play and expend energy, the easier bedtime becomes. We can confidently go into bedtime if we have had a full day of running around, but it is a whole different story if we can’t get him out of the house.

Marketing Lesson: Do your pre-work. Before trying any new strategy, technology or partner relationship, make sure you do your due diligence. The more that you exhaust your options, the more confidently you can go into implementation and set yourself up for success.

Stick to the routine

When we decided to really get serious about bedtime, the first step was research. My wife is an extreme fact-finder so we naturally got every book, pamphlet and web resource we could.  Nearly every one of them said to set a consistent routine. This has worked wonders, and my son actually says the steps in order without help now. Our process is:

  • “Teeth”
  • “Bath”
  • “Tee-bays” (PJ’s)
  • “Books”
  • “Ocean” (turn on the sound machine)
  • “Night-Night”
  • We do on occasion add in “Heater” (space heater) if it’s going to be especially cold

Marketing Lesson: Stick to the plan. If you commit to (as an example) Blogging three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday then really commit to it. The moment you stop your routine, your audience will begin to lose interest and your results will suffer. The caveat here is not being too rigid.

Yes, things change. You may find that results from your Blogging strategy are steadily climbing, but you want to accelerate them, or that certain days work better than others. It is ok to adjust your routine (like we do with the space heater), but only make changes when necessary. Don’t get lazy.

Don’t swat spider man

I was on my last nerve during one of my two hour battles. My son would not go to sleep! He was talking, sitting up and playing with his Spider Man toy. He kept shoving the toy in my face telling me to give it a hug. I felt like swatting that thing across the room, but refrained.

Marketing Lesson: You can’t act on impulses or emotion, especially with social media.

Keep the end in mind

There are times when the bedtime process feels as though it will never end. Of course it does.

Marketing Lesson: Sometimes marketing is tough and it requires a lot of effort. Just remember to keep your focus on the goal, and it will help you get through the rough patches.

Don’t deviate, no matter how much fuss there is

Sometimes my son gets so worked up. The tears really get flowing, there is horrible screaming and his little heart races. During those times, I’m sometimes tempted to just give in and take him back downstairs. That would most likely make him overtired and extend the process.

Marketing Lesson: Sometimes coordinating internal marketing efforts is like herding cats.  Sales people and executive team members are often charged with creating content, but find every excuse not to do it. You have to create a culture of accountability and remind the whole team why you are implementing the strategies you’ve chosen. Don’t deviate, even if their little hearts are racing and they turn on the waterworks.

Lay still with your eyes closed

The best method I’ve found is to lay still with my eyes closed. My son tries talking to me or wants to play, but he eventually lays next to me, closes his eyes and then falls asleep.

Marketing Lesson: Lead by example.

Speak to your audience

As mentioned above, my son will typically test me to see if I am actually sleeping. He will get right in my face and say things that I typically laugh really hard at. He is smart and knows the ‘jokes’ that get me. It takes every bit of willpower I have to not laugh hysterically. I admittedly break sometimes. I wish I had a video of this to insert here.

Marketing Lesson: Just like my son, you have to know your audience. Know how they consume media, the appropriate tone, etc.

Call in reinforcements

There were definitely times when I just couldn’t take it anymore. Two hours is typically my breaking point. When I hit my limit, I would switch places with my wife. Sometimes he would fall asleep quickly after the switch, sometimes it would take a little longer, but he always finally fell asleep.

Marketing Lesson: Whether you are the only person responsible for marketing, or you lead a full department, it is okay to ask others for help. That can be help creating content, or hiring a marketing firm. Regardless of what help you need, there is no shame in asking for it.


I assume most parents use some type of monitor. We are no different. The worst feeling is hearing crying coming out of it, especially minutes after you think your child has finally fallen asleep.

Marketing Lesson: Just like a sleeping child, your marketing can not be left alone with the assumption that everything is going the way you hope. You have to have regular monitoring to make sure you are getting the results you want.

No matter how long the process takes, my son always falls asleep, and there is a that huge relief when he does. It’s a little nightly win for dad. For you, concentrate on what the end goal really is. Not just the goal (i.e. double revenue in 2014), but what that will do. Will you be able to hire another employee lightening the load on you? Think about the results in terms of how this will benefit you and your company. If you do that, you will be able to stay positive and stick to the plan, no matter how hard it gets sometimes.