In mindful practices like yoga, with every pose, we bring our mind, body, and breath in alignment to stretch out of our comfort zones.
The process of continuous improvement in yoga is rooted in objective introspection rather than a focus on the external.
The focus is on finding purpose, staying positive, building empathy, and expanding perspective.
The same principles can be applied to excel in digital marketing.
1. Finding Purpose
Pratyahara is the process of consciously going inward to focus the mind on self-knowledge rather than the external sensory world.
Pratyahara empowers us to find purpose by aligning with our core values and beliefs rather than external pressures. This principle, when applied to marketing strategy, enables inside-out thinking.
Our most inspiring leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs practiced inside-out thinking.
They led with their sense of purpose. They inspired with the power of their beliefs that in turn challenged us to excel and overcome.
Very often as digital marketers we focus on the what rather than the why.
We focus on the cool features our products and services offer rather than the ultimate value we wish to provide to our customers.
Pratyahara can help facilitate starting with Why to create messages that resonate and compel your audience. It also teaches continuous improvement.
It requires constant self-motivation to stretch our physical bodies, focus our minds, and harmonize the breath.
Similarly, by constantly assessing our strengths and becoming aware of our weaknesses, we will be better positioned to take advantage of new industry trends and find the best channels to connect with our audiences.
Apple’s Think Different campaign is the best example of purposeful marketing in action.
In the years leading up to the campaign, Apple had lost market share to the Wintel ecosystem which offered lower prices, more software choices, and higher-performance CPUs.
Think Different marked Steve Job’s return to Apple and cemented Apple’s renaissance as a tech superpower.
However, finding brand purpose requires lasting commitment and sustained follow-through.
Nike’s recent Dream Crazy campaign showed us that standing for something, no matter how polarizing, can help boost sales in the short-term but needs to come alive as marketing or product truths for lasting trust and long-term loyalty.
2. Staying Positive
Santosha refers to contentment, acceptance of others, and circumstances as they are in order to overcome or change them.
As marketing managers, we are often at the center of several customer-driven activities. When juggling multiple conversations, it’s easy to get caught up in execution.
Taking the time to visualize the best outcome at the onset can help drive better responses and decisions along the way. This also helps ensure that we handle mistakes with humility and humor.
The recent example of Tesla’s truck botched debut is a great example of humor in action driving viral conversations and subsequently sales.
Staying positive requires constant reflection, flexibility, and resilience but produces lasting dividends. Positive marketing helps build emotional connections with your customers.
Another evergreen example is McDonald’s #Imlovinit24 campaign. In March 2017, after their worst sales in over a decade, McDonald’s launched a new version of their popular “I’m lovin’ it” campaign.
The original campaign showcased some of the happiest user stories while dining at McDonald’s.
The #Imlovinit24 campaign took this one step further, bringing new and unexpected “moments of joy” to 24 cities all around the world.
It was hugely successful in rebuilding the McDonald’s brand and helping customers associate feelings of joy and trust with McDonald’s.
Staying positive also infuses compassion – from loving ourselves to loving our community.
It helps us practice empathy, as well as understand the world and the landscape in which we operate.
3. Developing Empathy
Karuna is the Sanksrit word for empathy and compassion. Any good marketing strategy is rooted in seamless experiences that speak to customer pain-points and ways to overcome them.
By practicing Karuna, we can effortlessly uncover the unique goals and motivations of our target audience to guide them through the marketing funnel.
We can then determine the most optimal message for each persona or even personalize it down to the individual.
For example, if we find that customers are increasingly searching for ways to stay healthy, we may launch Thanksgiving exclusives focused on lean and low-calorie alternatives.
The best examples of empathetic marketing are LUSH and Home Depot.
LUSH delights its customers by featuring videos with colorful details on its beauty products that have natural and ethically sourced ingredients.
Home Depot delights the ardent DIY-er with world-class customer service and growing body of DIY ideas and inspiration – presenting a human face promotes peace of mind and fosters repeat connections.
4. Expanding Perspective
Pratipaksha Bhavana is an effective technique used to build perspective by aligning to goodness and positive energy.
It starts by seeing the opposite point of view in every situation to find harmony and balance. When we gain perspective, we build humility.
Practicing humility is table stakes as search and social media have made it easier than ever for consumers to observe brands and their messages.
Satya, the Sanksrit word for “truthfulness”, when combined with empathy can elevate our brands to new heights. The same humility and truthfulness can be carried over into our marketing strategy.
For example, before an important launch, we can assess our customer journey from an omnichannel perspective:
- How good is product selection?
- How diverse is the showroom experience?
- What is the quality of social conversations?
Disney is perhaps the best example of omnichannel marketing in action.
Starting with mobile-friendly ticket-booking sites all the way through to wait-optimized mobile apps to help navigate the parks, Disney nails even the tiniest details.
Disney’s innovative marketing experience goes well beyond the parks themselves, with a cohesive and concerted set of memorabilia products and cadence of movies to support constant innovation and fandom through the ages.
When we embody empathy, humility, and truthfulness at all levels of the organization, from pre-sales, through customer service representatives, all the way to the C-suite, we can truly delight audiences and provide long-term value.