I wear a lot of hats, but there’s none I love more than being a dad. I was reflecting on some of the ways that we dads parent (or at least some of the stereotypes about us) and I realized that fathers are natural marketers. Let’s see what we can all learn from dear old dad!
Dads use fewer words: Dads seem to be able to quiet a pre-dinner riot, sibling squabble or temper tantrum with a single command or the patented dad look. One of the most common mistakes marketers make is when we try to pack 5 pounds of information into a 1-pound bag.

When your dad speaks, the words matter. Our marketing should follow that same model of fewer words but choosing each one for maximum impact. 

Dads are loyal: Is your dad a fan of a particular team, no matter how well they play? Does he still talk about the movie stars who haven’t created a new movie in decades or hang out with his grade school buddies on the weekend? 

One of the best things about dads is that when they love something, they really love it. That’s brilliant marketing. When our customers know we love them, and we’re committed to serving them, they return that loyalty in many ways. There’s no customer more important than an existing customer who sings your praises. 

Dads are characters: Many kids cringe when their dad tries to juggle, sing or tell jokes in front of their friends. Whether your dad is a fishing lure on the hat kind of dad or the socks and sandals sort of guy – he’s comfortable in his own skin.

They embrace who they are, and brands should do the same thing. If your company is a little formal and uptight, then celebrate that. If you’re a nerdy company, be as nerdy as you can be. Knowing who you are and boldly claiming it will help you attract like-minded clients.

Dads love games: Sports, cards, chess or Parcheesi – every dad I know loves to compete at something. They love the camaraderie of team sports, love smack talking, and love to win. They will adorn their bodies, vehicles, offices and the walls of the house with memorabilia that document their epic battles.
Gamification is such a smart way to market today. Consumers love to compete, earn badges, levels or points, and they will grant incredible loyalty and share of wallet to the brands that entertain, engage and encourage us.

Dads love creating experiences: Dads love adventures that range from 
traveling to exotic places to eating ice cream before dinner. Surprises are part of their sense of adventure, for sure – be it a spontaneous sunrise breakfast in the backyard or him hiding around a corner and jumping out to startle you.

Experiential marketing is incredibly effective these days, as brands work hard to connect with consumers wherever they may be. That might mean an interactive trade show display, an intercept on a busy corner, or product placement in a video game. Surprising your prospects by showing up where they don’t expect you is a very dad-approved move.

Who knew that while our dads were reminding us to clean our rooms, asking us to pull their finger, grilling the brats and making that face in every family photo, they were also teaching us marketing best practices?

 As you head into Father’s Day weekend, whether you’re celebrating being a dad, the dad you grew up with, or an important father figure in your life – in your list of things you appreciate about their influence on who you grew up to be, be sure you add your marketing savvy to the list!