Ok, the boring stuff first… In marketing you often find yourself explaining what it is you do, to your customers. You start off by being quite general and when you get to your third point, your customer turns around and says, “way too technical, explain it to me as if I were a five-year-old”.

At this point you are about to pull your f*%*@!$ hair out because you have already tried to simplify it and obviously not getting it right.

We all like customers who don’t ask too many questions and just sort of go with the flow. But, reality is many customers, especially smaller businesses; want to know exactly what it is you will be doing and how this will affect/ benefit them.

Read other cool articles like this here.

I’ve encountered this on many occasions and only really clicked what I was doing wrong when I came across a question related to SEO; “Explain SEO and what it is to your 5-year-old nephew”.

Things have changed a little once I started to explain my marketing activities to customers in their basic form making sure it would make sense to a five-year-old.

The exception is if your customers are savvy then obviously this technique won’t be welcomed and could be rather offensive- Marketers beware…

So let’s talk about SEO in its basic form as if we were explaining it to a five-year-old.

What is SEO?

You want to sell puzzles to all the other little kids.

You have created an amazing car puzzle for boys that like cars and puzzles just like you. You designed a really nice box that stands out, looks good, has cars on the front and makes the other kids like you want to take it home and play with it!

3…2…1 Launch… then Surprise, Surprise.

You now put your puzzle into Kmart. The only problem is that there are 100’s of other puzzles with cars, trucks, tractors and other cool things that little boys like.

You notice that your puzzle needs to be in the right place where all the kids are looking. Currently, it’s all the way on the top shelf where none of the kids can reach.

You then go to Kmart’s manager and explain that your puzzle is really good and ask to move the puzzle to a lower position on the rack, where all the kids can see and reach it easily.

The manager says that he is willing to move the puzzle down a row for every week that you do ALL your chores at home.

The Work, The Work, The Work.

You are really excited and work your hardest at getting all your chores done at home and return a week later. The manager moves your puzzle down a shelf and all of a sudden your start to sell a little more.

This continues for many more weeks and because you have not given up or forgotten about your challenge, the manager moves your puzzle to the best shelf where all the kids can see, touch and buy your puzzle.

You are really happy and making extra pocket money. The manager mentions to you that if you keep it up (doing all your chores) he will keep your puzzle in the same position on the shelf, but also allow you to make more puzzles with trucks, tractors and whatever else you like.

Maintain and Grow.

If you stop doing your chores your puzzle can move back up a shelf and that’s not good.

This process of keeping your puzzle on the right shelf so that kids can see it and buy it is the basis of SEO.

Hope you enjoyed it. This is purely meant to get you thinking about how you use a situation like this to help explain it to a customer that is technically challenged.

Please share if you have anything interesting to add. Would love to see some ideas for explaining CPA and CTRs to a five-year-old, anyone?