If you’ve ever read Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince, you may remember the drawing of the boa constrictor devouring an elephant. As adults, we see the drawing as a hat and tend to overthink how a snake could even eat such a huge animal —- this is because we tend to think much about things, but for a child, it’s something they just take and understand.
It’s somehow difficult to explain technical terms to a child because we don’t see things from their perspective. Hence, we come to the simplest and easiest terms they can understand so they would be able to grasp what a specific term is and how we can use it in a sentence. For instance, talking to a child and telling him about marketing. Would they be able to understand it directly? We hope so but we know they cannot.
Hence, how do you explain marketing to a child? How can they understand when all of the words we know are so complex that we don’t know the simplest terms to use? Stop there; we got you.
Use simple sentences
First and foremost, you can always give one or two sentences for them with terms they can understand. You may tell them that marketing is “making people know you, making them like you, and letting them buy from you”, or you can even say that marketing is “convincing people to buy something from you”. In this way, the child will have an initial idea of what it really is, and it might turn out that he’ll be asking questions like how and why (remember they are always curious so better prepare yourself).
Use examples of marketing
Kids can understand more of what you are talking about when you give them examples that they have already experienced firsthand. You can use examples like them selling lemonades —- ask them what they do to be able to sell their product, or what signs and promotions they use so they can gather up buyers. If ever they have not experienced selling a product before, you might want to try giving them examples like commercials on TVs. Like that of famous brands, we always tend to buy something that we know, because it’s always shown on TV, and tell them that’s what marketing is. These might be a little bit unconventional for technical people like us but trust us, kids will be able to see what you are trying to say.
As children can be so curious about everything, you might as well try asking them questions. Ask why they like a famous cereal more than the unknown brands, or ask why they always wanted to have a toy in the first place. The most possible answer for this will always be, “because I always see it on the TV”, or “because it always pops out on my iPad”. By then you will be leading the conversation and they will ask questions too. Still, always be sure to give examples that they have experienced, or ask them questions that they know the answer to.
It will be conversational… and fun!
It may be easy to think about talking to a child but the truth is, it can be overwhelming sometimes. As they are still exploring and learning new things, it’s important for adults to explain things through a child’s perspective. As adults, we also need to remember to not overthink how we are explaining things to a child; be easy, be simple, and think like a child. Remember, we were once children, and we know how things can get when we get curious about something.