Here’s How to Increase Customer Engagement By Acting Like a Child

While our experiences growing up provide fundamental lessons for our future careers, Entrepreneur points out that they can also rob us of some of our most treasured attributes.

As we mature, we learn to be more rational and logical and lose our openness to new ideas and experiences, suggests Entrepreneur. The problem is, our more pragmatic selves can miss out on innovative ways of improving customer engagement through channeling our inner child.

“…ittle children have certain characteristics that could really help a company’s customer engagement strategy.”

Source: DMA

Here are three key ways that channeling your inner toddler can help you excel at customer engagement:

1. It can compel your brand to action

Consider how toddlers react to being ignored. They don’t just sit back and take it. They kick, shout, scream, and hold their breath. Or, as DMA puts it, “They disrupt in increasingly innovative ways.”

That’s something modern retailers and marketers can learn a lot from.

“The process of intelligent disruption for the advertising industry will accelerate into the next decade. Those unprepared will be left behind as they will not see the clear and present threat and by the time they understand what has happened it will be too late,” says Consumers in Motion Group founder and CEO, Daniel Hodges.

Just as toddlers know how to get grown-ups to react quickly to their needs through innovative disruption, retailers and marketers need to respond with haste to the changing tide of customer engagement—and all that comes with it—in fresh new ways that will keep their brands relevant and adaptable.

2. It can answer important questions about your audience

Have you ever noticed that toddlers love to ask, “Why?”

“Why are we going to the store? Why are we driving down this road? Why aren’t we there yet?” If you’re a parent, you know how frustrating it is to answer this question over and over.

But as a retailer and/or marketer, “Why?” is an incredibly important question to ask:

Why have we chosen this marketing message?

Why are we targeting this particular audience?

Why are we using these social media channels?

Why aren’t we converting shoppers to customers?

Collecting data and feedback is a key component of your customer engagement strategy. After all, it’s kind of pointless to use engagement methods based on what you think your customers want when you can give them exactly what they want instead.

3. It can help you see the ordinary as amazing

As an adult, you probably think of birds is animals that occasionally dive bomb your car. Toddlers, on the other hand, view birds as incredible flying creatures. While adults view legos as something to pick up from the floor, children can visualize them as captivating building blocks to another world.

Unfortunately, that creativity and inspiration fade with adulthood as the demands of the real world take over. But you can get them back! According to Wall Street Journal, “When subjects are told to imagine themselves as 7-year-olds, they score significantly higher on tests of divergent thinking, such as trying to invent alternative uses for an old car tire.”

Furthermore, 60% of CEOs polled by IBM named creative problem solving as the most important trait for leadership.

Whether you’re trying to lead a company, generate great marketing campaigns, create a new article, or find fresh ways to engage your customers, creative problem solving is crucial!


“Curious people are more likely to challenge the status quo, and to explore new paths,” says The Mission.

“Silicon Valley is full of tireless technologists and wide-eyed entrepreneurs who act more like excited children with new toys than top executives of hot companies…[T]hat youthful enthusiasm is a big part of the innovation loop that fuels much of corporate America.”

When you channel your inner toddler, you’ll generate the type of curiosity necessary to adapt to today’s ever-changing, rapidly innovating world and find fresh ways to enhance your business and engage your customers.

Also published on Medium.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.