Mindful Approach to Marketing
What Is Mindfulness?
The word itself is straightforward. Mindfulness suggests that the mind is full with what is happening around us, inside our bodies or with the task at hand. Yet finding that intensely present and aware mind is hardly an easy task. It seems that when we are doing one thing, our mind is already on to the next project.
Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.” Taking the complexity out of that, mindfulness is simply paying deliberate attention to the present moment—what we are doing, how we are doing it and how we are feeling about that interaction. By increasing this awareness, we become more mindful of our interactions with others and begin to move from a reactive state to a reflective state.
Bill George of the Harvard Business Review recently wrote about mindfulness meditation in business:
“When you are mindful, you’re aware of your presence and the ways you impact other people. You’re able to both observe and participate in each moment, while recognizing the implications of your actions for the longer term. And that prevents you from slipping into a life that pulls you away from your values.”
Mindfulness can keep you aligned with both your personal and professional goals.
How much of our media consumption is out of habit, rather than intentional or purposeful? Do you ever find yourself so deep into the archives of Instagram that you’ve arrived at your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s brother’s post from September 2014? Embarrassingly enough, we have all been sucked into some type of digital media vortex.
If we develop mindfulness as an attention skill, can it change the way we consume media and create more meaningful interactions? If consumers viewed advertisements with a mindful approach, would they be more likely to remember and engage with our product or service? Or better yet, can we as marketers use mindfulness as a tool to make better decisions for our clients?
We can harness mindfulness as a tool for how we work. Being mindful allows us to shift our own perspective to that of the client or consumer—and make better marketing decisions from that standpoint.
Developing this mindful way of thinking and being is a process and a conscious decision. Through meditation and other techniques to help clear the mind, we can reduce stress while bringing increased awareness and attention to our relationships. Through cultivating this nonjudgmental awareness, we can begin to elevate the way we work and engage with our clients and consumers.
Now that you’re wondering how to begin your mindfulness practice, don’t get up. Follow these four easy exercises you can do right at your desk. Have a favorite? Let us know!
Mindful Exercises for the Office
- Close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply. Feel your feet firmly press into the floor. On the inhale, carry your awareness up the legs slowly until you reach the crown of your head. Noticing, without judgement, how each part of your body feels, let the entire inhale of the breath carry you to the top of your head.
- Pause at the top of the inhale, begin to exhale slowly from the crown of your head. Let your awareness drift down the body, coming to rest at your feet.
- Follow the breath up and down. Simply observe the body, making no judgments about the experience.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times.
- This can be done seated or standing.
- Inhale and lift your arms overhead. The right fingers grab the left wrist, and as you exhale, side bend to the right—take two to three deep breaths.
- Inhale and return to center, arms overhead. Left fingers grab the right wrist, and as you exhale, side bend to the left.
- Repeat this as you feel necessary.
- This should be done standing.
- Let your feet ground into the floor, as you press weight evenly through the entire foot. Tuck the tailbone under, engaging through the lower abdominals.
- Clasp your hands behind your lower back. On the inhale, begin to extend the arms, straightening through the elbows and squeezing the shoulder blades together. The chin slightly lifts, keeping the neck long.
- Option to fold forward with arms clasped behind the back.
- Hold for 5 breaths.
- Sit upright on the edge of your chair with your feet pressing into the floor. Inhale and lift the shoulders up to the ears.
- As you exhale, roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears, releasing completely down before repeating.
- Repeat at least 5 more times.
Download Mindful Exercises for the Office.