I don’t know about you, but I enjoy killing time playing Candy Crush.  In fact, I’m on level 532 – so it could be fair to say that I’m addicted.  As a very busy person, I sometimes feel guilty for “wasting” my time filling my brain with jelly beans, lemon drops and candy bombs but, then, I realized it actually reinforces some really valuable lessons for marketing, business and life in general.

1. Understand your goalsbefore you start playing –  
As the successful author Steven Covey writes “Begin with the end in mind”, it is critical to know what you are trying to accomplish before you begin a level As in Candy Crush, you can make all kinds of moves, but if you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish (i.e. get 50 of the same color), you will never pass that level. Don’t just jump in and play until you understand what you are trying to do.

2. Big moves aren’t always the best –
Just because a move will create a lot of explosions doesn’t mean its good!  Have you ever had a color bomb next to a wrapped candy?  It seems like it will create a really exciting result but, it doesn’t typically result in a major impact.  The same goes for marketing. Every single “move” counts, and sometimes trying to make a huge splash may get you a lot of attention but, may not result in the actual actions you want to happen.  For instance, you may get a ton of responders to a campaign, but none of them want to actually buy anything, they are just interested in the big exciting move!

3.  Don’t move too fast –
Sometimes you can be on a roll and hurrying through a level but going too fast can result inmissing a better move or worse, making a move that you didn’t mean to make. Don’t you wish there was an undo button?  That happens in business too!  It’s easy to hurry through the task and miss the fine-tuning necessary to cover all of the bases. Think before you make a move to make sure you evaluate all of your options before you move full steam ahead.

4. Look at the big picture –
Be aware of your surroundings (if there is a time bomb about to explode, or chocolate is covering your targets, you need to keep an eye on it). Granted, there aren’t many time bombs in business, but there is competition, and missing the big picture can cause collateral damage to your reputation and trust.  The big picture is your customer base, and if any move alienates your customers, you should rethink your move.  And, you need to always be aware of the marketplace.  What are factors outside your immediate situation that can impact your results?

5.  Every accomplishment leads to new challenges –
Just when you pass a frustrating level, a new level offers a different challenge.  The grass isn’t always greener on the other side or with a different company or scenario, it just gives you different kinds of challenges.  The best approach is to enjoy the challenges and seek the accomplishment of tackling the new things that come your way instead of thinking it’s just an impossible level.

6. Even when you do everything right, there are some annoying things you just cannot control

In Candy Crush, there are delicious looking chocolate bars that are just obstacles. No matter what your move, it is best to just get around them. Just as in business, and physics, every move has a result and often a reaction. Rather than being reactionary, being proactive is more likely to lead to better results.  In fact, planning ahead to get just the right combination of moves to reach the desired goal is quite effective…in Candy Crush and in business. And remember, persistence is key, Most of the people I know that play Candy Crush quit when they got frustrated with a level.  Sadly, I find that to be true in business too.  Yet, as in Candy Crush and in marketing, I’ve found that persistence pays off.  If I just keep working away, I magically get lucky and advance to the next level.

So whether you play Candy Crush or not, , there are plenty of marketing (and life) lessons to be learned from this seemingly straightforward, addictive game. What are your lessons? What level are you on? We’d love to hear in the comments section below.