If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you have no doubt seen ultrasound shots of our soon-to-arrive second daughter. This will make 3 for us and we plan for a fourth. The joy I feel about our next addition is something I cannot describe and only other parents would understand.
Since I am always a guy who has an entrepreneurial spirit, I have pondered the evolution of my industry through the eyes of my children. When my oldest son was born, I had already evolved from hi5 and received the coveted Facebook invitation. But at that time, the world was more interested in Tom’s good ol’ MySpace. By the time my oldest daughter was born, I had migrated exclusively to Facebook. Early in my career, living in the print world, my main marketing focus was brand identity, brand consistency, and traditional methods to share that brand. As I have mentioned in a previous post, sometimes it could take weeks or months for a brand to create enough awareness to have true engagement and activity. The more I ran down the branding & marketing path in my career, I found myself living in the online world. I was (and still am) a sponge, soaking up every bit of information I can about how to engage potential clients and customers through SEO, SEM, social media and solid websites. As our next addition arrives in June, I see another shift in the marketing world with visual marketing, augmented reality, content creation, engaging activity online and many other online practices.
With so many new marketing avenues, ideas, solutions and best practices, it would be easy to remain stuck in ways that worked in the past. As we get older it’s easier to become comfortable or even rigid in our patterns and solutions finding. So from the perspective of new life, I submit some ways we can see marketing with a fresh perspective.
- Never lose the wonder like in a child’s eyes. Mad Men worked 60 years ago, but today things are different. There are always new ideas and products being offered that can wonder and amaze. But being in awe doesn’t mean acceptance. The New Myspace is cool, but is it right for some marketing purposes? Maybe not, but it’s still pretty sweet.
- Be flexible and adaptable. The moment that you lose the ability to change is when you might as well get out of the business. Some tried and true systems still work, SEO for example, but there are always new ones to try. Even SEO isn’t the be-all-end-all anymore and should be combined with social media activities.
- Laugh a lot. Some things aren’t going to work. Sometimes it will cause major headaches, but most of the time it can be laughed off and the next solution can be tried. There isn’t a need to get stressed out, especially when there are so many possible solutions to solve problems out there.
- Release your inner crayons and paint brushes. There comes a time in school when the crayons are replaced with pens and computers. Part of me laments the day when that happens to my kids, so we’ll always have coloring books and crayons at the ready. Sometimes the solutions aren’t found in pen and ink, but Neon Carrot and Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown.
- It’s ok to get messy. Play. We have an immense sandbox to play in with all these cool toys. We don’t know what they’ll do unless we play with them, try them out, maybe even break a few. If you’re standing in your kitchen afterward all dirty and messy, it’s OK. You’ll clean up and you’ll have learned a lot.
- Look up to the adults. There are people who are doing what you’re doing better than you. Find one, get mentored and grow.
- Pass on your adventures to the next generation.
Marketing is a field that has the power to influence, for better or for worse. If we are able to maintain our ability to be in awe, in wonder and be inspired by what our industry is capable of, like a child…then… well… who knows what will be next.