The Inevitability of Marketing
A cautionary warning into what you will come across in the marketing landscape.
In the marketing world, there are some inevitabilities that you will run into, some good, some bad, and some utterly aneurysm-inducing. The best way to honestly prepare for anything you’ll run into is to be aware that you’ll come across it. There is no secret sauce, or special course you need to take, these things will just happen. How you act when they happen, will indicate how your career in marketing will go.
You work your fingers to the bone on a marketing campaign that you feel as proud as a person can be to have come up with. In your head, you are already considering this your crowning achievement. You’ll get carried around the office when it comes out and sales boost to levels never seen before. You’re on top of the world. Then it comes out, it performs on par with or slightly better than other campaigns that you’ve worked on. Nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. This of course will be disheartening. There is no preparation for this, it will just happen and you’ll just have to get started on the next campaign. That is the fickle thing about marketing though, the consumer/client/customer doesn’t see how much work goes into your campaign, they may not even see every part of it. The best way to prepare for this eventuality is to celebrate when a campaign just does well. Even if it only incrementally boosts public interest it’s a win. Marketing is very much a “game of inches”, and those once-in-a-lifetime marketing campaigns are called that for a reason.
You’ll have a brilliant campaign that performs well, good interest in the product/service and you’ll feel proud. Your colleagues will congratulate you, and so will the higher-ups. Then you’ll maybe 2 days later be on Facebook and see what is essentially your campaign for another business. This is going to happen, if you do good work people will inevitably try to make their own version, some will try harder to make it their own than others. The only advice I have for this one is to not do anything without the approval of the people in charge of the business. The best thing to do is to raise it with them and see what they want. If you start getting involved yourself it is more than likely you’ll get nowhere. There are many legal pathways that can be taken. These sorts of things are why lawyers exist and why they get paid so damn much.
Now finally you’ll really throw a campaign together, maybe you don’t really look at the behavioural data of your client base, or you just don’t work that hard on really making the campaign stand out. You might even say, “I’m trying a more minimalist advertising style”. Really though maybe you’re burnt out, over it, just not feeling the same enthusiasm. It could either perform well or bomb completely. It doesn’t really matter how it does, what matters is that working this way doesn’t become a habit. Habits are easy to form but incredibly difficult to break. The best way to beat this mindset is to spot it early, a couple of really good signs are: not looking at relevant available data before conceiving a campaign, not doing at least 2 drafts of anything that is going out to the public, and seeing a half-done piece of work and trying to find a reason for why it’s completed. The most important thing I’ve ever heard when it comes to working is that “you get annual leave for a reason, there is nothing wrong with taking a day every few weeks to recharge”.
There are so many incredible things in marketing to keep you engaged and enthused and this is definitely a field that you need to really love because of the reasons I’ve named and many more will break you down. The only thing that will keep you going is the love of the job. The best advice I can give is to stick to it and to really allow yourself to enjoy and celebrate your wins. I don’t mean buy a bottle of $300 champagne and throw a massive party after each campaign launch, just allow yourself to enjoy passing milestones and doing well. That way when things go wrong you can look back at all your successes and can see just how far you’ve come.