Posts filed under Advertising

The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 1

Recently I was asked: What are some of the common mistakes that you see people who seek a career in any of these fields make as they pursue that career?

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Some of the common mistakes that I've seen in my career are usually attention to detail(s). Proofreading a print advertisement, submitting an order amount wrong, or typos on presentation decks.

You will come to find that creative people share similar traits, this is a generalization to be sure, but there's a likelihood you'll find one if not more in most marketing professionals:

Many of us have ADHD, this is not figuratively speaking, a lot of us do. Diagnosed or not. Knowing this will allow you to coat the next following list:

  • The biggest shit-storm one can create is to have a vague, or non-existent, creative brief. Creatives are just that — CREATIVE. A creative brief should give, at least the initial idea, and some parameters to reign in their thought process initially. (e.g. If the client has a brand standards manual, fonts, specified voice or defined goal objective) During the creative process of the 'client-only' edition of the project, we more often than not, come up with a slew of new ways to shape the original concept.

  • We get distracted. Allow us to listen to music, background noise, or whatever allows us to get "in the zone." Busy agencies that create atmospheres of account executives (AEs) or related, consistently asking your creatives questions will delay the completion of a project and in many cases, the creative will suffer.

  • We're slow to do the jobs we HAVE to do and ATTACK the jobs we want to do. We often have pissing contests over who got what project.

  • We are terrible spellers (as I write this in Grammarly) – check our shit, again and again. Of course, it's important to remember that your creative IS NOT your proofing person.

  • On tasking: checklists will help. Daily huddles will help as well, as long as we hear what we want to hear and forget the rest (see jobs we HAVE to do above).

  • Most of us suck at math. Give us the sizes of the ad! Tasking us to research this is like throwing money away.

  • Remind us, again and again on the due dates. This is why daily huddles are beneficial.

What are your favorite truths about creatives?

New Lists Of Old Dogs

If you're new to the Orlando area, and you work in marketing, you might not know all the players. Surprisingly there are more than you think. Over the past few decades, I've done my fair share of collecting clients, contacts and talented friends. I simply call it "The List" and I hope it can help you find the career, or connect you with a talented group.

First-Strike Propaganda — Why Anti-brand Terrorism is a Real Thing

There's a war going on every day — it's not only for your attention and allegiance but for your mindshare.

Brand bombing, Anti-brand, Ambush Marketing, Brand HiJacking, Credential Exposures and Collaborative Brand Attacks (CBAs) are terms that should keep you up at night. People have directives and are not above taking grassroots and professional tactics, pointing them at your brand

Blackfish —

People aren't going to like this next part — "Brand Bombing" plots like Blackfish, and collaborative brand attacks that have been done by influencers, change.org and falsification insurgents are part of a much larger problem — as we can see with the 2016 election. However, much like a terrorist — brand bombing is edited for content and uniquely driven to spearhead the conversation BEFORE any real conversation can be had, THEREBY owning the mindshare in a lazy digital consumer that will no longer look past the threshold of what they were plausibly fed. "You keep a whale in a cage — you're all bad people."

It would seem to be logical that it's not just that easy — it's not. But if Donald Trump has taught us anything, it's that all you need to do is feed people what you [think] they want to hear.

Terrorists are some of the most puritanical marketers in the world and here's why. They're not selling a widget; they're not attempting to become a competitor to your marketplace, they only seek to disrupt by ALL means. Choas and confusion (that manifests itself by created fear, hatred and blind positioning) are paramount in the success of their terrible efforts.

"Justice, how can you compare something as evil as terrorism to marketing even in a fraudulent capacity?"

Russian Collusion of the 2016 Presidential Election —

Sadly, they're part of the same family tree, and they're not even distant cousins. Take for instance the Russian collusion of the 2016 Presidential election. A group of like-minded people seeking to purchase marketing to sway public opinion and create divisiveness; the likes of which I've not seen in my lifetime. Were their deaths? Most assuredly, but that's for another article.

We'll never know the extent to which SO many people were brainwashed by a nonstop bombardment of messaging. That said, the effect of the campaign will forever (in my mind) be the largest turning-point in the digital era for illegal and illicit use of advertising.

Will this change the future or marketing? Most assuredly, as long as it works. For now, the ability to share media, fake or not, is too vast to control. Attempts to control it create new firestorms, regarding privacy and governmental infringement – and the circle continues.

The Publix “die-ins” 

I agree with peaceful protest.

I feel like they're (the protestors) muddying their directive but by brand-blasting. Stick with reform, and move the needle. Additionally, I feel that using private property for their "die-ins" is thinning the impact and motivation of rally's, and speeches. 

People don't want to be "forced" to confront constructed messaging. Example: the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church, and others have made minimal headway on the POTENTIAL 'blue wave' that is building. With that said, the progressive movement is building traction using diplomacy, intellect and a vision of respectful opposition that 'Trump's' the bombastic nature of the current appointment. 

Publix heard them the people in their actions and swiftly stopped the campaign contributions. That said, they were strong-armed in so doing. One side will insist that this is a win! However, if gun owners insisted they could not protect their families and did the same tactic at Dick’s Sporting goods for removing the AR15 as a purchasable weapon, everyone would be screaming blood, Jesus. There’s no perfect solution, need I remind anyone.

Later, I'll try to explore steps your business can take to protect/insulate yourself from some of these tactics.

Old Dog — New Tricks

Here's a few excerpts from a recent interview I did with a student seeking content for their communications programming. I'm a HUGE proponent of mentoring and advise anyone to give back and much and as often as they are able.

Company and Position Title:

How Long have you been with your company/employer?

  • Magruder Laser Vision: 2 years
  • Big Block Studios: 18 years
  • QueensCast: 2 years

Can you tell me a little about the culture of your company/employer?

  • Magruder Laser Vision provides correction procedures (predominantly LASIK) that have the highest levels of precision, safety, and patient satisfaction. Doctor Magruder, is not simply one of the nation’s finest refractive surgeons but he’s simply a good person that means people well. This professional and personable manner is reflective of his staff with high morals and cultural support.

What do you like most about your career? Or what do you find you unique?

  • My career has spanned almost 25 years; in that time I’ve found that working in my current role as CMO for Magruder Laser Vision to be both rewarding and creatively unique. That said, it's not without some risk from my employer, this is an industry that does not always have its own marketing representation. Often, they're trying their best to do it internally OR seeking services of marketing and agencies at great expense. Therefore, we have a unique symbiotic relationship. I bring decades of agency training to an industry that is all too often trapped in it's own lexicon. Bringing a natural consumer voice to the brand was one of the first things I tried to do.

As someone who has worked in marketing & web design for quite some time, I’m sure you have some aspects of the field which offer the greatest opportunities for professional growth. What are your thoughts on what specializations I might focus on as a good starting point?

  • I see digital analytics (marketing; commerce; sales cycles; demo; etc.) as the forerunner to the new economy. It’s not enough to simply ‘design and deploy’, you have to back all that creative influence with optimized proof. Moreover, statistical analysis of growth, efficiencies and forecasting models will quickly become the norm rather than their scatter-shot approach of the past.

What skills or characteristics do you feel contributed to your success in this industry?

  • “The gift of gab.” Extraverted personalities seem to thrive in my line of work. It helps when you can create trust with your client and guide them into understanding the vision for the work, and then there's  "The Golden Rule" of course. But marketing intelligence is going to become the norm. Agencies will need to [really] work to maintain credibility now — which is something I like to be frank.

How often do you get to interact with customers/clients?

  • Often in my past roles with advertising agencies, I would have daily interface with clients, however not as much in my current role. Since my client now is really the patient guest, that interaction is most often facilitated by the staff. It's a 50/50. I bring a consumer into the office and that point I have to believe that the staff can create a unique experience that will enhance and show consumer differentiation, enough to be selected.

What courses proved to be the most valuable to you in your field?

  • The journeyman’s approach to learning on the job, sometimes you just have to jump into a project/client/challenge and adapt. You have to ask questions and accept that it’s ok; you need to learn! The most creative and inspiring people to me are other seasoned professionals that feel that they are simply "a student of the game."

What entry-level jobs offer the best opportunities for the greatest amount of learning?

  • Anything to do with watching various diversities of skilled labor, varying personality types and unique traits that trigger action. Examples might be a cashier; assistant to a leader; support services. Anytime you're faced with 'the human condition' I think it's a good thing. You're forced to listen, learn and understand the consumer's perspective.

What trends in the field would be most likely to affect someone just entering this career now?

  • Marketing is constantly evolving, you need to consistently keep tabs on social, cultural, technological, niche’ demographical trends and then reassess constantly. Just because “X” demo wants to buy “Y” product this month, doesn’t mean the popularity will be ever-present, or something better coming out.

What is the most important thing that someone planning to enter this career should know?

  • Like countless jobs, your clientele will often discourage you by downplaying your role, ability and question your decisions. But left to their own devices, the same clients WOULD NOT be as successful as they are with your services. In short, do what you know is right to do — right now. That will change. You will fail. Simply, fail fast and learn from it.
    No matter how great someone is in this industry, accolades don’t make you better; they’re a byproduct of past action. Therefore, never stop seeking, ask questions, be humble, be fearless and abide by the rule – that there are no actual (typically budget restrictions only) rules.
  • At some point in your career, you’ll need to realize that you need to hire people/services that are better you are. This is really hard for some people (we all inherently get territorial when someone’s not doing the same way we think it should be done), given that you can grow past this point your abilities will transition into that of a director and not of a producer.
  • Don’t be a dick.
  • Mentor.
Posted on April 17, 2018 and filed under Advertising, Content, Process.