30 years. 30 things I’ve learned in marketing. (1–10)
It’s true. I’ve been around a long time. Long enough to learn a thing or two about this crazy business of marketing and advertising. And whether my insights are philosophical, anecdotal or cold, hard facts, there may be some wisdom that I can pass along to those who are just starting, and some good reminders to those who have been around a while and might be stuck in their ways. So stay tuned over the next few weeks as I talk about the 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years.
- Technology changes.
Gone are the typesetters, keyliners and word processing departments. These highly sought-after skills from years ago have been replaced by InDesign and Apple. But rest assured, time and technology will once again impact our status quo and there will be yet another standard for creating print jobs that replaces how we work now.
- Printers can print and deliver a job in four hours.
Twenty years ago the same job would take five days to print, but what hasn’t changed is the stress that is felt under deadline no matter how fast you can technically turn it around. Just because we can do it faster doesn’t mean we are doing it better.
- Nothing is free.
This includes photos, illustrations and music. In our current Internet culture it’s easy to find almost anything online, but remember – someone else always owns it. Know the rules and get the advice of a good copyright lawyer.
- Always pack batteries.
And duct tape, and zip ties, and Velcro strips and a razor; these are not just tools of the trade, they are lifesavers. From manning a booth at a live event to putting up signs or deploying guerilla marketing tactics, being prepared for anything can save the day.
- Material delivery has changed dramatically.
Delivery of final production elements used to take days. No longer do I find myself running to the airport to put a package on a commercial flight – or arranging for Greyhound bus service or taxi pickup for that matter – so that a broadcast deadline can be made. Today, delivery is instant on the web. A single audio file can be distributed to thousands of radio stations at the push of a button. But all this flexibility doesn’t change the fact that no matter if you send it by plane or by Internet, if you have until 4 p.m. to get it out the door, it will take you until 4 p.m. to get it out the door.
- Update your resume skills.
Being able to program 20 slides into one continuous show on a single-wheel carousel slide projector means nothing on your resume today, but trust me, it’s an impressive skill.
- Clients want you to make their life easier.
Production can be messy and clients don’t need the gory details. Unnecessary worry complicates the client/agency relationship and serves no purpose other than the feeling that you’re trying to elevate your importance in the process. All a client wants to know is whether you can do the job, and if you deliver a great product for the budget.
- Don’t miss deadlines.
Oh, and one more thing, DON’T MISS DEADLINES.
- Everyone wants TV.
TV is still one of the best ways to reach a large audience, but most clients rarely have a grasp on how much it actually costs to do a great spot.
- Build good relationships.
Relationships are key to a successful campaign. That includes good relationships with clients so they trust you, good relationships with vendors and partners so they’ll go the extra mile for you when you need them to, and even good relationships with your neighbors and the community because advertising works best when it is supported through word-of-mouth.
Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for lessons 11 through 20.