Disclaimer: if you’re hoping to find fluffy quotes to live by, this blog may be a bitter pill. We love what we do and as with every success in life, there is contrast. We didn’t learn as much through success, as we have through error.
Digital Marketing is an amazing field for two types of people, whom Everett Rogers dubbed innovators and early adopters in 1962. According to Rogers, an American sociologist, people respond differently to innovations and two of the five segments – innovators and early adopters, represent characteristics that pro marketers process. But if you want to know whether marketing is the right fit for you, there is no better teacher than experience to help you decide. Here are 10 important lessons we’ve learnt over the years:
1. It’s not a 9-5 job
You may be interviewing for a role that offers flexible hours or the standard 8-hour schedule but when your agency is pitching, there will be early mornings and late nights spent brainstorming, developing strategies, redoing creative at the last minute or sending emails to confirm approval. Don’t get us wrong. We’re not advocating for long-hour workdays and believe that productivity is at its best when you work in short sprints, but the reality is that Digital marketing is an ever-changing and fast-paced environment which requires adaptability and often more time than the hours stipulated.
2. You won’t celebrate most of your campaigns
If you’re good at your job – and telling by the way that you’re scanning through this blog, you are – you will be trusted to join, even lead many big business campaigns. That means more brand names to add to your CV and often highly impactful concepts that are brought to life with your help. But as soon as you’ve completed that one, a brief for the next project will follow.
3. The environment is not at all like Mad Men
Sure, many agencies are still male dominated and allow you to have a drink, or two at the office, but unlike the American drama series, Mad men, you certainly won’t have a lot of time to come up with campaign concepts. Research is done before the project starts and the project only starts when the work is confirmed. For this reason, you must ensure that you are always learning and building a bank of references just in case. Bookmark all your inspo, whether it’s fonts, designs, formats, tools, or print ads – bookmark them all.
4. Know when to fight for your ideas
The customer is not always right. Absolutely not. Your job is to follow the brief and provide your client with the most suitable solution to their problem. Your job is not to follow every client’s direction because if you do, you won’t be helping the client or yourself at doing a great job. As a digital marketing professional, it’s important to respectfully substantiate your ideas with insights, and to release work that you can see is not going anywhere.
5. Under promise and over deliver
This applies to all industries, especially digital marketing. It’s important to be clear on what is expected of you and what you can deliver to ensure that your working relationship doesn’t end in disappointment.
6. Communication is currency
When it comes to reviewing marketing budgets, clients will fight to continue working with those who are a pleasure to work with. This is why client service exists. Clients will remember the value you contributed and the proactive opportunities that you created but with that said, don’t overdo it. If you choose a company or campaign that aligns with your values, good communication will come naturally with those who have similar goals.
7. It’s okay to withdraw from a project
There may come a time when a client offers a pitching opportunity, only to steal those ideas and execute them in-house. You may also run into a situation where working with someone becomes so problematic that you have to let the job go. Or not – we hope not. But if you do, it’s okay. Let it happen and don’t dwell on it.
8. Working hard is not sustainable
When you’re starting a new job or onboarding a client, you may have to work hard at familiarising yourself with the brand but working hard all the time will exhaust and demotivate you in the end. It’s important to be diligent in your preparation and to be smart about your production process. This is where strategy comes in.
9. The best campaigns capture experiences
We won’t tell you how to run your campaigns, just to remember that everyone, regardless of demographic, is influenced by emotion. Emotions are triggered through behaviour and others will only be inclined to choose what you offer if you allow them to imagine that they can. Don’t wait for them to paint the picture. Do it for them.
10. If you can’t measure it, it’s not working
Performance marketing must be the core strategy for every business because your understanding of how well something is working, means that you can improve it.
At Black Wolf, we are serious about data-driven marketing and have developed our own data division to ensure that all our services are led by both real-time and historic information. If you’d like to join our team or hire us, reach out to us directly, here.