Inspiration, affirmation and motivation—that is why people attend conferences like ADWKDC. For me, it was a bit different this time as I was called upon to instill the aforementioned feelings in others.
What do you think is your specialty?
I would have to say my specialty is the study of human behavior and the ability to think critically. In my position, you don’t get do-overs so you need to gets things right the first time around. I have a keen ability to understand people and organizations and how they act in various scenarios. Marketing is all about how people behave, digest information, make decisions, interact with others and interact within systems. By understanding what drives each variables and how they work together, I’m able to build programs that drive change in behavior and habits.
What do you think about integration of social and digital media and the use of these channels to provide complex marketing solutions for your organization?
If you are talking channels, you are WRONG—plain and simple. The execution and the channels are critical in defining the success of a campaign but the core success for any campaign is the idea and strategy behind it. Start with the strategy and idea, then focus on the execution and relevant channels.
First, we must distinguish a creative brief from a design brief. Second, you can toss aside traditional briefs because they’re all convoluted. Ultimately, my goal is to re-write an entire brief into one sentence or less because if you can’t do that, you don’t really understand what you’re solving for. We do, of course, expand on these briefs to include background, documentation and the lot, but it all boils down to our one sentence or less goal then getting buy-in from key stakeholders.
Do you have any advice for up and coming marketing professionals?
If you are not a problem solver, you are a problem. I always tell folks who work for me,
“don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”
For marketers, our job is to solve the puzzle of promoting, selling, advocating for or simply changing what people think, feel and do. We are tasked with understanding a problem, need or opportunity in a market and figuring out how to effectively communicate our solution. To sum that up: BE A PROBLEM SOLVER. Learn everything you can. Take a few risks and enjoy the ride. If that’s too simple, here is something with a few more ‘buzz words’ to jazz it up. Think Critically. Apply Practically. Be Creative. Be Bold. Execute Flawlessly.
As the great Bill Belichick says over and over, “Do your job.” For me, my job was to impart wisdom upon hungry, young, eager-to-learn professionals. ADWKDC was the time for me to preach what I practice. If the audience found one key takeaway from the series of great questions, I’ve done my job.