I went to business school in the early 90s and back then every marketing student’s dream was to either #1. get hired by Procter & Gamble as a brand manager or #2. work for an advertising agency. There was no internet – well, maybe they had invented it but it wasn’t in our daily lives. Don’t ask me how we figured out stuff without Google, I guess we looked it up in books or asked people.
Marketing was simple then. You created ads for print, radio and if you had a big budget, television. If you joined the corporate B2B world, like I did after graduating, you most likely worked on brochures, sales material, packaging… Our jobs were pretty defined. Marketers were marketers, and if I can speak figuratively, we had a set of crayons to colour within the lines of our clearly defined roles. I left to become an entrepreneur where they let you play with as many crayons you want and colour wherever you want – except you don’t have any money to get a full set so you have to make do with half a crayon, and be careful because it has to last.
And then the internet happened and social media and Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and Snapchat and blogs, AOL was big, AOL went bust, MySpace was big and MySpace went bust, and OMG everything keeps changing all the time every five minutes (insert emoticon).
Marketing roles expanded. We had to learn to build websites, understand e-commerce, write blogs, figure out social media, and find new ways to stand out in a world flooded with information. In this new digital landscape the lines keep getting blurred. What is a media? Is a 15 year old with a big Twitter following a “media”? Are clicks, likes and follows the new currency? What’s coming next? Who knows.
Everything keeps getting shaken and stirred all the time, change is the only constant. You either see it as a threat and recoil or see it as an opportunity and rise to the challenge. That’s why I created Heels Down Media, to not simply “cruise by” on past successes but to be at the forefront of innovation and be ready for whatever is coming next.
A good pair of ears, a creative brain and a humble heart are the new tools of the trade. As my mom says all the time: “if you’re not going forward, you’re being left behind”. And I’m not getting left behind.