Recently I watched a short creative morning talk by Seth Godin. Speaking about his marketing career, he said he wasn’t a strategic marketer until well into his career, maybe 10 years – it changed his world and the experience of his customers.
It’s an interesting take on what’s considered a young person’s game and made me reflect on the value of my own experience. Even with marketing changing at the speed of light, experience gives you context and a base from which to ask better and deeper questions, for superior problem solving and concept building.
Although I’ve always loved working with clients and creating great work, I realize I’m better at it now. As an inexperienced marketer I looked to the client to lead and was more of an order-taker. Experience has let me add value by asking questions to help my clients get to the deeper business goals of a project, to guide the marketing process toward those goals in messaging and design. The opportunity to really build a better marketing program – to collaborate on even the smallest collateral piece to make it more effective – is what’s really exciting. It’s not just about pleasing the client.
For sure, the new, young, fresh things that marketing focuses on are important. And some things come and go. But the characteristics of a good marketer– curiosity, a love of learning, interest in and understanding of people, behaviors and their motivations – don’t change over time, and improve with experience.