the grass is greener on the internet


Doom and gloom
October 13, 2008, 9:15 am
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When someone says that the shit has hit the fan…what kind of fan do you imagine?

Okay, hold that thought.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a ridiculously large pile of money for the last month or so, you don’t need me to tell you that the shit HAS hit the fan for the global economy.

Online marketers have taken the opportunity to tout this as the ‘death of advertising’ – traditional advertising that is. It’s not difficult logic. Online campaigns are generally cheaper to implement, which is good when you’re struggling for cash.

But let’s take it back a step.

Contraction of the economy means lower consumer demand for the same number of players. Competition goes up. And suddenly, it’s survival of the fittest – or in marketing terms, survival of the differentiators.

I think we’ll see an increase in online advertising, but it could be limited::

  • a lot of target groups aren’t online anyway;
  • it takes time to build a presence on the web to ensure that you aren’t just ambient noise, and the gap will need to be filled elsewhere; as well as
  • if everyone shifts to online, the differentiators will be using traditional media (albeit in new ways).

As an emerging marketer I’m more concerned about the job loss – companies are starting to shed even their accountants, so it’s not a good time for jobhunting.

It’s a better time to be an independent contractor but with little experience it’s hard to gain credibility.

I’m hoping that companies realise; now is the time to make investments. In brand equity. In people. When everyone else is panicking and overlooking the opportunities that do come up in a crisis, it’s your time to step up (if you have the resources).

And back to that question…

Most people say ceiling fan. Another large number say desk fan. Nobody says a hand-held fan, a standing fan, an exhaust fan, or a music fan.

You know, it might all have gone to shit, but you can still be creative.

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Personal branding II:: differentiation tactics
September 6, 2008, 8:17 pm
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How far would go/what would you do to get a marketing job?

You’d be a pretty bad marketer if you couldn’t sell the product you know best:: yourself.

It’s one of the things I absolutely love about marketing, that you can do completely crazy things with your job applications and it actually counts in your favour. Making them notice you just demonstrates that you’re good at what you do. Filling out forms online for a job at the iBank of the moment? What does that tell you about the position?

I’ve heard various stories; camping outside offices, creating a personal ‘little red book’, building large novelty objects.

They’re all attention grabbers, and therefore probably great for advertising, but each of these would say something different about you and what you can do for the organisation.

The very best stunts are those that demonstrate what you can do. If you’re trying to say you can advertise, advertise. If you’re trying to say you’re a social media expert, demonstrate your abilities with social media. If you’re trying to say you can strategise, create a strategically-oriented application. It will stand out not just because it’s different but because it shows you know what you’re doing.

The last app I did up was to intern at one of the major ad agencies in planning…ironically it was how I realised I loved branding. They called me in for an interview and basically said, we can give you a shot in planning. But we think you might be more interested in our associated branding agency. As it turned out, I was. [Unfortunately after confirming the internship, they restructured and could no longer take me. Gotta love the business world.]

I did get asked by a (non-marketing) friend whether doing a non-standard application would count against me with a company…and you know what? If I’ve misjudged them and they reject me for being creative, then they’re not the type of company that I want to work for in the first place.