Of Mice and Marketing
Marketers have to be a ton of different things to a ton of different people. We have to be sharp, humorous, and bold. We have to be a transformer, a teacher and a learner. We even have to be drill sergeants sometimes. Above all, we have to be like mice!
Why mice? What the heck do you mean we have to be like mice, Mila?
I think that the common house mouse has a few skills that we should have engrained in our souls as marketers.
First of all, mice are quick on their feet. Have you ever tried to catch a mouse? Last summer there was a little mouse that ran into my house from outside. It was the only time I was ever able to see his little gray face. When you would try to sneak up to him to catch him, it was like his senses were heightened at that moment, and he would dart away.
Marketers have to be quick on their feet like mice. I have a few recent "quick on your feet" moments that I just adore from the SuperBowl. From Oreo's 'Dunking in the Dark' tweet, to AllState's Mayhem's hysterical "Wrong Switch" post, I couldn't think of a better way that a company could use a situation to their advantage so well because of their quick thinking.
That same little gray mouse was incredibly resourceful! When I locked up all of my food, so he wouldn't destroy it, he found a way to find and eat all of the food that I tried to hide so purposefully. Marketers have to find all of the resources that will improve and their workflow and boost their creativity. Sometimes a client might hide information, or you might not get all of the details of the project noted correctly. It's up to you to get resourceful to really make a project work for you, and your client. Use your resources to do the best work you can!
Speaking of all of the food that my small house guest annoyingly ate, little mice always seem to be so hungry. I think that's one of the most important things a marketer should be: always hungry. We're not talking client lunches, and trips to Starbucks. We're talking about noshing on knowledge, and always craving a new experience. Learning is what makes a marketer well rounded. If you don't have a thirst for learning, you'll get stagnant, and your work won't ever surprise anyone.
You must also realize that there are always going to be traps. I set out tons for the mouse in my house - sticky paper, mouse traps, poison, and I even had a cat. As marketers, we have so many obstacles: "design block," a stubborn client, even our own thought processes, but we have to watch out for those hurdles, and know that they are traps. Not only do we need to find a way around them, but we need to start recognizing them when they appear.
One last way that markers can be like mice? We have to go unseen - that is, NO ONE wants to buy where they socialize. We can't lay on the sell when we get social. We have to be a stealthy ninja mouse, especially in social media. There's always a time and a place for a great call to action, but sometimes, we're much better when we're unseen.
What else do you think a good marketer possesses? How else could a marketer be like a mouse?