As A Marketing Exec, What Keeps You Up At Night?

It’s been said that there are two types of people in the world: people who divide the world into two types of people and people who — don’t.


As someone who likes to think she rejects all overgeneralization, I tend to think of myself as the latter. But, doing the division is sometimes a fun and worthy exercise. Allowing myself the predictable tendency to bucket people into types, I’ve been thinking recently about these two:

  • Those whose lives are ruled by what keeps them up at night
  • Those whose lives are ruled by what gets them up in the morning

Think about it. You know you are in a bad spot if you’ve got any number of perilous items keeping you tossing and turning and staring wide-eyed at the ceiling night after night. And you know you are loving life if you spring out of bed each morning, ready to take on the world and whatever it is that excites you at the time.

Which Type Is Better?

At a glance, it might seem that the second type is ideal. Wouldn’t we all love to be the one whose life is continually punctuated and led by those springy-step kind of days? But, guess what — there is value in both. In a space as dynamic as ours, you can imagine the combined power of worried restlessness and purposeful zeal.

Think about it. If I am an agency principal, I would do well to wonder: Am I providing the right training for my employees to deliver for our clients? Have we invested in the right tech stack? Do we truly have our arms around the programmatic marketplace opportunity? Can my developers keep up with my creatives and vice versa?

But, at the same time, I wake up excited by the new array of talent available to me as tech, media and creative become more entwined. I wake up excited that so many of the suppliers I will meet with this week seem to care about helping us service our clients; they are more strategic and relationship-oriented than ever before.

I’m delighted to know I have options when it comes to programmatic, as the market is smarter as a whole and we don’t have to figure it out all on our own. The focus on standards has expanded to all media types — now including not just display, but search, mobile, mobile video and more. This makes life easier for my developers, my media folks and my creatives.

Working inside the agency, on any of these teams — I lay in my pajamas late at night, wondering whether I’m doing enough to keep up. I worry that my clients will want to go to places that I don’t yet understand. But, I also wake up excited by how much intelligence is available to me on a daily basis through my own reading and networking events and programs, as these things are more lush and voluminous than in years past.

I’m excited to take advantage of the new relationship between tech, media and creative — allowing us to do more, and more quickly, for clients across channels and platforms. I’m definitely excited by the growth in mobile and video and the opportunities these burgeoning channels present for the brands we serve.

The Brand Managers’ Experience

The midnight dread that plagues me, if I am on the brand side, is my continual questioning of whether my own organization is “ready” for digital, let alone cross-screen.

If I’ve hired an agency, I’m also wondering if they are the right one or whether they’ll be able to help me and my team get smarter. And the next morning, I’m feeling supported and ready as we venture into programmatic, because my agency really seems to have figured this whole thing out.

It’s also clear to me that they’ve chosen suppliers and ad tech partners to support our business, with whom they seem so in sync; my agency and their mobile ad marketing partner, for example, are truly working hand in hand to help me innovate, execute and compete with the latest methods available.

And finally, I’ve got not only data, but I’ve got insights, because most of the folks who work with me have come to understand that I need more than a spreadsheet shoveled my way. They know how to bring the data to life and help me apply it.

As you think about how often you are kept up at night and how often you can’t wait to get up and get started — you quickly realize that it’s not an either/or. To thrive in this business, you embrace the cycle, you get that one propels the other. This gives us just the right amount of tension in any given day. Spurred on by just enough worry and just enough satisfaction, we deliver on the opportunity at hand and are on our toes enough to spot the next spark of good things to come.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Marketing Strategies Column


About The Author: serves numerous media and data technology clients for WIT Strategy as a Senior Associate in corporate affairs and media relations, as her primary engagement. She also runs collaborative pursuits through her company, Influence Collective, LLC. -- advising and supporting media and tech entrepreneurs in cooperation with other trusted partners and firm principals.


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