I love what I do for a living and I’m so thankful. It is this time of year, when we reflect and recognize how blessed we truly are. For me, it is even more true this year as I recently experienced a flattering event concerning my business and work. I was unexpectedly considering what my business means to me and the people I have the privilege of working with. For more than two weeks, I walked through every step of my work and business thinking about what it means to me. This is what my reflection showed me.
I love problem solving. My kids know that when they call dad with a challenge, I am going to offer them ideas for solutions. As a matter of fact, I often ask, “is this a problem-solving call or a just hear me out call?” Problem solving is one of the reasons I love working in marketing and serving clients through Draper DNA.
One of the more common challenges clients have is making certain their investments in social media are serving them to the fullest. Social media marketing is so much more than simply content creation and I am blessed to be working with one of the most talented and experienced social media marketers in the country. Ashlie Clayton was in the room working with social media when it first began. She is a writer, artist, researcher, and statistician all in one. Ashlie and the work we do for our clients to problem solve is one of the reasons I love what I do for a living and I’m so thankful.
Sharp, clever copy
I love great copywriting. Josh Fraimow, an incredible copywriter and creative director, writes some of the cleverest copy I have read for marketing in my blessed career. He tells me he can write to reflect his clients and their audiences, and he can. I ask him to write copy that is smart, a little snarky, and that makes the audience think. I enjoy a good turn of phrase or a pithy headline as much as anyone. Reading copy that puts a smirk or a smile on your face is fulfilling. Presenting copy that makes you react with your whole face is even better.
The best artwork is an image that makes you stop, look, and share. I like to call it the billboard effect. If you can get people’s attention in the first three seconds (the time a driver has to see a billboard), you have a winner. Our client, Armstrong Commercial Ceilings has some of the most stunning images in the building products industry. They get you to stop, look, and image what can be done with their products.
Our art and creative director, Rick Binger, has an eye for the spectacular. He has the ability to tell a story that will stop you in your tracks with imagery. Think Lady Liberty in a bathtub or John Deere plowing through mountains of paperwork. Combine the show stopping artwork with jaw-dropping copy and we have a winner. Damn I love great artwork.
My mind works 24/7. It always has and I suspect always will. I have worked both in marketing a single brand as well as a brand with multiple branded product lines. It was fun and the work was exciting. It made me want to do more. Thus, enter the agency world where we get to work with multiple brands all at the same time. We work with appliances, cabinets, ceilings, walls, windows, doors, sealants, insulation, membranes, roofing, and the list goes on. All of them working hard to stand out and connect with the elusive architects, builders, contractors, designers, remodelers, and specialists in the building industry. Did I mention I love what I do for a living and I’m so thankful?
To say I am competitive is a bit of an understatement. I was once called the “most hated man in the window business” because of my drive to win and the results it produced. I was also offered a position by the same company that made that claim. I am not so ruthless today, but I still enjoy winning.
Having a vision to overcome a specific challenge and then putting together all the pieces it takes to fulfill it is the best part of any campaign or client relationship. It is fun to be innovative or, as I like to say, clever when building and delivering your plans. Thinking like the competition and then outmaneuvering them for the win feels so great.
Winning can be defined and measured in many ways including share of mind, share of voice, share of market, leadership in engagement (in the moment and longer term), and of course, sales. Winning is also measured by having the vision and seeing it through successfully. It is energizing, motivating, fulfilling, and together can lead to great success.
As I reflected on our work, I realized the vision I had for this company ten years ago has come true and is prospering. I call it experience applied. From day one, we have focused on the difference our experience makes to our clients, our work, the organization, and the results. We know experience matters. Having a team of the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the industry is not an empty brag, it is a fact. We can prove it by resume and results. It takes a unique business model to support the cost of experience, which we have in place. As a former partner with a traditional agency, I can assure you we have a unique model that supports the cost of experience.
I love what I do for a living and I’m so thankful. Taking the time to reflect and review is a healthy exercise that helps us define where to go next. From what I can see, we have an exciting year ahead.