Is this all there is?

Is this all there is?

Marketing is an exciting industry filled with creativity, energy and variety.

But like all industries we can become singularly focused on the need to survive and to provide a return on investment for our clients and our agencies. As we continue to develop projects that meet our clients specific marketing needs, we fight a constant battle between spending the time necessary to create that “big idea” versus working to the lowest common denominator to focus on a cost-effective solution.

Every once in a while you get a client that truly wants to explore all the possibilities, and encourages you to use all of the creative resources you can access to develop something really unique.

But there are also days when the draw to be cost-effective can become over-powering. And on those days you lose the battle to chase the better idea, or the more creative solution.

It is at those times, as I am sure it is in other industries, when you start to ask yourself – is this all there is? Is there more that we can be doing with the skills that are available to us?

After years spent in an industry that I love, I still believe there has to be more to this work than pumping out “functional” concepts.

At times in my career I have had the opportunity to work with people that are excited about creating better ideas, better projects, and better things for the community in which they live. Recently I was included in a project that brought together a group of ten individuals from various parts of the marketing industry – from ten different agencies.

We came together to work on a common project and as such, our competitive tendencies were put aside. It was quite simply an opportunity to work with a variety of people with amazing skills from different sectors of the advertising industry who had agreed to work on a specific cause. When the group got together, the energy in the room was electric. The conversation was inspiring. And as ideas were thrown onto the table they fostered the development of even more (and better) ideas.

Even after 25 years in the business, I learned something new every time we met!

In those meetings you got the feeling you could solve any problem using marketing strategies and tactics. And, as a result, I started to wonder why we don’t work together more often. Together, as representatives of this industry, we could create a movement, address a specific cause, or create something better for our community.

I am looking forward to a time when the members of that group get an opportunity to recreate that joint marketing committee format – with like-minded suppliers, colleagues and clients who want to accomplish more with their advertising dollars than just selling products.

I think a coalition of marketing and advertising people can and should happen. Of course I also still believe:

  • In the power of Santa Claus
  • That I will have money for retirement, and
  • That it wasn’t my fault in my last relationship

This is an amazing industry filled with amazing people. A some point I hope I can be involved in “something more” than just working for the clients on products – by identifying a bigger need and working together with the industry to resolve it.