Staying relevant on the spinning wheel.
Being a senior level executive in the advertising/marketing realm is a double-edged sword. You know your sh*! up one side and down the other, but technology is whizzing around — a constant bumble bee of a moving target. Causing some of us to question our relevancy. And when a client requests the next new shiny thing, it’s hard not to worry you’ll be caught with (your oh so very professional) pants down.
Even clients struggle with this. Not wanting to risk their brand ever looking outmoded, outdated, outpaced. And, whining or not, it’s our job to make sure that never ever happens no matter how freaking old and senior we get. Until we retire or die. Amen.
Add to this, the self-imposed quarantine of a virtual office, and it gets even more tricky to navigate. From a laptop. In your sweats.
So. Now what?
1. Drink from the fountain of youth.
If a fountain isn’t readily available, then find some young-uns to hang with. As if being asked for my ‘handle’ at a wedding wasn’t enough (I immediately thought, “like from a CB?”), I knew then that there was a big, wild world out there. Just waiting for me. Surrounding yourself with fresh, youthful brains that you can draw from like a hungry zombie and…Yea, I went there…
2. Use the Googles.
Always have your laptop or iPhone and Google at the ready. You hear a new acronym or tool, you look it up. Easy.
3. Subscribe to EVERYTHING.
Email is so a hundred years ago, but we still chug along on it. And the burgeoning inbox is already crazy-making, but it’s a very useful way to stay informed. Good ole push newsletters and such. Take the time to read it. Absorb the trends. You’ll start to see some of the same terms cropping up over and over. On the second or third mention, it’s a pretty sure thing.
4. Go to a meeting.
No. Not THAT meeting. (Though social media can be an addicting habit.) Getting out of your jammies and out in the big world talking to actual live people in the biz goes a long way. Listen. And ask questions too.
5. If you don’t know, ask.
Never be afraid to ask questions about how someone in-the-know is leveraging a new medium. We are all learning as we go and there are gold mines in the ones who are willing to share. Let them.
It’s not all rocket science, but it’s still a lot to keep up with. Turtling up versus opening yourself up is never the answer. Hop off your dinosaur and let the fun begin.