I stopped at the liquor store on the way home from work this evening.
It had been a long day and an even longer week. Part of me feels like I’ve worked more each day of the past two weeks of this residency than the previous nineteen combined. I come home so exhausted I literally cannot think anymore. I fall into bed like a corpse. I drag myself back to consciousness with the greatest reluctance. I shiver at my desk from too much caffeine and I wonder how I can ever get anything done when the checklist just keeps growing.
Part of this absurdly counterintuitive feeling, I think, is because I do actually enjoy being busy. But most is that I am doing what I wholeheartedly love: not only creating and curating social content, but designing the strategies and processes that determine what content gets created when and how and by whom and–
Well, it’s a glorious, fulfilling feeling to be doing what you love. What you’ve been striving towards for years and years
(since that day in junior high you walked to school along the top ridge of the snowdrift and decided in that off-hand manner that you’d maybe grow up to be an advertiser)
and years, all through an undergrad that never quite fit right and through citations that you couldn’t quite dig into and through half a grad degree that finally catches your attention until you find yourself here
at the liquor store, looking for nothing more than a cold drink to end a busy but satisfying day.
All I wanted was a beer. But a display header caught my eye (BUY SUMMER COCKTAILS or some such call-to-action) and I stopped long enough to notice that a bottle of Blue Lagoon cost $7 and a bottle of Margarita cost $7 and who am I to question the almighty Call To Action Summer Cocktail sign?
(Look, I’m stocking up for the summer, okay?)
Later, after cracking a Sangria and enjoying a long chat over Skype with my best friend back home, I tell her this story. And she says
Marketing trick! The marketer’s fallen victim to the marketing trick!
And I laugh and correct her, because
No — no, this is the good kind of marketing. I wanted a cold summer drink and the display showed me a solution to my problem and we’re all happier because of it.
Which gets me thinking.
See, this — this is what real marketing, the true marketing, really is. This is the kind of marketing that made me tip my head halfway between home and school as I decided that I want to be an advertiser.
I have never been interested in tricking people. I have no desire to collect strings of data and say look, we shoved our ad in front of thirteen thousand pairs of eyeballs.
I want to create things. I want to create answers. I want to go to someone and say, you have this problem… but I have a solution. And it’s a beneficial solution that makes the world a better place. A place where the big companies can actually hear all the tiny little problems, and can actually do something to fix them. A place where I can feel satisfied as I leave my desk at the end of the day because maybe I’m exhausted but I’m exhausted from doing good work. A place where I can stroll into the liquor store and pick up the exact perfect drink for the evening because the right call-to-action sign caught my eye.
And in this better world, you can be happy because you have a solution, and I’ll be happy because that solution works for me too, and also
I’ll have your money.
So there’s that.