Experimental Physics and Marketing are not as diametrically opposed as you might think.
How did I end up in marketing? The short answer is that I completed the course requirements and my research was nearing completion for my M.Sc. in Physics. Then life happened and put me on a different path.
It was devastating to give up on something that I had been dreaming about since I was a preteen. Science was (and still is) one of my passions. I want to know how things work. I was *so* close to my goal…but with my supervisor demanding more experiments before I could defend my thesis, combined with several other stresses in my life, I hit a wall.
I mourn the loss of those dreams. However, I cannot regret my decision because it was the best path forward. My mental health was more precious than a piece of paper.
I chose to do something completely different. I quickly landed a full-time job at Chapters Bookstore. (I love books!) This is where I got my first taste of marketing. I now have a new passion, Marketing Communications. I do research, planning, experiments, analysis, make discoveries and educate others every day. Not so different from my life as a scientist.
Having 10 priorities is like having 10 children. You love them all equally but only the one that’s screaming gets your attention.*
Prioritisation in our modern, noisy, cluttered world is an essential skill for every marketer. A few years ago, I sat down with a new manager to discuss my marketing plan for the following year. With the ‘children’ analogy in mind, I had carefully whittled down my ideas to 1 main goal and 2 key strategies. It was an ambitious, yet achievable plan given that it only included one of the two product categories I owned at the time.
The meeting took an unforeseen turn when my new manager asked why I hadn’t included more goals, more strategies, more tactics, etc. My first thought was, “Is this a test?”
Unfortunately, it was not!
How did this person make it so far without the ability to truly prioritise? It became evident over time that they accomplished what they did at the expense of their work-life balance. I did my best to ‘manage up’ until, to my great relief, they moved on.
A well-designed vinyl vehicle wrap can really POP in traffic and it can help you market your brand. However, vehicle branding comes with a catch…
Driving to the store the other day I was cut off (badly) by a large, white pick-up truck.
Annoying – Yes!
Dangerous – Yes!
Good impression of the local furniture reseller’s brand plastered all over the truck – NO!
I will not be shopping at this reseller the next time I need furniture or large appliances; neither will some of my on/offline friends.
Lesson: Be sure that your fleet drivers are hyper aware of their role as Brand Ambassadors behind the wheel. They are more likely to be engaged and aware of their actions once they know that they are key to an important part of your marketing strategy. Your brand is precious. It can take years to build it up but only a few minutes to tear it down.