If someone were to ask me, what the best part about being in Advertising (other than going to work in joggers when I don’t have meetings) is, I’d say it’s the fact that I’ve chosen a career that pays me to learn - learn about everything from shampoo, insurance, steel, apparel, sanitary napkins to cooking oil.
But, simply waiting on your agency to win their next business or a client to send you your next brief won’t do much for your learning curve.
The world is evolving at an unbelievable pace.
Businesses, societies, cultures, consumers and the mediums they engage with are evolving rapidly and are in turn hugely impacting the world of Advertising.
So, the onus of keeping up with all these changes and staying ahead of the curve is entirely on YOU.
Listed below are a few things that I believe are easy to do and truly help!
BE CURIOUS ABOUT PEOPLE:
Remember, people are at the heart of advertising. Brands and products are sold to people. Advertising talks to people.
- So, be curious about them and the contexts they exist in.
- Observe them, initiate conversations. Everywhere is a good place to do so.
- If you’re stocking up on groceries, see what others at the supermarket are picking.
- At the cost of sounding very shameless, I recommend eavesdropping on conversations around you that have anything to do with consumption of entertainment or media. You’ll be picking up on some priceless nuggets of information.
- Strike up conversations with both the staff and fellow passengers when you take public transport.
Make a conscious effort to pick up on things people are doing around you and before you know it, you will have train your mind to start registering nuances that will help you understand the people you’re crafting communication for.
Yes, travel the world, but don’t forget to visit towns big and small in India.
It may help to know how people live and buy in different parts of the world since many behaviors are now homogenized, but it’ll help as much to know how a small town in Madhya Pradesh is very different from a small town in Tamil Nadu.
And, I don’t mean read books of every genre. I mean read everything that comes your way.
Books, brochures, inflight magazines, everything that appears in your newsfeed, back-of-packs of your shampoo and even your dishwashing liquid.
You never know what brief you’ll be working on tomorrow. No reading you’ve ever done is wasted!
ACTIVELY ENGAGE WITH ALL KINDS OF MEDIA:
I know NETFLIX is cooler than watching TV, but don’t forget that even the biggest e-commerce brands advertise on television. Keep an eye out for the kind of television advertising that is happening today.
Yes, I know we’ve all discussed how voice assistants have a scary amount of information about us, but if you don’t start talking to Alexa or Siri soon enough, you won’t know how you can possibly get brands to employ voice to talk to consumers.
TikTok may not be your chosen medium of entertainment or Twitter your chosen medium of expression, but make sure you’re present on every medium to better understand how brands can weave stories differently across different media.
KEEP AN EYE OUT ON WHAT’S WINNING:
Most agencies have access to winning case studies across the globe. Make it a practice to read a couple, once very few weeks or once a month, if not every single day. As they say, great work inspires great work!
I hope these easy-to-do tips help you feel prepared to embrace the uncertainty that working in a dynamic environment Advertising like throws your way!