Marketing is a unique field, and while many of us work in extremely disparate industries, we do share some common experiences. And if there's one thing we're good at, it's laughing at our special quirks. Here are fourteen ways to be 100 percent certain that you work in marketing.
You know you are a marketer if...
...You've ever clicked on a competitor's paid search result just to try to cost them the CPC.
It's stupid. Yet doing it can be particularly enticing if the rival is buying your brand name. But lest you have any misconception about your power in this instance, there are mechanisms in place to prevent charges for lots of fraudulent clicks. So the power is really more in your head. Kind of like the close-door button in an elevator.
...It makes you mad that there are now fewer ads in your social media timeline.
Others rejoiced that they'd be getting fewer updates from brands. You got steamed that your "earned" promotional programs lost reach.
...You know that CTR isn't relevant to your marketing goals, but you have to check it anyway.
With more and more "branding" dollars pouring into digital, clicks aren't really meaningful to most of our KPIs. Add to that all the research about how rare clicks are, and how few people ever click anything, and we readily accept that "clicks don't matter." But old habits die hard. We still look.
...In your mind, "equity" has nothing to do with shares of stock.
For most people, equity is a measure of company ownership. But for you, equity is a measure of the strength of your brand. It's about how your efforts and programs have increased the perceived value of a brand. It's still about value, but it's just a bit harder to measure.
...You've ever spent days trying to find a new brand name with an open .com URL.
When companies look for new products, they often set a bunch of goals for what they want: catchy, memorable, thematically tied, open trademark, and available .com URL. Additional needs and goals may get added over time. Pretty soon they have a process that takes weeks and that makes everyone a little miserable. I've been through this more than a dozen times. The last time, we developed more than 4,000 initial name options for a media product. But by the time we evaluated them against all the criteria, there were just three that hit all the criteria. And that was years ago, so it's even harder today. The brands that do this best set realistic and prioritized objectives -- like a willingness to accept a .net URL -- and stick to them.
...You've never forgotten your first category.
Marketers are passionate people who often live, eat, sleep, and breathe their product categories. For the rest of our lives, we closely follow the brand battles in the viscous spreads market, or low-carb beer, or compact SUVs. I can never visit the grocery store, for example, without a pass through the cereal aisle, which is the category on which I cut my teeth.
..."Queue" is a dirty word to you.
With business moving faster and faster, we place an even greater premium on speed-to-market for marketing programs. But more and more teams have implemented a project queue to set priorities and govern schedules. It's something you readily understand, but at times you just want to go around all that process and get something done now!
...You find watching the TV shopping channels intellectually mesmerizing.
As marketers, we often struggle with how to balance existing and unrecognized needs as well as polite and intrusive ad formats. We talk constantly about how to add value with our promotional activity. And then we're stopped dead in our channel-flipping by snippets of home shopping channels. How can something be so hard to sell and yet so darned popular and effective?
But when we watch for a few moments, we realize that TV home shopping is a unique expression of all of the ideas and values we hold as truths. It explains the need for items in extremely personal terms. Regardless of whether the consumer was actually looking for a solution to the problem, it seems suddenly urgent to attain it. And these channels deliver both politeness and intrusiveness in a chatty style and with relatable presenters.
...You've ever used any of the following phrases when talking about your life.
- "My brand is about..."
- "That's why it's in my consideration set..."
- "I gamified my kids' chores list..."
- "Well, as far as this recipe goes, actual mileage may vary..."
- "We couldn't decide on a movie, so we had a family ideation session..."
...You dissect the claims you see in ads.
And you see the huge legal difference between the statements "No detergent is tougher" and "This detergent is toughest."
...You've ever "right-priced."
Ah, language! Years ago, companies increased prices. Then there were price increases, which made it all sound a little better. Then price advances, because who doesn't want to advance? And then, right-pricing.
...You've ever been GMOOTED.
GMOOT stands for "give me one of those," and it describes when a marketer gets a demand from a higher up to build or launch something because a competitor has one, or because it's "hot" in the trades.
...You read the articles when brands change their logos.
For most people, logos are shorthand for particular products and services. But for you they are things of soulful contemplation and sometimes even beauty. And when a big brand changes its logo, you devour articles about the whys of every tiny alteration.
...Your Mom doesn't understand what you do.
Mom: Do you make ads?
You: Well, I approve ads, but someone else makes them.
Mom: Do you buy ads?
You: Well, no, someone else buys them, but I set the strategy.
Mom: Do you design the product?
You: Well, I am involved, but the product team really does that.
Mom: Do you make the website?
You: No, we have an agency for that.
Mom: So are you responsible for all the pop-ups on my computer?
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"Business People Working on an Office Desk" image via iStock.