Playtime! Fun tips for The Innovative Marketer.

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Curiosity: a strong desire to know or learn something.

We are often raised to believe that curiosity gets you into trouble. That messing around with things we don’t understand is a recipe for disaster. 

I beg to differ. 

Moreover, I challenge you to start thinking of curiosity as your most powerful marketing trait. Inquisitiveness is a mindset of innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving. 

In marketing, especially, there is a demand for individuals that are creative, analytical, and tech-savvy. While it may seem too much to ask, there are simple ways to become a versatile individual that can do it all, or at least try.

Explore

Exploration starts with research. Whenever you begin to tread into areas that you are unfamiliar with, start building a tool kit. We live in a time where there are a variety of platforms and software available to make our lives easier. 

When I started to explore the world of content creation, I had a limited budget and time. So what did I do? I began by searching for the best tools to meet my needs. 

So I created a dream list of resources I wanted to become familiar with, and my toolkit looked something like this:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Canva
  • Giphy
  • WordPress
  • Hootsuite
  • Moz
  • iMovie
  • Tableau
  • Google Ads & YouTube Analytics

Play

When I began as a copywriter, I had minimal knowledge of design and let alone analytic tools. I remember the first time I went into Adobe Creative Suite like a deer in headlights. I would ask fellow designers for tips and sit with them to show me tools, and then I went in and started to play on InDesign and Illustrator. I would press every button and design tool, open up tabs, start combining the use of tools, and getting familiar with its features and capabilities. It wasn’t perfect, but it was getting me to a place where I soon felt comfortable enough to design basic collateral or digital ads. The same goes for tools like iMovie, WordPress, and Tableau – go in and mess around with them, every tool that you have in your dream marketing toolkit. 

I used to be intimidated by Tableau, and then I went in and started messing around with data comparisons. My curious brain telling me ‘let’s put campaign data in the column and age data in the row, let’s grab the gender data and see what we get. Let’s try horizontal bar graphs or maybe a pink and blue pie chart, why not?’ 

Trust me, it’s fun when you decide to play with these tools on your time, opposed to having to figure it out when a client has you scrambling for time. Once you start playing with enough tools, you’ll realize the unknown will never intimidate you again.

Perfect

Once you’ve had enough playtime, evaluate what tools you like, what you don’t, what you absolutely need, and what can be put on the backburner. Begin using them often and for actual projects and clients. What you’ll find is that you are not just perfecting the use of the tool, but you are developing critical skillsets. Once I learned how to use design tools, I started thinking like a designer considering spacing, learning, leading, symmetry, grids. When I learned iMovie, I had to think like an editor, including song choice to visuals, cutting video in key moments, and trimming frames. And when I discovered how to mess around with Tableau, I started discovering how to put together meaningful data sets to create a story. What types of data should belong together, and how do I visualize it for the viewer to understand?

So next time you’re afraid to touch something you’re not supposed to, remember that it can be another tool in your box, making you that innovative marketer everyone is after.

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