When I was in school, all I could think about was when I would graduate and enter the “real world.” I never thought I would get there, when all too soon, I was interviewing with agencies. And then in the blink of an eye, I was working at Stoltz Marketing Group in Boise, Idaho as a young, bright-eyed copywriter and social media coordinator. One of the first things I learned while marketing in Boise is that what’s true here is true everywhere. It’s the job that keeps on teaching.
I knew going in that I would learn a lot because it’s my first agency job, but I didn’t realize how much. I had just completed four years in college, and then another year at portfolio school; how much more was there to know?
Spoiler alert: a lot.
I picked Boise because of its fast-growing consumer market, and I have not been disappointed. On top of knowing that I’ve found my calling, there are five things that I’ve learned about marketing.
5 things I learned about marketing in Boise that are true everywhere
- Your idea won’t always be the best one – and that’s ok
One of the best things about marketing is working with talented, creative people all the time. Everyone is always brainstorming for new ideas, and when you get together, there is an adrenaline rush of concepts that come to life, which is the best feeling ever.
That being said, with so many good ideas coming from your team, your idea won’t always get the green light. And that’s ok.
Sometimes, it won’t fit the brand voice, or it’s off-concept, or nobody gets it. Let me repeat: that is ok. Sure, it’s a little sad to let your brainchild go, but when you weigh it against what’s ultimately chosen, it usually makes sense.
- Don’t overthink it and keep it simple
First, write what you want to say – then write it in a more interesting way. That was my mantra in portfolio school, and it’s still true. Sometimes marketers are so bent on getting the right voice in the headline that they stray too far from the brand. This has been my most important lesson at Stoltz: say what it is first, and then see if you can say it in a different/better way. Don’t over think it, and keep it simple!
- Proofing is everything
Proofing is very important. I learned that a long time ago in high school English class. I relearned it at Stoltz. We have a rigorous proofing process because we only want the best to go to our clients. At first, I was thinking, “is this necessary?”
Yes, yes, it is.
No matter how many times you read over what you’ve written, the odds are likely that you missed a typo, punctuation or grammar error. It doesn’t take much to ask your team to proofread an ad, a proposal or an article. They’ll be happy to do it because they too want the best version of your work going out into the world.
- Sometimes, things don’t go as planned
Marketing is always changing, especially in growing markets like Boise. Rather than resisting it, always keep on the lookout for the newest trend or opportunity. Always remember that things can change fast and be ready to roll with it. It’s what makes marketing exciting.
- Always work as a team to meet the needs of a brand.
Whether you’re working in a marketing agency in Boise, like me, or a startup in San Francisco, always remember that the work is about the team and the brand – not you. If you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people, you can bet that you have a team behind you to help with a project.
There will be times when someone gets overloaded and needs help. That’s what makes marketing teams amazing and it’s awesome to see people pitch in to get a project done, without asking for anything in return (though thank-you donuts are always appreciated).
I’ve only been living the agency life for a year, so I know I will learn many more lessons here in Boise. I’m thankful to have a job that will keep me learning because that means (and here is a bonus truth for you) marketing will never be boring.