My grandfather was a ham radio enthusiast and he had this massive aerial on his front lawn through which he would talk to people from all over the world. In 1998 I was studying advertising in Cape Town and I lived with my grandparents so I got to listen in on my grandfather’s conversations with his ham radio friends. One day he was talking to some guy in Japan and he asked me to come into his study so I can listen in. He introduced me as his grandson and then proudly said that I was studying propaganda (instead of advertising).
Was he wrong?
Our jobs as marketers, although hopefully less sinister than the creators of propaganda, is to make people feel something in order to take action. We create a message in the form of an image, email, text ad, banner ad, video, snap, story or tweet and somebody responds to this.
If we’re working for a business, we do this for commercial gain.
The most important part of your job as a marketer therefore is to contribute to the bottom line. What are you doing that assists with revenue generation? If you’re not doing that, stop.
If that ad or email or post you’re working on won’t help the business generate more revenue in a profitable way you’re not doing your job properly.
It sounds harsh and capitalistic and money-grabbing and the like, but honestly we’re not here to work on our hobbies or win awards or be entertained by our jobs – we’re working on an important objective and that is to sustain the lifeblood of the business.
And a business can only survive on profits.
Now, of course there are ways of making profits that are unethical and unscrupulous and short-sighted and downright evil, so don’t do those things. But you do need to stay focused on what it will take to make the business healthier so that you have the ability to do all the other nice things like donate to charities and help people and become angel investors and pay for someone’s education.
Think profitable revenue generation first.