Keeping Up & Staying Grounded: Key Constants in Advertising & Marketing

Agency Culture

Keeping Up & Staying Grounded: Key Constants in Advertising & Marketing

by Alex Chan
February 2, 2022

COVID-19 has accelerated the world’s path and deep dive into digitalisation. Our reliance on online access, services and the need for online innovation has become more apparent now than ever before. With many of us stuck at home, we turned to the internet to explore and develop our different interests and passions, whether for work or our personal lives.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Ad World Conference in 2021, with the support of xDNA, to learn from some of today’s most renowned digital advertising experts. Apart from further familiarising myself with the more technical aspects of the field, I found incomparable value in rediscovering and coming to grips with the very essence of advertising and marketing.

A particular conference Livestream called Inside Seth Godin’s Mind: Marketing, Human Behavior, and How To Impact Change truly nails the most basic concepts and addresses the most common dilemmas most profoundly.

Amidst the clutter of today’s saturated marketplace, Seth Godin possesses the effortless ability to make sense of things, in the most direct manner, above all the noise. This article highlights some valuable nuggets of wisdom worth holding onto and sharing. For a meaningful discovery session, I encourage you to brainstorm on the questions listed, before you continue to the answers found right below.


1. What is at the core of Advertising/Marketing?

It’s about making better things, to make things better.

Most businesses, companies, and brands tend to look at what their competitors are doing. And try to outshine them in every single way – focusing on being bigger, louder, more extravagant. But in reality, this is far from the best way to captivate audiences in the long run.

What gets people hooked on a product or service, is its ability to connect with them and resonate with their experiences – how it is ultimately able to improve their quality of life. If what you have to offer can bring significant value and convenience to everyday routine, no matter how mundane, that in itself makes all the difference.


2. What is the secret of great brands?

Build an asset. Make a promise. Keep that promise!

In most cases, people have no particular interest in anything spectacularly out of this world. They simply seek out brands that they can rely on as the years go by, ones that can be passed down from generation to generation.

Prioritise the quality of the product, the kind of service you provide and maintain a positive relationship with your customers and consumers. Always follow through. If any shortcomings or mistakes are made along the way, simply take responsibility for these and make improvements.


3. What is Empathy?

Accepting that other people don’t know/like/want/need what you do.

This starts by bringing the self out of the equation, outside of your usual frame of mind, to consider different perspectives and points of view. Bring the focus towards people from all walks of life. This is the best way to truly think outside of the box and inside different minds. Only then will you begin to recognize their unique wants and needs, and be able to better cater to them.


4. How can creatives deal with Impostor Syndrome?

Focus on the “throwing” and the “catching” will take care of itself.


All artists will always experience this because of the many uncertainties that come with the job. Creativity necessitates the risk of doing something that may or may not work and learning from that very outcome. It is through the process of trial and error that breakthroughs are possible. Brilliance takes time, effort, and courage.

Show up and do the work.

The creative process does not need to be overly complicated. All it entails is remaining professional and persistent about honing a craft. There is no use sitting around and waiting for the “perfect” timing. Every creative must learn to create opportunities for ourselves and others.

Despite the drastic change in digital trends we encounter nearly every day, certain fundamental notions will always remain fact and intact. Rest assured that although countless new things are coming our way, focusing on the handful of things that truly matter, will help us move forward and further each time.

As of today, there is no clear end to the pandemic in sight. Whether or not we get there, we owe it to ourselves to keep these important lessons in mind to guide us, as we continue to grow and evolve in the digital sphere. The skills we already have will only get better in time, as long as we continue to practice and apply them.

Although our future is no longer the way we had originally anticipated, it can still become one that we shape, as long as we choose to.