evelynchou

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

We Creative Folks. Am I? Are You?

In Advertising | PR | Creatives, Business, Marketing on 2010/07/26 at 12:28 PM

I recently had a great discussion with a friend about the difference between marketing and advertising. The takeaway I got: marketing people are like strategist, whereas advertising folks are, artists.

Marketing, from what I’ve learned and been doing for almost 4 years, consists all kinds of fundamentals / formulas: the SWOT analysis, the 4P idea, or as simple as seeing every business as a case study, identifying the underlying issue, analyzing the market & the consumer, then coming up with a solution. It involves studying product life cycle, conducting focus group, digging through all the stats finding the trends & pattern then trying to outweigh what competitors have been doing. To some extent, it’s a bridge between corporate & the market, sales and the customer / consumer. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

But I’ve always admired advertising industry. Like an opera with quartet: account team, creative team, media team, and the production team, the advertising realm is the creator of all kinds of masterpieces that makes you resonate, excited, or even open up your piggy bank and pay for whatever amount your monthly statement will shock you later on. I had the fortune to know a few professionals who works in advertising industry, and every time they share, they always blow my minds away.

But for many people, the difference between these two fields is sort of blurry. I mean, everyone can doodle. Right? But just as Microsoft Word doesn’t make all of us copywriters, the ability to doodle doesn’t make us creative. Not to the extent like advertisers, not at all.

Aside from knowing how to use photoshop or indesign doing some very basic rendering / retouching, marketers are far closer to sales. They are driven by stats or numbers. Their work or campaign has to have a track-able data supporting the so-called ROI (Return on Investment). Thus their point of view may sometimes be very different from a creative director’s perspective. Sometimes it’s a good thing; other times? Not so much. I recently read a great article called “The Creative vs. The Marketing Team: Yin & Yang; Oil & Water” by Speider Schneider. It lists out many ambivalent “love triangles” between these two parties. A very good read.

With that diverse angels, how do these two professionals coexist peacefully? Respect & open minds are the key. I’ve had the moments when people asked me to make a cutsheet and threw something like, “it shouldn’t be so hard or time-consuming for you to do this right?” and I couldn’t imagine if the same thing being said to any creative person. Remember? The ability to doodle doesn’t make a person creative. And certainly creating a cutsheet isn’t just about copy & paste an image to a blank document.

As much as I consider myself creative (or at least full of “light-bulbs” very often), I am still amazed how glamorous the creatives work in advertising industry. Only do I hope one day I can work with these people & learn to see the whole business in a different perspective.

Are you a creative person yourself? And how do you manage to work with people driven by different perspectives? Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Live & Breathe Social Media

In Marketing, Social Media on 2010/07/09 at 12:32 PM
First off, KNOWING WHO YOU ARE, or at least why you are here tweeting or blogging about stuff others might be interested.

For me, as I call myself a “SEO/SEM/Social media enthusiast,” I use the whole social media-sphere for personal branding & connections. Many small businesses, corporate, or even retails have different goals utilizing social media, but from what I’ve seen, most of them do so just because they feel social media is becoming a trend and they HAVE to hop on. But think about this, how can you get your audience excited about you / your business when you don’t even know what you are doing?

Then DETERMINE WHAT IDENTITY YOU WANT TO PRESENT to the social world. According to Gigya and Infographic, people tend to trust different identities on different sites. (Source: Mashable) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen some “exotic” tweets and wondered why these aren’t on author’s personal blog. When I started my romance with Facebook in 2006, LinkedIn in 2008, and Twitter in 2009, I pretty much distinguish their function to be “personal | professional | information.” However, I find making the separation purely black-n-white is almost impossible. If you have a good strategy differentiating identity between these sites, please do share 🙂
What else?

  • EXPLORE INTEREST & PROFESSION. BE A HUNGRY READER – If read your posts, can I tell what profession / interest you have? While profession determines mostly the content you share, it’s your interest brining your character to life. I constantly read articles on Read Write Web, Search Engine Land, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, Wired, Business Insider, and AdAge. I constantly tweet about SEM/SEO, entrepreneurs, marketing, advertising, and PR – partly is what I do, and partly is what I want to do in the future. At the same time, I’m also interested in multi-cultural stuff, recipes, fashion, and travel. Rarely do I talk about those hidden sides of me, but once in a while you can see me unlock another badge on foursquare while I explore around the world. You’ll be amazed how many people in social media are connected with you because of these interest or information you share.
  • (1) ASK QUESTIONS (2) LISTEN (3) CONVERSEPardon me if you find my observation over-generalizing: many people JUST like to talk about themselves, in real life, and in cyberspace. Don’t get me wrong, it is great having the ability to tell your own story, but I doubt many of you enjoy reading lots and lots of tweets/posts about how great the person/business is and feel like answering a cold-call from some telemarketers. So I follow this sequence: first I ask questions (what do you do and how you utilize social media…etc), then I listen to others’ story (because I genuinely am interested in their story), and I share my ideas and probably a little bit about myself in the conversation.
  • STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. SHOW UP – I am NOT a shy person. Period. But from time to time I find myself stuck in the corner of a social event or don’t even know how to start a conversation. I still remember the 1st social media event I attended, Future Midwest, that was only about 3 month ago. I went by myself, picked the last row (partly because I need outlet for my laptop), and didn’t even start a conversation until I met Kathleen. But ever since I tried to be active in all the related events like tweetea and #SMCD. From those events I oftentimes have be invited to some wonderful parties (just 2 weeks ago I went to this #ilovedetroit video contest party. It’s simply amazing seeing many people gathering positive efforts for Metro Detroit) What I am trying to say is: were it not for my first baby step, I would have missed opportunities getting to know some brilliant people like Dave Murr, Brandon, Hadi, Adrian, and even some folks down in Chicago like Drew, Jeff, and Elyse. There are many other entrepreneurs, marketers, and bloggers who have enlightened my day by a short tweets or an entertaining article. Social media site is just a beginning, or a bridge, connecting to real-life experience and great minds.
  • PERSISTENCE IS THE BEST POLICY IN SOCIAL MEDIA – Last but not least, be patient & persistent. There will be times when you see absolutely no conversation or conversion heading to your way. There will be time when you FT job completely takes away your energy. But remember why you are here and how much inspiring conversation or great people you can happen to meet or have a conversation. When you make social media part of your life, you ARE, living & breathing it.
  • For corporate & small business utilizing social media, read Brian Solis article
    Also read: 5 Tips on How to Create an Effective Online Portfolio