For those of us who are in marketing, the current name of the game is content marketing, defined as “creating and distributing high quality, targeted content to reach your audience in a way that engages them and encourages them to complete a call to action.”
Which means we marketers must write. A lot.
On top of that, creating a lot of content isn’t enough. It’s got to be both unique and exceptional.
Now you might think that writing comes easily for people who do it for a living. While that may be true for some, it’s not true for me. For me, the process of creating a written piece is frighteningly similar to the process of creating a child.
Allow me to explain.
To begin with, great ideas, like babies, are often conceived after a few glasses of wine. But alas! After the temporary euphoria wears off, you realize that what seemed like a good idea at the time is fraught with obstacles. Your panicked brain says, “I have no idea how to write an effective marketing campaign/be a parent.”
The next step involves going to the boss/obstetrician to map out the steps you must take to bring your “baby” into the world. You are led into the boss’s office/the exam room and are asked to expose your campaign idea/innermost sanctum to a harsh examination. And then the dreaded words, “a little pressure here” as your ideas/insides are scrutinized, poked and prodded. The boss/obstetrician responds with a few non-committal “mm-hmms” and “I see’s.” The whole ordeal typically ends with the boss/OB saying something along the lines of “as long as you do everything right, everything will be just fine.”
A little pressure here???
From there, you can expect a few bouts of anxiety attacks/morning sickness until finally you accept the fact you’re in for the long haul so you may as well go about the business of gestating. You do everything you can think of to nurture your idea/baby along. You give it your full attention and love. And slowly but surely, your creation develops. What started out as a spark in your mind/your partner’s eye has morphed into something with a life of its own.
As the deadline/due date approaches, you yo-yo between elation (this campaign is going to win a Magnum Opus Award/this kid’s going to Harvard) and abject despair (what if the campaign tanks?/what if I’m a terrible mom?) At the same time, you’re so tired of thinking about it that you just want the whole ordeal to be over.
Finally, it’s D-Day. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. At first, you’re excited – the big day is finally here. But then your boss/body starts to squeeze you…hard. You. Must. Deliver. You whimper. You moan. You beg for an extension/drugs. And then, mercifully, you settle down and do what your head/body knew it could do all the time…bring something truly amazing into the world.
And when it’s all over, you gaze lovingly at what you’ve created, and utter the fateful words “This was SO worth it. Let’s do it again.”
We marketers/moms. We never learn.