The winning perspective for a marketing agency
What are the ingredients that make a winning perspective for a marketing agency or any business or individual for that matter? Any business will have continuous demands made on it and the type of conundrums to be solved will depend on the nature of the business. One thing is for sure; without the correct mindset, it is very easy for things to go out of control and a company that is not being steered effectively is one that is not running as efficiently or profitably as it should. In fact, without a leadership that works, it is probably doomed to failure. This blog explores the perspective for success.
Nuts and bolts activities
Where a digital marketing agency differs from many other businesses is in the expectations placed on it and the work that it does. On the one hand there are solid, tangible products that are delivered – time, social media output, blog posts, apps, websites, reports etc. Productivity can be measured and assessed. Inefficiencies can be identified and addressed, processes altered and tightened, checks and measures implemented for quality. These things require logical thinking, some intuition and attention to detail. Even with solid planning, it can be a tall order to coordinate the tasks and projects juggling retainer hours with the incoming workload and the availability of your people. As more work comes in, the pressure increases and the logistics of scheduling the work for the team becomes more challenging.
On the other hand, a digital marketing agency also has to deal with a wish list that is not as cut and dry as “three of these pens” or “paint this wall this colour”. There is a strong creative aspect to what they do.
“Three of these pens, please”
Many projects will need a healthy mix of imagination, knowledge of similar projects and the approaches taken, and a solid grasp on the key performance indicators that can be measured to monitor progress. Sometimes, your marketing agency is being asked to enter uncharted territory, or being asked to deliver things that seemingly can’t be done. If two random days seem the same, maybe you are not being as creative as you should be.
Curve balls and changes to the plan
Whatever type of business you run, we all know things can and do go wrong. You need to be able to respond to the curve balls. What if the job spec was lost in translation? What if your team is going in the wrong direction to start with? Your client may have a change of plan that you have to adapt to. Alternatively, you could find that with the best will in the world, and having implemented a well thought out and creative strategy, the results just aren’t going your way. So what do you do? : –
- Get upset?
- Have a tantrum?
- Bang your head against the wall?
- Tell the client you have delivered what they asked for and it’s not your fault that the results aren’t there?
Of course these are not options.
It’s a wonderful life
Life is about challenges. It would be boring otherwise, even if we do all dream about sitting on a beach in the Bahamas day in day out, watching beautiful sunsets, feeling a light breeze and listening to the sound of the sea. The fact is that for many creative and entrepreneurial types, while that may be a lovely thing to do, the very space that such an experience creates will allow ideas to enter their mind. “What ifs” will spring from nowhere, plans will be hatched, and a strong desire to make things happen will start running through every cell of their being. Whether you run a marketing agency or a brewery, or you are an individual working from home or looking after the family, it is the challenges that make our lives more fruitful and rewarding. They help us grow. However, that is only the case if we have the right perspective. The wrong mindset leaves you vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed or sidetracked. This phenomena can affect individuals and groups. If it happens to your team, it could affect their morale.
Reset the mind
At our marketing agency, the whole team takes time out together every morning for a 10 minute meditation session. We believe in ring fencing that time to reset the mindset of every team member and the group as a whole. Think of this way. That session is not a distraction from their productivity. It is like adding salt to a pan of water which enables the water to reach a higher temperature while simmering. Meditation allows a team to embrace a different perspective, making them more effective at overcoming obstacles, finding ways round blockers and pulling creative ideas from thin air even when they are up against tight deadlines.
A change in perspective
Today’s meditation revolved around a visualisation that some call “The View”. We started by lying still and gradually settling into a relaxed state by focusing awareness on the breath. When a person first lies down or sits, initially their body is sensitive to the contact with another surface (the floor, the bed, the chair). By staying still the brain realises that there is no change and “un-attends” the signal that reports contact; hence, the feeling of floatation that one can experience while sitting or lying still. Once we had reached that level of relaxation we pondered all the hustle and bustle going on near and far. We then imagined stripping away the modern world – the buildings, the cars, the people – until each participant was there alone in a bare landscape. The next step was to float up and away until the earth could be viewed from afar as a smaller and smaller globe. Until we were perceiving the world as a pea sized object.
All our problems seemed so far away
Now this is where the change in mindset occurs. Seeing how small the world is compared to the vastness of the universe puts things into perspective. We contemplated all the activities taking place on the surface of our tiny planet. There are millions of people with small problems who think their burden is huge. Then there are millions more with massive challenges to overcome who feel blessed for even the smallest mouthful of rice. And yet, just 100 years before, the vast majority of the people living on the earth today didn’t exist. In another 100 years, most of us will be gone, “The View” allows us to detach from the chaos and the manic-ness of everyday life.
It is said that it is better to be “on the business” than “in the business.”
Shouldn’t it be the same with our thoughts and emotions? To be on top of them rather than occupied by them.
Re-engagement with our world
Tasting a change in perspective is always excellent. Seeing things another way can help change the way we feel about things and unlocks creative, lateral thinking. The last phase of our short meditation session was to visualise coming back down to earth while maintaining the view we had found in outer space. Feeling refreshed, we were ready to attack our workload more objectively and clinically without emotional involvement and with far less stress.
How does this help a digital marketing agency?
The beauty of meditation and especially visualisations such as “The View” that we practised this morning (in just 10 minutes I must reiterate) is that it creates a space within, a buffer. Without meditation, the mind can seem like a small room with too many people, having to accommodate thoughts, ideas and pressures from all directions. Meditation expands consciousness and makes all projects – personal and professional – manageable. At the end of the day, everything we experience and every action we choose to take, is centred in the mind. If we can make the mind space larger, we increase our capacity for staying cool under pressure, for taking things on, for organising lots of things and working through our lives systematically and efficiently.
Emotions and stress can cloud judgement
When we hit brick walls, and we all do because they are inevitable, the options that they leave us with can be so disappointing or harsh that the mind shuts down and wants to avoid making decisions. Nobody wants to choose an outcome that is unattractive. On an individual and a collective level, thinking can become heavy and negative. That is natural. By detaching our thinking and decision making processes from the emotions that go with the situation, we can STILL be creative, we can make effective decisions, we can tackle the problems head on and accept the things we can’t change. That gives us the energy and the mental capacity to make the changes that we can for the best possible outcome in a tough situation.
The same can be said for communication and human relationships at every level. Stress and emotion will never help. Ego is also a hindrance and strongly linked to emotional attachment. While with ego there comes pride, drive, determination and competitive spirit, so too are the brothers and sisters of these qualities – arrogance, frustration, anger, blame etc. Meditation helps us all to keep our egos in check. WE become more solution focused and realistic.