For many of you who read my blog here at Mama on Palette knew me as a mother, a cartoonist and a passionate community builder, but you may not know the actual thing I make a living with is a digital marketing manager. Nevertheless, I find many ways to connect the dots between my different roles and in fact, they all are driven by the same value.
As a mother, I am always eager to learn more about how to better raise a kid. Recently, I watched a talk by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, who shared an interesting topic of “growth mindset”. Through a series of experiments, Prof Dweck found that kids who took on challenges held the belief that they could improve their abilities; whereas those who pulled back from challenges believed their abilities were fixed.
A number of early childhood educators have contributed their opinions towards the study, including Amanda Morin, who wrote, “kids with this (growth) mindset take feedback, and what they learn from experience, and create strategies for improving. They believe that even if they fail at something, they can still succeed.”
This exactly matches my personal driver as a 360 marketer.
During the past few years, I have worked for a variety of brands – most of them are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a result, I had the chance to touch different aspects of marketing, including PR, digital, content, event, partnership. So on and so forth.
Usually I worked in a lean marketing team, where rarely someone is “very experienced” to pinpoint right or wrong. Everyone is learning something new. Everyone is prepared to welcome failure after tests and experiment.
There is also limited marketing budget, which means we all became Swiss knives and tried best to do everything on our own – day 1 I was a content writer; day 2 I shot film and edited it into a movie; day 3 I crafted digital campaigns; day 4 I organised a conference...
To the contrary, big companies own more clearly divided specializations and greater financial backup – which is of course great!
But, the growth experience with smaller brand is so different. I can’t feel more excited about every little milestone that I have achieved with smaller teams:
When a journalist replied to my pitch, after rounds of follow up, and finally said “yes” to feature my company;
When a prestige event producer sent in a speaking invitation (with no strings attached);
When social media followers increased by 30% in six months;
When a YouTube video received over 50 views in a day;
When 10% more open and click rate was achieved for an email campaign;
When 3k people registered for a WeChat webinar, with one-third converted into hot leads;
When 16% increase in website traffic led to more inbound business inquires;
These results may not be as exciting for big brands, who acquire followers, media feature, speaking opportunities and leads more easily due to their well-known names. People who are working for the big brands must realize the fame didn't come from day one - it was developed through hard work in the early years; it underwent challenges and changes; it was sustained through years of nurturing and cultivation.
The ultimate question comes to: do you want to make more value for your brand, or do you want your brand to make more value for you?
The two are actually not contradictory – in order to maintain a happy working relationship, both parties need to benefit from each other. To me, what’s important is the count of influence – have my efforts directly translated into business value (awareness, businesses, savings...)? What are the positive differences I have made (ways of working, quality, efficiency…)? Do people recognize me more from the work I have done, or the company names I have worked for?
Swinging back to the “growth mindset” topic at the beginning, I’d rather be the kid who treasure hunt across rows of challenges and find gold along the way, than picking up ripe fruits from the tree.
I love to define my own brand.
What’s more, I enjoy growing with the brands that I am given the trust to take care of.
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