While English may not be my first language, I never knew what the term “marketing” was until I took an intro marketing course in college.
Isn’t that ironic? How the billions of dollars spent on marketing can’t push the general term out to young kids.
I was lucky. I fell in love with it. And maybe most marketing professionals were lucky like me.
But here’s an ugly truth: I’ve never seen or heard of any child who’s dreamed of becoming a marketer. Period.
I’ve heard cute dreams of being a doctor, a princess, a president, a lawyer, a pilot, or a inventor… but a marketer? Wow and ow.
What’s even sadder is that Advertising, which is really a part of all the marketing efforts is even more clandestine.
Ask a layperson if they know what an Account Executive does: “what? some kind of accounting CEO?”
Ask a layperson what a copywriter does: “someone who makes copyrights?”
See, I learned marketing, but never knew about such roles in advertising until I actually started studying advertising on my own.
But why? Why should I not know?
I knew that there were analysts, associates, and partners and directors in law and consulting firms.
I knew there were software developers and project managers, network administrators and database managers in IT firms.
I knew there were CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CSOs, Presidents and Chairmen.
Why not Account and Strategic Planners, Media Coordinators and Planners, Traffic Coordinators, Account Executives and Supervisors and Directors, and Copywriters and Art Directors and Creative Directors?
How come none of these were advertised, or even a small discussion passed by at least once in my eclectic lifetime – aren’t advertisers the best at this?
Enough about job positions. I knew what advertising was… I’ve seen Marlboro men on and off highways and deserts in the middle of Africa. I’ve seen Coca-Cola bottles being used as a divine symbol by a Zulu tribeman in the 1980 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy. But who made these ads? I’ve always thought it was the actual marketers making them. How would I have ever known there were ad agencies behind all this? And if so, how would I have known which were the famous?
Tiger Woods started golf before he could even speak. Doctors have doctors in their family, as do lawyers. Business moguls inherit their businesses from their parents and grandparents. That’s what we call exposure. These people were exposed at an early age, and they chose it as if it were their destiny. Advertising is all about exposing to the biggest, or at least, the most targetable audiences. And so are careers. If the Advertising Industry wants to become a bigger, proliferous industry, it must invest in talent. In order to invest in talent, it must invest in exposing what Advertising is to young audiences. Make it their dream, make it their fantasy. Start advertising advertising.