What I Learned at Ad Week

While I found it hard to tear myself away from the great city that is New York, I managed to get myself to a few seminars at Ad Week. Here’s what I learned.
 
Liberating the Creative Voice
 
This seminar was all about advertising agencies using influencers to reach their audience. Influencers – whether they’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or another social media platform – are a great way to connect with an audience in a more authentic way. They also exist all around the world, and why settle with the creative minds within the walls of your agency when you can use the creative community outside your walls? Influencers can lend their voice to agencies with the audience they speak to and agencies can leverage the influencers’ location in the world to reach audiences they otherwise couldn’t reach
 
The key to this strategy is to match the influencer and the agency’s client, they should have the same kind of branding. What some agencies have done is reach out to many influencers of similar messaging to get different flavours of the “big idea” the agency has come up with for their client. This form of advertising is way better because these influencers talk like normal people; they don’t use ad speak and metaphors. The message is coming from someone the consumer actually respects and goes to for daily inspiration. The final words of wisdom from this seminar is to be an expert on whatever it is you do, but also be open to new ways of doing things.
 
Building a Brand in a Mobile First World
 
The best businesses solve real problems. The two people that were interviewed at this seminar were Jessica Alba for her company and Neil Blumenthal for his company. Both their businesses came from the thinking of, “Why is nobody doing this?” They talked about the importance of having the right team and getting a lot of visibility at your business launch by using the kind of people you’re targeting. Also, make your brand authentic – details matter. Be religious about priorities of communications. This means that you only have a couple seconds to get people’s attention, so you have to catch it and once you’ve accomplished that you can give them the details of your business with the remaining seconds you have. Brand imagery shouldn’t always look too polished if you want to show the authenticity and human touch of your brand. But also, know your audience above anything else. 
 
The great thing about customers is that they’re always unhappy; there are always ways to make your business better.
 
You Are More Than Your Work Experience
 
This seminar was by far my favourite because I felt I gained something from it. I learned that companies are looking for diversity in more ways than your gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, they’re also looking for it in your passions, interests and hobbies. So why only talk about your work experience in your resume when there is so much more to you? When companies are hiring people they look for leadership more than anything else; you can’t show that from your LinkedIn profile. Tell them how you’ve been a leader in your life through your passions and hobbies and you’ll definitely stand out. Yes, hard skills matter, but everyone else applying for the job has those. It’s the soft skills that will differentiate you from the crowd.
 
The speaker, Liz Wessel, also made a good point that 80% of employers Google candidates before an interview so make sure your social media pages aren’t full of pictures of you partying with friends. You should be filling your social media platforms with your interests whether it’s baking, hiking, or photography.
 
When you’re in an interview or networking, here are the things you should be talking about instead of your basic paper resume work experience:
 
  • Hobbies
 
  • Side Hustles
 
  • Unique Interests
 
  • Collaborative Projects
 
  • Volunteer Involvements
 
  • Skills
 
  • Certifications
 
  • Awards
 
The number one complaint from employers after interviews is that the candidate was boring. Don’t be that person. You are amazing. Show it.
 
As for my homework, I said I’d look into what I’d need to be able to work at Twitter. The role I chose is a content strategist, and oh my is it looking far-fetched.
 
Requirements:
 
  • 6+ years in a writing capacity: content strategy, copywriting, or journalism
 
  • 3-5 years writing on a product (agency or in-house)
 
  • Exceptional writing skills
 
  • Unparalleled attention to detail
 
Maybe when I’m 30? Pray for me guys. I did manage to find something more within my reach after graduating – a digital marketer at Shopify!
 
You’ll need to have:
 
  • Experience with digital marketing, social media marketing, and/or content marketing
 
  • Familiarity with the media buying process and reporting on advertising success 
 
  • A passion for analytics, reporting, and using data to drive decision-making
 
  • A degree or diploma in Digital Marketing, Marketing Communications, or Advertising
 
  • Strong writing and editing skills
 
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! May your dream jobs be within reach and may you find a job that doesn’t need years of experience in a field that you’re trying to break into.

 

 

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