Magazine article Marketing

Guru

Magazine article Marketing

Guru

Article excerpt

Senior practitioners should not be cowed by the idea that marketing is a young person's game, says Will Harris. On the contrary, their hard-earned experience could place them in a stronger position.

Q: I met my new boss yesterday. He's a whippersnapper - I've got at least 15 years on him. Do I need to start clearing my desk?

A: What happens next is almost entirely up to you. If you are smart and self-aware enough (and it sounds like you might well be), you will reappraise your personal brand in the business where you both work.

First, figure out exactly what your boss needs to do to be seen as a success. From there, you have several choices, and a number of roles you can play.

You could play the 'trusted adviser'; an indomitable rock and source of sage advice about your company and industry. Maurice Saatchi used to describe his boss Michael Howard as wise. It's an old-fashioned word - and, indeed, quality - that has rather lost its sheen in the stampede for the new. I often urge people to try lots of things and see what works, but there is an argument that having the wisdom and experience to know what will work has real value.

Your second option is to surrender all claims to be a day-to-day marketer and relaunch yourself as a 'people person'. As we get older, it becomes more and more difficult to double-guess the creative whims and desires of consumers a generation or more below.

That's why you see older marketing people, deaf to instinct, insistent that they first see the data. …

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