A friend of mine once told me “only bitchy people have musings” and while I wanted to retaliate in disagreement, he’s right. Those with strong opinions tend to muse more often and I fall into that category. Not that I’m bitchy (angelic smile), though some people might feel so if they rub me the wrong way lol. :P
With my workload piling day by day, I find it difficult to properly sit down and pen my thoughts the way I used to. My mind is often filled with a mish-mash of things and I’m unable to streamline those thoughts into words. Which frustrates me as I dislike having my writing stifled by mind clutter. Plus, I’d be running around for meetings or working through ideas with my team and that’s not helping with the problem.
So today, I decided to take a good one hour off my schedule to try and pen out what I’m feeling at the moment.
Overwhelmed and frustrated. But somewhat happy?
I left a question mark after happy because this is what I set out to do when I moved out of corporate and I’m happy with the choice I made. Most of the time at least. Overwhelmed because despite my years of training in advertising, there is still so much to learn especially when it comes to managing clients and their egos.
For someone who used to be focused on the creative aspect of things, I have a new-found respect for many account managers and also PR practitioners. Of course, not all are great so I still stand by what I said about a select few.
The amount of communication required to seek alignment, manage expectations and also build relationships is mind-boggling. And it not only requires wit and ability to convince, but also a whole lot of patience and thick skin.
And then there’s the moment where we land an account. That would either mark the beginning of a wonderful journey (please God, give me more of these clients) or one that’s frustrating depending on the client you get. For some reason, generating sales is often expected in a marketer which I feel isn’t entirely fair for many marketers out there.
The role of a marketer I feel, is to innovate content (to create demand) and convey consumer insights for brand understanding (to bridge the gap). What I feel a marketer isn’t responsible for, is sales. That is not our area of expertise. But because some clients expect us to sell, I’ve become frustrated and overwhelmed with having to always realign and re-manage expectations.
I used to think my previous MD was the most obnoxious, egoistic prick of a middle-aged man I’ve had to deal with and that he was a rare breed.
I was wrong.
There are plenty more of his kind out there and if it weren’t for my prior training when it comes to dealing with such people, I wouldn’t be able to stomach so much ego today. Every session with a client as such is akin to “holding it in” when you’ve got the runs. Your compounded frustration and anger is then further aggravated with more crap (curveballs) the client throws at you.
And your mind wonders for that split second, deciding if you should just let it go (cue Frozen song) and unleash all the word vomit you’ve gathered in your life onto them. Or take it all in stride to show the client and your team how professional you can be. The second option is painful.
Anyway, my one hour is up. And my rant is over. Thank you for reading. :)
*food/travel post to resume shortly