By Lisa Laughton McCarthy-Digital Infusion CMO- February 10, 2015
Just this week, I witnessed someone forced to retire before they were ready. It was really a situation of “out with the old and in with the new.” At first, I didn’t think much about it, I was too busy. But as the days went by, it began to eat at me. Maybe because my husband looks at my team, and often jokingly says I am probably the “oldest social media digital marketing person out there!” But is that such a bad thing?
During the dot-com boom, I was hired by a very progressive in-demand agency. We were creating websites, and brand strategies for a host of dot.com start-ups, as well as a few of the traditional brick-and-mortar companies that saw the need to get on board with this whole new internet thing. I was in my 30’s and hired as one of the older “grey hairs” as they affectionately called anyone who had worked in the real business world.
But, they seriously needed me. Not only because I had the creative marketing talent but I also possessed the business acumen necessary to ensure that the super cool things we were proposing were actually going to translate in the business world. Besides, who else were they going to put in front of CEOs, CMOs, Board of Directors, and Investors to explain why the ground-breaking initiatives were going to make them money.
It was a fun and exciting time, and my career hasn’t changed much.
Which brings me to the present and the relevance of grey hairs today, and our participation in the marketing and creative mix. Believe me, I value my team of young, savvy technology and marketing people who keep me up to speed on the newest social and digital happenings, and the technology folks who go off and figure out how to put our ideas into something that works.
But I have come to realize our success is the direct result of having a combination of generations working together, being open minded, that helps us create really great stuff. Oftentimes, the coolest stuff doesn’t translate into ROI for a business. It doesn’t mean we can’t find a way to incorporate it into the mix, because often looking progressive is part of the business brand strategy. But, everything we create and recommend must align with a business goal, and be a valid reason to invest dollars.
I want my innovators to keep innovating. I love new and different and unique. And I understand, for great creative to work, the client has to be open to fresh, unchartered territories.But I also value business principles and sound marketing investment strategy. I also want to help the next generation of marketing and technology people not to lose sight of the end results.
So, hey, maybe I am one of the oldest social media digital marketing people out there . Its ok. There is a touch of wisdom and experience behind the innovation we create. And, that is why it works.