November 02

Wisdom: The Age old Advantage

The digital sphere, driven by an obsession with ephemeral mobile engagement of time poor target audiences, is saturated with content that follows tried and tested formats: listicles, how-to guides, and bite-sized video content dominate. The assumption is that consumers of digital content have the attention span of goldfish and think thinking is too much like hard work to work. But some things can’t be explored in a nanosecond. They need time to get synaptic connections chatting and imagination engaged at a deeper level. 

To me, poetry defies these norms and encourages us to stop and think. It doesn’t just convey a message; it evokes and provokes. It’s an artistic statement that stands out, signalling a willingness to break the mould in a world of limited attention spans. 

While the digital world often rewards simplicity and speed, poetry asks the reader to slow down, reflect, and delve deeper. It assumes a reader willing to engage with nuanced thought – a brave assumption in the age of skimming and scrolling – a call to contemplation on the theme of experience and its value to creativity in a world bedraggled by fleetingness. 

An Ode to the Sages of Strategy

In the twilight of their years, they stand,

The old-guard marketers with leonine grace,

Their eyes – deep wells of secrets, command

The rooms where younger stars seek their place.

Through the thicket of the ages they’ve cut a path,

Worn the days like a needlepoint on their backs,

They’ve felt the market’s whims, its love, its wrath,

A thousand campaigns etched in their tracks.

Plath might whisper of their quiet resilience,

“Lady Lazarus” of commerce, rising again,

With each decade’s shift, a fierce defiance,

A life reborn from the ledger’s pain.

Hughes would render their sinew, iron-cast,

The Hawk in the Rain, unyielding to storm,

In their grasp, the wisdom of the vast,

The hidden rhythms that they can transform.

They are the sculptors of persuasion, old hands

That moulded the clay of public desire,

Where fresh saplings grow, there they stand –

The steadfast oaks that never tire.

Like Hughes’ crow, a sentinel black,

They perch high above the marketplace din,

Their eyes on horizons that others lack,

Seeing beyond the immediate skin.

They speak in a cadence of Plath’s bell jar,

Resonating truths that in youth we elude,

Their language carved from a deeper mar,

Their syntax the substance of life reviewed.

Who would dare not to cherish the gift

Of their years, their trials, wrought in the fire?

For what is youth but a fleeting drift,

Next to the chronicle of the old empire?

So let us bow to these titans, the aged and wise,

For they are the sages of the commerce muse,

Their strategies woven under watchful skies,

A testament to the time they infuse.

Hire them, for their stories are far from told,

In their counsel, find your unseen edge,

For within their memories, fortunes are bold,

And they alone hold the knowledge to pledge.

An echo of the heart’s pulse in linguistic form

Utilising poetry to underscore the value of experience, particularly in a field as dynamic and fast-paced as marketing, is a conscious choice that carries with it several compelling and differentiating advantages and potential vulnerabilities.

Poetry has an inherent capacity to evoke emotion and create memorable images in the minds of its readers. A poem about the value of experience in marketing does more than just tell; it shows, it resonates, it lingers. Through metaphor, rhythm, and verse, the depth and richness of a lifetime’s experience can be communicated more profoundly than through prose.

In a landscape saturated with listicles, white papers, and how-to guides, a poem is a standout form of content. For professionals in marketing, it demonstrates an out-of-the-box approach to communication and positions the speaker or the entity as creative and bold, differentiating them from competitors.

Poetry is storytelling in one of its purest forms. A narrative poem about the journey of an experienced marketer can captivate an audience, making the subject matter more accessible and engaging. Storytelling has been shown to be an effective method for teaching and persuasion, which is at the heart of marketing.

A poem that captures the multifaceted nature of a career in marketing reflects the depth and sophistication of the marketer’s journey. It’s a form that respects the intelligence and contemplativeness of its audience, inviting them to engage with the material on a deeper level.

At its core, marketing is about connecting with people. A poem underscores the human element, the very personal accumulation of experiences, successes, and lessons learned. It humanises the professional experience and facilitates a personal connection with the audience.

Poetry is versatile. It can be read, performed, shared on social media, or incorporated into visual content. This flexibility means that a poem about the value of experience can be disseminated across multiple channels, reaching a wide audience.

Creating a poem about one’s professional journey can also serve as a testament to expertise and credibility. It requires a deep understanding of the subject matter to distil it into poetic form, showcasing the author’s mastery and insight.

Poetry requires a level of vulnerability. It’s an intimate form of expression, laying bare the author’s thoughts and emotions. In the context of a blog about valuing experience, it shows a personal investment in the topic and a commitment to authenticity that goes beyond the impersonal nature of much digital content.

Lastly, poetry has a long-standing cultural and intellectual significance. By choosing this form, the author taps into this rich tradition, aligning themselves with the values of wisdom, culture, and intellect – all qualities that are respected in a senior professional.

In essence, a poem about the value of experience in the marketing field is not merely a piece of creative writing. It’s a strategic tool that can capture hearts and minds, articulate complex ideas with elegance, and demonstrate a marketer’s value proposition in a way that is as timeless as it is compelling.

A vessel for value, where depth is embraced

The poem “An Ode to the Sages of Strategy” is an evocative and richly textured tribute to the seasoned marketers of an older generation, offering a poignant counterargument to the common misconception that age is a barrier to creativity. The critical analysis below explores how the poem embodies the advantages that age confers upon creativity, drawing upon the listed reasons that support this concept.

The poem is replete with allusions to the vast life experiences of its subjects, referencing their “leonine grace” and the “deep wells of secrets” within their eyes. It suggests a narrative depth to their professional exploits, imbuing them with a sense of having lived through and learned from the myriad chapters of the market’s evolution. This wealth of experience affords them a unique perspective that can foster a more nuanced and holistic form of creativity, aligning with the idea that life experience acts as fuel for creative thinking.

The marketers are depicted as having navigated through “the thicket of the ages,” accumulating knowledge and wisdom along the way. This diversity of knowledge allows them to connect different concepts, which the poem illustrates through metaphors and similes that marry the old with the new, the traditional with the avant-garde. Their “breadth of understanding” emerges as a key asset in generating novel ideas and solutions, celebrating the poem’s central premise that age enriches creativity.

“Chronicles of Commerce” resonates with emotional depth, a quality attributed to the maturity of its subjects. The allusion to Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus” and Ted Hughes’ “The Hawk in the Rain” signifies a profound, almost elemental understanding of human and market emotions, which they have harnessed in their creative endeavours. This emotional depth enhances the creative expression found within the poem and is reflective of the older marketers’ capacity for more emotionally resonant and profound work.

The poem characterizes its protagonists as enduring figures in the face of constant change, attributing to them a “fierce defiance” akin to Plath’s resilience and Hughes’ unyielding hawk. Their creative endeavours are not fleeting impulses but are sustained through resilience and persistence, crucial traits for creative success that the poem suggests are honed over a lifetime.

While not explicitly stated, the poem implies a sophisticated use of brain function through its complex language and layered meanings. The older marketers are described as using their wisdom to “find the unseen edge,” suggesting an ability to think in complex, multifaceted ways that younger individuals may not fully possess.

The shift in motivation towards self-expression and the pursuit of meaning is elegantly woven into the fabric of the poem. It speaks to a desire for legacy and the sharing of wisdom, traits that drive the older generation towards creativity as a form of self-actualization and imparting lasting value.

The subjects of the poem are not technophobes but are portrayed as having adapted to the digital age with grace and understanding. This reflects the idea that older generations can bring a lifetime of learning to bear on new technologies, using them in uniquely creative ways.

There’s a clear sense of confidence and acceptance of one’s unique perspective in the poem. It suggests that the old-guard marketers have developed a distinct style over the years, allowing for creativity that is self-assured and less constrained by convention.

Reflection is implicit in the poem’s contemplative tone, highlighting the marketers’ ability to draw upon time for incubation of ideas. This aspect is crucial for creativity, allowing for the gestation of ideas that can lead to more innovative and creative outcomes.

While the poem focuses on the older generation, it does not exclude the younger; rather, it hints at the power of collaboration. The wealth of experience that older marketers bring to the table can fuse with the fresh perspectives of the younger generation to create a dynamic and powerful creative synergy.

In summary, “An Ode to the Sages of Strategy ” not only serves as an homage to the creative capacities of marketers over sixty but also as a vibrant manifesto on the creative advantages of aging. It deftly encapsulates the essence of how a lifetime’s worth of experience, knowledge, and emotional depth can significantly enhance creative endeavours, making a compelling case for the value of senior professionals in the realm of marketing and beyond. 

The essence of decades, captured but not confined

Sir John Hegarty, a luminary in the world of advertising, famously espoused the maxim “When the world zigs, zag.” This pithy phrase encapsulates a philosophy of creative counterintuition that has been at the heart of some of the most successful marketing and advertising campaigns. Here’s an expansion on this concept:

The notion of zagging when the world zigs is a call to embrace uniqueness in an era of conformity. In a marketing context, this means creating campaigns that stand out by virtue of their originality and daring, rather than blending in with the crowd.

Zagging is about innovation rather than imitation. Hegarty’s adage suggests that brands and talent scouts should not just follow the latest trends but should strive to set them. This could mean adopting new technologies, exploring untapped potential, or presenting experience in an entirely new light.

The quote encourages questioning the status quo. In a practical sense, this could involve re-evaluating target demographics, rethinking the customer journey, or overturning established industry narratives about youth’s hold on imagination and creativity. It’s about looking at what everyone else takes for granted and daring to ask, “What if we did it differently?”

Zagging implies creating work that doesn’t just sell products but also contributes to the culture. Brands that zag successfully often become part of the public conversation, shaping discourse and sometimes even influencing behaviour and attitudes. People who have been there and got the T-Shirt can afford to take greater risks when breaking the very rules they created becomes necessary.

Implicit in the idea of zagging is a degree of risk. When the majority zigs, it feels safe to follow, but zagging requires stepping into the unknown. It’s a calculated risk that, if done with insight and creativity, can lead to significant rewards. 

Zagging isn’t about quick wins; it’s about having a long-term vision. While zigs represent short-term trends, a zag is a strategic move that can establish a brand’s identity for the long haul, ensuring that it remains relevant as the market evolves.

Finally, zagging conveys authenticity. It’s about brands being true to their values and purpose, even when these don’t seem to align with the prevailing currents. This authenticity can forge deeper connections with consumers who are increasingly looking for brands that stand for something beyond their products.

In short, “When the world zigs, zag” is more than a memorable saying; it’s a strategic principle that champions boldness, differentiation, and creativity. It’s a reminder that in a saturated market, the surest way to be seen and remembered is not to follow the pack but to forge a distinct path that captures the imagination and respect of both consumers and peers alike.

So, to you, long-form reader who stayed the course, I say: Let’s talk. Let’s encourage the world to explore the possibilities of what seasoned expertise and creative verve can achieve in concert. The digital landscape is one of constant change, and it is the guides with the most intimate knowledge of the terrain who lead their charges to success.