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  • Creative-type on the wrong side of marketing

    updated 3 years, 5 months ago 0 Member · 1 Post
  • David

    September 9, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    I am now 26. I was once a media arts major at a liberal arts college where I wrote journalistic articles, creative writing, made visual art, learned the basics of graphic design and for my senior project wrote a feature length film and animated the first seven minutes of it myself. I got good at a lot of things creatively, but never specialized in any one in thing. I completely ignored math, science and business courses (regrettably). I traveled some and freelanced where I went, writing for a couple magazines and helping set up some art shows after college but not consistently enough to make a living. I was trying to break into film or animation while toiling away as a bus boy/waiter night after night and got sick of it. Film didn’t seem like it was going to happen for me, so I hit up a friend with connections at an up-and-coming startup that needed support in local marketing. “There’s a creative side to marketing right? Why not,” I said. I was hired part time at one of the local offices (they have many around the country) as a copy writer and designer. It started out fun, being able to experiment and try new things, designing and writing professionally, but as the company grew, creative development became totally centralized and controlled by the new VP of Brand. Where once I was brainstorming regularly with my local team and executing fun ideas, I was stripped of the creative aspect of my role and relegated to basically a project manager, moderating requests and making sure things happened on time. Eventually, I got good enough at that and earned myself a full time position on the growth marketing team (the quantitative side of marketing). I still work regularly with our creative team, ideating concepts for testing and giving them feedback on their work, but it is all performance based. “This color vs that one earned us this many customers last week, so we need to spend $X on this version in order to catch up to plan…blah blah blah.” Not to mention, the channel I’ve been primarily tasked with project managing is direct mail, perhaps the least exciting and archaic marketing channel there is. Without a background in business or analytics outside of my current role, I feel ill-equipped to really contribute to the higher, business level conversations my bosses and many of my peers are capable of, so I continue to stagnate as the helpful project manager. I’m an expert at all the bureaucratic processes that keep our teams running, with just a sprinkle of creative contribution when it comes to collaborating with our brand team on direct mailer designs. I am not fulfilled in my current role even though the pay is lucrative for someone with my tenure. I am afraid to leave this role, not only because I risk losing the lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to, but I also lack confidence at this point that I can transition back into a creative role, with only the content I created in college, early in my marketing career and some other personal projects in my portfolio right now. I’ve been advised to either go back to art/advertising school if I want to be a true creative & build a portfolio worthy of a professional, or to pursue account manager roles at ad agencies which is more in line with what I’m doing now. I’d love to go back to school but am terrified of accruing more debt. I feel kind of stuck, but know I must make a move in the next year or so if an opportunity to do something more creative does not pop up at my current company. Any advice from folks in marketing, advertising, film or animation who can empathize with my thoughts here or have any ideas on how to move forward, I’d deeply appreciate it. Thanks for reading 🙂 – by hq overview mjmedia-studio – –

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