October 19, 2012 smz-blog

Five ways the advertising business is like open-road driving


– Jamie Michelson, President

One of my great pleasures is opening up my car on the open road. I’ll admit that a little “zoom-zoom” is in my DNA, even when I’m driving a minivan. On one of those great fall drives I started thinking about the parallels of driving to our business. I came up with five. Might have gotten to six if it hadn’t been for the construction zone.

  1. Directions matter. We’ve all heard the language “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll surely end up there.” It’s true. I recognize that clients are busy, that they are drowning in content and always on some device or another. But that’s a poor excuse for little or no direction. Give us a starting point and a desired end point, and our creative GPS will yield remarkable solutions
  2. Little need for the rear view mirror. A free focus on the open road ahead is one of the joys of driving. In business I feel too much time and too much energy is spent looking back to find blame instead of looking out beyond the front bumper at the opportunities in the future. Sure, we need to take a few glances in the rear view mirror to stay informed about what’s behind us, but if we glue our eyes there, we’ll run off the road.
  3. You have to pay attention. No sleeping at the wheel. You have to be alert and ready to react and respond. In a business world where information flies at us from every direction, it’s very difficult to pay attention to what matters. I’d simply ask, do you have at least one hand on the wheel?
  4. You’re not totally in control. Today’s consumers shape brands. They tell stories, share photos and create content. They can guide you or cause your brand to crash. The same is true when driving on that road. You share the road with the other drivers. And when they honk, you need to pay attention.
  5. Don’t forget to take a pit stop. Stretch your legs. Answer nature’s call. Take a moment to relax and maybe even clean the windshield and let in a little more light for a cleaner, clearer view. Then you can be sharp, focused and refreshed for the rest of the ride.

If you wish to “draft” off this post please hit the comment button. See you on the roads.

photo credit: Ben McLeod via photopin cc

Comments (2)

  1. Smart thinking up there steers me to accessorize Number 3: Cruise control can increase convenience while decreasing focus.

    In each context, nimble operators adapt to conditions and determine when they’re moving too slowly or too rapidly,

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