For years I have always thought of myself as a sled dog marketer. You know, someone that is out in front of the curve, paving the way for the brand. The more I thought about this, the more it made sense. Good marketers need to create new ideas and innovate at the right time and be willing to lead the way.
Marketers also need to move swiftly and bring ideas and campaigns to the forefront in an intelligent, logical manner. Now you are probably thinking, what in the world does this have to do with sled dogs? Good question. I did some research on the traits of sled dogs. You will be amazed at how similar these are to us marketing gurus.
7 Amazing Sled Dog Traits – Ahem… Traits Of A Modern Marketing Professional
- Leadership: Good marketers need to have leadership qualities in order to push through the clutter and noise of today’s digital environment, corporate politics and media madness. They also need to understand how to maneuver through it perfectly.
- Intelligence: A sled dog, just like a marketer must display an intelligent orientation to their work. This also means fully understanding the surroundings or being willing to learn quickly and adapt. Knowing the risks and knowledge of how to handle situational issues without compromising the team is paramount.
- Speed: Marketers and sled dogs both demonstrate the ability to increase speed on a moment’s notice (or when the project / client requires), and hold that speed as long as necessary. For the marketer, this especially comes in handy when launching new products and getting them to market swiftly.
- Focus: We know today’s marketing and digital world creates confusion as well as provides us with lots of choices. Some of these choices are good and some are clearly not so good for the brand. We must stay focused to stay on brand and stick to the marketing strategy.
- Attitude and Determination: Regardless of how good the other items in this list are, if a sled dog or marketing associate on your team has a bad attitude and no determination, they are creating problems for the others and can be a huge liability. A positive attitude and lots of drive and determination are fantastic qualities that every marketing department wants and needs to thrive.
- Endurance: Marketing is not a discipline for people that can’t keep pace. Us marketers run fast, work hard and live on the adrenaline that fuels this pace. Our hi-octane, high energy and high endurance is critical to help us keep pace with the ever-changing, digital, social and technology environment.
- Courage: One of the unique things about marketing is that every company uses and produces marketing completely different. There may be best practices to follow, however, even then, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution for every company in every industry. Marketers must have the courage to believe in themselves and pitch new ideas that you are passionate about and believe in. Have confidence in your intellect, research and your team to pull off the unimaginable. Courage is very important, especially when the chips are down and everyone is under pressure to produce at maximum capacity.
If you are like me and have experienced many of these traits either in yourself or in other marketing teams, I think you will see that sled dogs and marketers have a whole lot in common. These are also 7 characteristics in which you can measure and assess your team over time.
The next time you see a sled dog or maybe even a husky, think about all the common traits you have with them. Smile at them, give them some attention, look them in the eye and you just might see a little bit of yourself. Woof!
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