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Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Before I launched my book, a career memoir about working in advertising and marketing as a creative, I read dozens of advice pieces on Medium and elsewhere for tips on getting started and tools. I’m sure you have too.

Building up to the launch, I realized that while I had a loose project plan of activities, I hadn’t put down on paper an audience and channel strategy that I would normally do for my own clients to market their products.

So I took a few minutes and created this simple grid of key audiences mapped to owned, paid, and earned channels with tactics. …


We are that woman

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Photo by Gabriela Braga on Unsplash

We learn in advertising the power of repetition to build familiarity. In radio spots, copywriters mention a phone number twice; in email communications, best practices tell a designer to place the call-to-action both above and below “the fold.”

What if you’re going to defend a culture? Or honor half the planet? Can repetition of a single concept create impact and persuade?

In a powerful new video, two male global creative directors put out an eight-minute film featuring footage of more than 300 iconic women including Coretta Scott King, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Toni Morrison and yes, even Sarah Palin. …


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You don’t have to be a writer to write it all down. Even if you don’t want to publish your stories, I encourage folks to take each job or stage of your career and put it on paper. I wrote as such recently in this piece for the Natie brand agency blog.

Before I knew it would be a book, I simply wrote down the stories from 10 jobs —how I got each one, what I learned, why I left. Starting as a secretary. Becoming a copywriter for radio and early internet. Heading comms for a gay online service. Getting the top job at a digital agency. Working with celebrities from Cynthia Harris and Alice Playton to Mike Strahan and Alicia Keys. The exercise unlocked buckets of memories and valuable lessons about managing a career. Hilarious successes I forgot all about. Embarrassing mistakes that became indelible. …


The goal is not to be an e-commerce marketer

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Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

If you’re seeking a gold rush, look no further than the growth of e-commerce. Driven by digital transformation, accelerated by economic shifts and the coronavirus, e-commerce retail sales continue to rise in nearly every category globally. This creates more than billions of dollars in revenue for companies; it creates thousands of great jobs for ambitious people.

As an advertising creative turned marketing strategist, I think about the skills needed to go from one job to another, even within related industries. …


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Photo by Pars Sahin on Unsplash

E-commerce shopping has steadily grown, even accelerated due to Coronavirus, expected to reach $4.2 billion globally in 2020 (Statista) and be more than 16% of global retail sales. Nearly every category and vertical has been impacted, including books, video, electronics, and of course household goods. We can expect this holiday season to be even bigger.

I spoke to Ricky Busby, director of e-commerce and website content strategy at Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products -maker of Brawny, Quilted Northern, Dixie, and other household brands-about what it means from a marketer’s point of view. What does he see in his role developing online content for brands on retailer sites like Walmart, Amazon, and Target? …


3 lessons for a creative career
3 lessons for a creative career
Photo by shams NAJJAR on Unsplash

As I wrote about 30 years in advertising and digital marketing, each job led to specific lessons that people can use selling brands, building relationships, and managing careers. Three in particular stand out for folks going through a transition during these times. I capture them in a video clip below:

  1. Ask for what you want: People can only help you if you tell them what you want. Some will disappoint, but everyone else is everything.
  2. Find your people: Colleagues and clients will be people you work with again and again.
  3. Swing big + be early: Just as I got into interactive marketing at the very beginning, it’s still early in emerging areas like A.I., …

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As I edited final versions of my career memoir, I shared it with an attorney, Howard Matalon, who knows my industry and knows employment law.

I expected him to focus on things to cut so I don’t get sued by previous employeees or people I villainized. Yes, he gave me a bit of that but he also had fresh ideas on how to refer to people. For example, where I replaced real names with fake initials (e.g. M. did a horrible thing…), Howard noted that doing that will only make people hunt for the real name even more. …


How 6 of my ad campaigns shaped the next 60

Mat the copywriter drinking coffee on an indelible project
Mat the copywriter drinking coffee on an indelible project

After nearly 30 years in advertising and digital marketing, I’m fascinated by how our careers shape us and what we glean along the way. Looking for insight from the past, I began to binge-write chapters of my career from the beginning, stumbling onto lessons from each job. Six campaigns stand out to me, not just for what they did for the client, but for how they shaped me:

  1. Bhutan: For Travelers, Not Tourists.

Created in creative director Rob Slosberg’s night class at School of Visual Arts, the first campaign in my portfolio as I shopped for my first job had a series of “spec” or hypothetical ads for the country of Bhutan, nestled in the Himalayas between India and China. I needed something to break through the clutter with recruiters and compete with the kids coming out of portfolio programs with more polished work. …


Bookshelf of books
Bookshelf of books
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I just put out a book, Bronze Seeks Silver: Lessons from a Creative Career in Marketing. Half-memoir, half-guidebook, it traces my nearly 30 years in advertising and digital marketing with embarrassing stories and hard-earned wisdom. Writing the book was one huge lesson in discipline and patience, but finding the right tech stack has been more than I expected. Here I’ll share not necessarily what I recommend (though some I do), but what I have used so far for product management, distribution, marketing and reporting.

Product

The manuscript has shifted back and forth from MS Word to Apple’s Pages and back. Part of my everyday for work, I’m simply used to them. I heard great things about proper writing software such as Scrivener and Ulysees (which I tried and paid for), but after editing one chapter, I didn’t have the patience for anything new and cowardly retreated to familiar old, clunky, unhip Word. …


What I learned about managing clients by building relationships

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The following is an excerpt from the new book, Bronze Seeks Silver, available in paperback and ebook

The instructor gently adjusted my right hand to hold the shotgun handle higher in the air and flush against my face.

“Aim through here,” he said, pointing to a small v-shaped notch jutting up at the end of the barrel. Moving me sidewise, he adjusted my stance so I was perfectly perpendicular to the shooting range.

“Just like tennis,” I said out loud.

My client Michael watched from a few steps behind to the right. Out of the corner of my eye, I could sense he was amused. I wanted to turn and ask for a photo of me holding the shotgun, but I didn’t want to accidentally shoot him in a Dick Cheney move. We had just met in person for the first time, and I was sure he already knew the closest to a gun I had ever been was holding a blow dryer. …

About

Mat Zucker

Marketing + content leader. Partner at Prophet. host: Rising & Cidiot podcasts. Author of career guidebook and memoir: bronzeseekssilver.com/

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