The Guide To Your Marketing Spirit Animal
Marketers are interesting folk. Sure, they’re just like you and me, work hard, take care of their families, and so on, but true marketers never truly turn it off, even when actively involved in the most mundane of things. A marketer could be watching a TV series, like GoT or West World, and suddenly start mentally working on that day’s unfixed challenges - Larry David could be whining about something irrelevant on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and they’re thinking about things like brand identity, social networks, and social media management. Truly they’re a fascinating breed.
There’s a wide range of marketing professionals as well, as the field encompasses a huge valley of responsibilities and roles - some might directly focus on communications and engagement, and others might focus on social media engagement and brand awareness/reputation. Similarly, our favorite characters from television, both traditional and streaming, also play their roles within a vast and expansive repertoire of archetypes, objectives, and relationships with other characters. Where the two intersect is more of a grey area. But the two can complement each other, especially when it comes to the uninitiated.
Still don’t fully get it? No worries! As things go more digital, and as the world of social media strategy becomes more attractive to younger professionals looking to venture into marketing as a field to focus on, we figured it’d be best to summarize the different kinds of marketing professionals through the lens of popular tv series as a way to make understanding the varied roles of marketers as easily as possible.
So let’s get things started off with a particularly popular fan favorite right now, someone whom many idolize and find much to be intrigued by, I’m of course talking about…
♟️ Social Media Maven - Elizabeth Harmon
Image sourced from www.medium.com
“I analyze games. What actually happened, not what could have happened.”
Television Show: The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Alternate Job Titles: Social Media Manager, Social Media Lead, Social Content Creator, Social Media Community Director, Head of Social Media, Social Media Marketer, and Social Media Strategy Specialist.
Main Responsibilities: The Social Media Maven’s main goal is to manage and organize the online interactions between consumers and a brand through social media platforms and other various avenues.
Professionals Goals: Brand advocacy, marketing social media, social media content publishing, social network analysis, providing social media help to other departments, short & long-term business goals for online engagement, and building a following for businesses and brands.
For anyone who’s seen the hit Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, Elizabeth Harmon is the main protagonist who drinks, quips, and outsmarts her male counterparts in a world that was once the sole territory of boys. Now Social Media Mavens come in all shapes and sizes (and genders), but what they must be is sharp, analytically minded, and always thinking one step ahead of the competition. Like a game of chess, there are many ways to approach the job of developing a well-thought-out plan of attack, especially considering all the multiple variables to consider, such as:
- Rapidly-changing trends to research and stay on top of
- Staying flexible and responsive when it comes to target demographics to engage with
- An ever-evolving roster of social listening tools to consider utilizing for your specific marketing goals
- Actually coming up with an effective social media marketing strategy or social media marketing plan across multiple platforms
- Curating a marketing strategy that includes all different types of data, (e.g. location, gender, age, income bracket, occupation, general brand sentiment, etc.)
- And so much more.
Elizabeth had her own challenges as well, and although none of them required her to sit in front of a computer (especially considering how the time in which her show is set would make that technologically impossible), she needed to overcome a myriad of obstacles related to understanding certain principles, while adapting to each new playstyle. If you’re an Elizabeth Harmon, then you’re most likely going to be a Social Media Maven, and heaven help anyone who gets in your way to the ultimate prize: Likes.
🦸♂️ Public Relations Genius - Billy Butcher
Image sourced from www.cinemablend.com
“You're a smart lad, but you still ain't twigged to the one weakness they all got. Their reputations.”
Television Show: The Boys (Amazon Prime)
Alternate Job Titles: Communications Director, Head of PR, Director of Communications, Chief Communicateur, Public Relations Manager, and Communications Lead.
Main Responsibilities: Responsible for managing all internal and external communications and brand imaging for a business or company. Additional tasks include maintaining consistent and appropriate messaging for all activities and situations, as well as developing and executing ideas for company output that ensures a “bigger picture” relationship to current and potentially new customers.
Professional Goals: Earned and planned value, SEO ranking, referrals, ROI, conversion rates, upward website traffic and public engagement growth.
Billy’s the kind of guy that gets things done, and when your main job is to deal with a lot of heavy hitters, you need to be pretty thick-skinned and have your wits about you. If that sounds like you, then being the Public Relations Genius (PR) might be a solid fit for your future in solving… “problems”. Handling crises is the name of the game when it comes to communications and public relations, though it’s not the only thing that it involves, and like Billy Butcher, you’ve got to be able to deal with a lot of hits, both from online and offline sources. Rogue supermen and superwomen causing headaches for the US government are not unlike this position, where careful coordination between teammates can mean the difference between a brand going out of business, or a brand rising above the fray. And although not every problem can be solved with a good crowbar, Public Relations Geniuses do need a solid suite of tools at their disposal to head off rival businesses from taking advantage of the situation, track the health of a campaign, and identify influencers to bolster the images of brands or companies. Hey, it’s no super work, but it’s an honest good days work with the CHAPS!
🧪 Marketing Maestro - Rick Sanchez (Rick C-137)
Image sourced from www.geekfeed.com
“Because I invent, transform, create and destroy for a living. And when I don’t like something about the world, I change it.”
Television Show: Rick & Morty (Adult Swim/HBO Max)
Alternate Job Titles: CMO, Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Marketing, Creative Director, Director of Marketing, and Chief of Marketing.
Main Responsibilities: The Marketing Maestro holds ultimate responsibility for their company’s respective marketing activities and national/international development. This, coupled with the job of maintaining a strong level of engagement with consumers on all fronts, makes this a leading position for most businesses.
Professional Goals: Guiding the day-to-day activities of the marketing department, overseeing the implementation of the overarching marketing strategies, managing the overall social media presence exhibited by the company/brand on line, and develops and delivers relevant marketing campaigns, content, and branding that elevates the general revenue for the company.
WHUBBA-LUBBA-DUB-DUUUUUBBB!!! If you l-l-l-like to *urp!* create, design, envision, and generally put forward the vision for your brand’s marketing efforts, then you’re most like Rick Sanchez, and thus a Marketing Maestro! Regardless of how few interdimensional adventures you’re likely to embark on with your 14-year-old grandson, being a Marketing Maestro is a LOT of responsibility, practically being tasked with the oversight of a brand’s general marketing strategies, campaigns, branding, and more, it’d make anyone drink themselves into mad scientist territory! Rick’s primary tool is his Portal Gun, a device that opens up doorways to multiple locations and alternate realities, but since such a fictional machine doesn’t exist, you’ll need to be constantly up to speed with everything that’s trending and popular in order to guide your whole team to success. If you see a lot of Rick Sanchez in you, then expect to be a boss - literally and figuratively - in countless ways, such as:
- Optimizing your methods of social media content creation for innovative and effective new ways to engage consumers
- Always staying abreast of new technologies for your business in order to stay competitive in an ever-challenging marketplace and community
- Coordinating with multiple offices, departments, and even international teams in order to properly implement both creative and financial strategies across the corporate board
- Always be learning, adapting, and bettering yourself so that others can make a good example of you
- And so much more!
Rick Sanchez and Marketing Maestros know how to “get shwifty” which in layman's terms means going with, and against, the universal flow of things, but it also means going against the grain and charting your own path forward, for better or for worst… PICKLE RICK!!!
🐉 Brand Master - Tyrion Lannister
Image sourced from www.medium.com
“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing more powerful than a good story.”
Television Show: Game of Thrones (HBO Max)
Alternate Job Titles: Brand Head or Brand Manager Lead.
Main Responsibilities: A Brand Master is responsible for adapting a brand strategy for a company’s target audience. As the guardians of a brand, these kinds of marketing managers maintain brand integrity across the company’s various channels and platforms.
Professionals Goals: Implementing brand strategies, assisting with product development, managing the budget for marketing and advertising efforts, creating and managing promotional collateral, and performing competitor and customer data analysis in real-time.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown, which is fine because Brand Masters work behind the scenes - with equally large marketing & branding responsibilities upon their shoulders - just like Westeros’ biggest little Hand of the King (or queen), Tyrion Lannister. If a tactician, planner, and “world’s smartest man alive” fits your bill, then perhaps a future of brand mastery is in your future. The future of the house, or brand, in this case, is squarely left in your hands, as without a clear direction and voice to the people, your business or house won’t last long. You don’t need to work for blond-haired narcissists or dragon-raising matrons to know that leading properly means doing your homework, understanding the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when & why) of your target audience, curating your messaging to fit their needs, desires, and aspirations, while also being adept at putting out fires that arise from brand crises… or the occasional wildfire outbreak! All this to tell a competent story that you hope will resonate with the common folk, and ultimately help you win the Game of Thrones, err… umm… something like that!
🇺🇸 Digital Officer-In-Chief - Selina Meyer
Image sourced from www.losangelestimes.com
“Why don’t you put on your running shoes and get to the point.”
Television Show: Veep (HBO Max)
Alternate Job Title: Chief of Digital, Head of Digital, Digital Marketing Director, or the Digital Insights Manager
Main Responsibilities: Helps lead a company or organization drive growth through digital transitioning of output for all departments. Oversees operations for everything, from content creation online, to branding efforts on both internal and external fronts.
Professional Goals: A bit of anything and everything, and quite literally short of the head of a company in many cases, though their main outwardly pronounced goals include developing and maintaining top talent and technologies to innovate and build new consumer bases, execute creative delivery from conception to promotion, and measure new efficiencies and ROI.
When you’re not running the show, you’re running the show, and so it is with both the Digital Officer-In-Chief, and Selina Meyer as the Vice President (and eventually President) of the United States. If leadership within the marketing world is kind of your thing, but corporate games are not exactly your cup of tea, then perhaps you’re a Veep. Responsible for an entire team of marketing and insights professionals that are tasked with the difficult job of maintaining, improving, and ultimately helping to best all other adversaries in the same industry, the Digital Officer-In-Chief calls most of the shots, very much like Selina does with Amy, Gary, Alan, and the rest of the crew from one of HBO’s most beloved shows. Though unlike Ms. Meyers and the fictional administration that she runs on the show, there are some stark differences between her role and that of a Digital Officer-In-Chief, chief among them being: whereas Veep’s main protagonist would often struggle with social media in many of the episodes, a Digital Officer-In-Chief can’t afford to have such a problem, something that could easily be remedied with some good old fashioned social listening.
Written by Micah Levin
With a background in creative writing, advertising, and psychology, Micah is a copywriter in name and a Digiminder at heart. When he's not developing content for agencies, you can find him crafting novels, cooking and running around in Brooklyn, NY.