When it comes to service-based businesses, most customers and clients automatically trend toward experienced providers. You want to work with the advertising agency that understands the ins and outs of targeted delivery or that knows the nuances of executing a critical campaign. But experience is only an advantage until it isn’t. It flips from a strength to a weakness when perspective leaves the picture.
It’s easy to count a strike against the novice when comparing experience. However, where perspective might falter among long-tenured service providers, it’s alive and well in bright-eyed beginners. In fact, sometimes the best perspective comes through the eye of someone who knows nothing about how things “usually work” and instead, sees them from a novel point of view.
The novice isn’t concerned with the status quo—they’re focused on understanding needs and wants, and meeting them. They’re constantly learning and growing, which means they’re constantly observing and evolving. Perspective is the novice’s biggest asset—that, and a willingness to experiment. This is how I got my start in marketing, and why I’m excited it’s with JXM.
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
Coming into this, I can’t say I had any semblance of an idea of the complexities of marketing, nor can I say I’ve even scratched the surface after a month or so in. However, my view as a novice has given me perspective—perspective that many industry experts lost a long time ago, or never had to begin with. It’s taught me to approach client relationship building with a mind for active listening, and to avoid prescriptive solutions.
I believe subjectivity can take ideas further than the personal bias that comes with experience—especially in marketing and advertising. Everything is a viable idea until it’s proven to be an unhelpful one. I’m learning to think like a marketer; but often, my first thought is from an outsider’s perspective. And while the questions I ask might not be marketing specific, they’re marketing adjacent. They help me understand not only which levers to pull, but also how to approach everything from messaging to budgeting with a mind for empathy.
My focus is on connecting with clients so I can learn how to help them, which is a far cry from many experts who walk into the conversation ready to explain the solution they’ve already devised. I’m energized by the discovery process, and it’s this excitement that spurs me toward potential solutions.
Trading a floor for a ceiling
Every service-based business is built on trust—marketing and advertising especially. Businesses trust their marketing partner to help them generate revenue: the lifeblood of the business. This trust isn’t just valuable, either; it’s elastic. Putting your business’ ad campaigns in the hands of a novice often requires a great stretch.
As someone who knows how overwhelming it can be to sit in a meeting and have no idea what’s going on, I know what some clients are feeling when they put their business in someone else’s hands—how nerve-wracking it can be to give your hard-earned money to a company or team when you don’t comprehend exactly what they’re describing to you. You’re trusting in their experience, which makes the prospect of working with a novice even more daunting.
Thankfully, there’s a happy medium. For me, it comes in the form of JXM. The firm itself is well-established, with a proven track record of success and no shortage of happy clients. Yet, within this experienced framework, I’m allowed to be a novice. I can do things my way instead of “the right way,” and I can seek results for clients using my unique perspective. Along the way, I get the opportunity to bond with clients through shared experience, which lays the foundation for both earning their trust and improving my experience.
There’s no such thing as beginners’ luck
We’re all familiar with the concept of a complete newbie stepping up to a challenge and executing it flawlessly. We’re quick to say, “it’s just beginners’ luck!” But what if that beginner saw something you didn’t? What if they took a different approach? What if they didn’t overthink it?
I’m inclined to think that beginner’s luck should go by a different name: the novice’s advantage. What you don’t know could help you approach a challenge with fresh eyes and an open mind. Even if you don’t triumph the first time, an outsider’s perspective goes a long way toward mounting a second (successful) attempt.
When it comes to marketing, I’ve got a lot to learn. That said, I’m proud to be a novice! At JXM, I get the benefit of being surrounded by experienced people who are masters of advertising, and who value my opinion because I’m a novice. It inspires a lot of confidence that I channel into building client relationships that I hope will last far into my pursuit of expertise.