Try new things, be creative and give people a reason to care for what you offer, were some of the tips provided by international marketer Blake Nichols at a recent guest lecture for RMIT Vietnam students.
Around 25 marketing students in Hanoi recently heard from Mr. Nichols about his career path and global experiences in marketing.
With a driving passion for travel and seeking unique opportunities, the United States born marketer has worked with organisations in Africa, Asia and North America across many industries including FMCG manufacturing, food and beverage, and non-profit and social enterprise.
When reflecting on how he started out, Mr. Nichols commented that “young people are nervous and unsure about the future, and can confuse things by planning too much.”
Blake recommended young people to “simply choose a couple of related directions and go.”
Blake continued, “If you want to do something, just do it, like what NIKE has been telling us to do since 1988,” he said.
“Don’t overthink it as you may end up wasting your time and ultimately, your opportunities.”
Blake finished by saying, ”The worst thing that can happen is you’ll move on, and that’s it.
Students at the lecture took away some practical tips from Mr. Nichols on how to achieve a successful career in the marketing industry.
“Always seek new opportunities and try different things to differentiate yourself from the competition,” he said.
“Go out and make an effort to meet people working in the your industry of interest and you’ll find that people are willing to meet with you, give you tips, and support your career exploration.”
“It’s so important to be creative and I find it’s helpful to keep a notebook handy to record new ideas and thoughts daily,” Mr. Nichols said.
But why do young marketers need to give people a reason to care?
“It may sound funny, but as marketers, we need to remember that most people, by nature, are selfish and lazy,” he said, “we need to quickly and clearly communicate to those who buy our products that their lives will improve. We cannot expect people to figure it out on their own. It comes down to pure promotional strategy.
“Marketers need to understand their audiences and identify how their products can answer the questions ‘what’s in it for me?’ and ‘why do I care?’.”
Mr. Nichols explained it’s related to marketing practices aligning with human nature and cultural differences.
“In some parts of Asia, people are more likely to out-do others with luxury products than in Europe or the USA,” he said.
The guest lecture by Mr. Nichols was part of a planned program of industry guest speakers for students of Global Marketing course organized by lecturer Chi Le.