Every so often, I look around at my life and wonder how I got here. (I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this.) When I was growing up, I was destined to be a musician – a percussion instructor at a college just like my mentor. It was the only direction I cared about following. I feel like I'm a long way from that destination.
I taught music for a few years. Then I decided to write for the newspapers. Then I fell into marketing for a small non-profit ministry, and that changed everything. I always knew that I would go back to school for a graduate degree, but I assumed it would be to earn an advanced percussion or conducting degree. Instead, I entered an MBA program... and loved it.
I love the theory and psychology underneath good marketing. I've fallen in love with the perspective that good marketing helps people, and I feel like it may become my professional mission to prove it. I always felt that music was a noble pursuit. When you live in the arts world, you're trained to become an advocate for music and art in schools and society. I once published an essay about music called "Birds Without Wings" comparing a life without music and art to a bird without... you get the picture. So you can understand my identity crisis as I sit here realizing that I've become a professional marketer.
While I understand the professional distance between a musician and a marketer, I also feel that it's not that great a departure in some respects. I hold a lofty view of marketing – good marketing, the purpose of which is to create value and tell a story. There are other perspectives on marketing, some not so lofty, and for good reason. Marketing in the 20th century gave the profession a bad reputation. The emphasis was on the sale rather than the customer. Marketers cared mostly about solving their own problems (financial mostly), rather than their customer's issues.
But if you look at marketing the way I do – creating value and telling a story that resonates with people – then marketing and music are cousins from the opposite sides of town. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks of marketing this way. If so, so be it. I'm happy to have a unique perspective on marketing. This unique perspective will undoubtedly continue to inform my decisions as to which companies I choose to work with, and what types of companies are attracted to working with Ictus Strategic Marketing. And that's ok with me.