Why Americans make better marketers
Working for Marketing Eye, a dual Australian-American company, I am spoiled with the resources that both cultures offer in a creative marketing setting, and I’ve had the privilege to work with some outstanding marketers. Sure, my Australian colleagues trump their American counterparts in some areas; but overall I have observed an ingrained attitude in Americans that makes them superior in the marketing arena.
• They are numbers driven. All marketers are results driven, but their motivations vary. From birth, Americans are assigned numbers congruent to their achievements. While the Australian ‘everybody gets a gold star’ school system is based on inclusiveness and team effort, the American culture of rank-based competition renders them more motivated toward individual achievement and ultimately, savvier marketers.
• They take themselves seriously. There’s not a lot of room for self-deprecation – the cornerstone of Australian humour – in the American marketer’s vocabulary. I’ve witnessed American marketers going from a disaster straight to problem solving without a “ha-ha I suck” pit stop: ain’t nobody got time for that.
• They get it. While I was interning as a sports writer, my American boss asked me to hand out name tags at the door of a function. When I naively questioned him as to how manning the door would be beneficial to my journalistic career, he explained that it was actually the best seat in the house where I’d be able to engage with every person in that room – and I did. Americans seek out opportunities, even if these opportunities are disguised as tough or unnecessary work.
• They are competitive. Think about the American Prom King and Queen awards: even social achievements are rewarded in American society. While Australians suffer from Tall Poppy Syndrome whereby genuine merit is resented, Americans own their achievements: they value and are shameless in striving to be number one.
• They compartmentalise. I’m pretty sure Americans invented the fine art of separating work and personal lives. My American colleagues leave their emotions at the door: they are ON at 8:30am every morning and switch OFF when the job is done.
Before I can admit defeat and say “there’s plenty more fish in the sea”, my American co-workers would have grabbed my rod, fashioned it into a spear and captured the next one. This dogged take-no-prisoners professionalism is invaluable to a marketing company.
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