Why Americans make better marketers

Why Americans make better marketers

Let me preface this post by explaining that I’m Australian. Yet even though I’m Sydney born and bred, when it comes to business I gravitate towards American companies because I believe that Americans do it best.

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.

Here’s why:

•    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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comments ( 3 )
  • Matthew Daniell
    Matthew Daniell
    07 Oct 2014

    Great article,

    But there is no inherit reasoning behind why Americans make better marketers, do you think it's because of their culture? Maybe due to how their school system works and the effort put forward to get ahead in America is way more crucial than it is here in Australia.

    Very open ended discussion we could have here on the origins of why Americans make better marketers.

  • Tarika Singh
    Tarika Singh
    04 Sep 2014

    It is truly amazing to see how two counties, that on the outside appear to be so similar can have two completely different approaches towards both their education and the manner in which they tackle their work. It is however important to take into account that not all attitudes and cultures are going to be the same everywhere. The American serious and competitive nature may not show the same accomplishments here in comparison to Australia, where people definitely tend to generally have a more laid-back approach in the way they go about things. Just as our Australian methods possibly will not have the same positive affects in America. However with that being said, I certainly agree that us Australians could learn a thing or two from the go-getter Americans!

  • Carla Rottura
    Carla Rottura
    31 Aug 2014

    I absolutely love this article and couldn't agree more with Ms. James!

    After visiting America last year, although just on a family holiday I was exposed to a different level of marketing.
    They are able to utilise their resources in their favour by creating amazing campaigns around the tourist attractions so not only are the Americans exposed but the many tourists like myself.

    Because of the experience I had when visiting, I would love to have the opportunity like Ms. James to work for an Australian - American company and be able to work alongside some of the best in the industry!