Learning Marketing Skills: Just Do It

By John Oxford 

Four years ago, actor Shia LaBeouf made a somewhat bizarre YouTube video meant to serve as a motivational speech. Although the 31minute video is full of cosmic platitudes and wizard-like commentary, the best part is his fullon, pumpup yelling at the cameraDO IT  JUST DO IT!”  

LaBeouf’s motivational rant had nothing to do with Nike’s famous tagline, but, in a strange way, it has everything to do with how we as marketers are spending our time during the pandemic.  

This week marked the 100th episode of the Marketing Money Podcast that Josh Mabus of the Mabus Agency and I put out every other week. When we began, podcasting was becoming a hot communication and marketing medium, and we had to stop talking about it and dreaming about it and literally do it  just do it, as LaBeouf would loudly suggest 

Sometimes you just have to stop the “thinkeration” and overanalysis to make an initiative or idea come true. Stay with me here. 

These ABA Bank Marketing columns are usually meant to provide a tactical nugget or two to my fellow bank marketers. However, this week, we’re going to pose the question: What have you done during this sort of “time out” to come back with new skills or talents? For example, how many times have you told yourself, “If I just had the chance or time, I would. . . .”? Fill in the blank. 

Now I fully understand that all of us have been essential employees during this time and have dealt, in various degrees, with crisis communications, a myriad of government program roll outs and banking operational challenges that make a Rubik’s Cube look easy. Not to mention homeschooling for those with schoolaged children on top of your essential work functions.  

Throw in working by remote access for many and to say it’s been challenging for bank marketers would be an understatement. However, as no doubt many of our friends are currently furloughed, all of us should be grateful that we are considered essential and still have plenty of work to do and much to accomplish. 

But all of this craziness aside, if you miss your chance before the new normal becomes the normal, you may have to live with the dreaded “R word: regret. Let’s give some examples.  

During this pandemic, some of our staff began classes to become Pardot certified. Others found the time to learn video and audio editing skills so that we could turn around digital content even faster than before. But those are just a couple tactical work skill add-on examplesWhat has your staff done to add value for a great come back? 

In the personal “Just Do It” categoryshameless plugyours truly finally published a marketing book and started a LinkedIn show called the Johnny O Marketing ShowMaybe I should stop being a sports fan, because not having something to coach, watch and play has created some free time to accomplish some personal marketing goals. 

The Mabus Agency held a successful virtual bank marketing conferenceidx.financial, before the word virtual made us all cringe. Josh even built a near exact replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite from The Empire Strikes Back that I’m betting will crush it as a content post on May 4. All of this was accomplished on top of the housework, time with kids, sheltering-in-place and just about everything else all of us are experiencing together right now.  

To end this column—and you can take this message as you pleasenow is the time we marketers need to pick up a new skill, accomplish a longdelayed or muchsoughtafter personal goal and reset for the new normal, whatever that is. And whatever your “just do it” is, go out and accomplish it now because the only thing worse than having a long “regret” from not taking advantage of this time is misspelling it on a tattoo on your chest (weak movie reference from Meet the Millers, an underrated classic to watch at home). 

To hear more on the topic of how to gain new skills and accomplishments during our COVID break, please join us to celebrate the 100th episode of the Marketing Money Podcast 

John Oxford, director of marketing at Renasant Bank, and Josh Mabus, president of the Mabus Agency, are co-hosts of the Marketing Money Podcast.