Experience is one of the few things that truly cuts both ways. For some, experience becomes a life (and creatively) limiting reality. Beyond the obvious “been there done that,” it’s more like “jadedness trumps freshness,” prohibiting people from thinking, trying, or doing new things, without them realizing it. For others, experience provides real-time context that plays out in real-anytime value, as they learn from experience and use it to help themselves evolve. And still there is a middle ground; with social media, technology may have created a balance between the under-experienced and those who are more senior.
Just so we’re transparently straight with each other from the get go: I am way closer to 53 than 35. It used to be in the advertising agency and marketing business that if you were a late 40-something, you were on the outside looking in. As if your brain shut down and headed to Boca. As alluded to above, experience doesn’t in-and-of itself equate to anything, but it is a dynamic that could be a difference maker in this economy and maybe a re-think of today’s marketing talent pool. Especially when you overlay it on social/digital landscapes.
The social landscape is really the great equalizer in business in 2011. Now, regardless of socio-economic, demographic or even educational background, real practical experience can be had through any number of social networks. LinkedIn Groups provide tremendous knowledge, as well as networking value. Facebook and Twitter, as we all know, create experiential touches with people, places and things that without, would be hard to get. So in a weird way, experience – be it in “years of” or through engaged social communities – is the secret and unifying sauce that just about every business needs today. Said another way, the more experience you can bring to bare, the better the possibility for really exciting, meaningful and original solutions.
Marketing, a creative experience like life itself, comes in many colors and shades. Gray just historically wasn’t one of them. Because the most sought after demo historically were young males/adults, like 18-24 or fine, up to 36, young account people and young creatives “could only” be the people who could relate.
How ridiculous is this whole thing? Why does there need to be a separation? The real experienced talent and the less experienced, but “current” talent, could be a compelling, dynamic duo. Technology has reduced much of the old so-called “Generation Gap,” given it provides a common language and landscape. Maybe one way to really think about experience today is to view it simply as a fluid and complimentary competency that supports strategy and/or messaging in marketing traditional, social or any media.