The Noticers

We marketers are curious and observant people. This superpower is really useful. And often undervalued. It also has some downsides. As 2020 draws to a close, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • Noticing is also crucial to effective communication. If you can pick up on the way your audience speaks and match their tone and language, you’re well on your way to winning them over. Because, after all, everyone appreciates being noticed.
  • Noticing is especially valuable in our field. Brands are defined by what customers notice—by the totality of many impressions over time. So managing a brand requires a good instinct for what other people are likely to notice.
  • But our noticing skills have their downsides, too. Many marketers struggle with anxiety and depression.
  • And right now, there’s plenty to be anxious about. Especially if you have a knack for noticing it all.
  • Anxiety is an eminently rational reaction to the world today. But, rational or not, it isn’t much fun. So what can you—as a highly skilled noticer—do to ease your way to the end of this crazy year with your sanity in check?
  • First off, get moving. Exercise can do wonders for your state of mind. There’s plenty of science about the benefits of yoga, high intensity workouts and running, but the right flavour is down to personal preference.
  • Second, take a moment to reflect on the past year through a positive lens (bear with us!). Look back on all of the things you accomplished this year that shouldn’t have been possible with all of the headwinds. Then pat yourself on the back and treat yourself to a nice long exhale. You earned it.
  • Third, find yourself a creative outlet. This is about giving yourself permission, not worrying about whether you have talent. We love this little book from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. It’s really inspiring and packed with lots of principles you can apply to any creative undertaking.
  • We also really loved Alex Hutchinson’s recent piece in The Globe And Mail (paywall in play, grab a PDF here), in which he compares coping with COVID to running a marathon with no finish line. That may sound bleak, but it turns out sports science has a lot to teach us about how to make the most of this very 2020 situation.
  • For the closing word of this remarkable year, we turn to our very own Randy Siu, who offers you this sage advice: “Enjoy the time off of Zoom. Live in the moment. Get outside (bring a mask). And don’t eat the COVID snow.” Thanks Randy. And thank you for reading this year. See you in 2021!
Issue #110
Dec 13, 2020

Further Reading