A stoic is defined as someone who endures hardship without complaint.
Such a heavy concept may seem strange when applied to the world of arts marketing but I believe being a little bit of a stoic is a crucial element of success.
Marketing is hard. Arts marketing is even harder. This isn't because people hate you or your work, its just a function of the tremendous competition and choice available in the world.
Now don't get me wrong. Some people make marketing much harder than it should be. They don't have a vision. They execute poorly. They don't have capable or empowered personnel.
Any or all of those things can make the climb up the mountain harder, but even if you have great strategy, execution and people it is still a climb.
To me being a marketing stoic means not complaining about those things that are universal parts of the jobs. Things such as:
- Ever increasing sales goals.
- Difficulty getting people to hear your PR pitch
- Tensions between a marketing vision and an artistic vision for a project
- Relatively limited resources, particularly money, people and time
- The unpredictable nature of art, which means that any plan can fall apart when the curtain rises, the book is published or the exhibition opens
Every arts marketing job, large or small, has these challenges. These are the challenges you must endure to be successful.
So how do you endure? I think there are a few keys:
- Enjoy the process. You can't be a good marketer if you don't enjoy the good days and the bad days.
- Expect obstacles. Your plans will not work out. People will disagree with your vision. That is a part of your job.
- Stay optimistic. You have to belive that even in your worse days your plans will work out,.
- Hire those people who have those traits
In marketing, attitude is everything, Culture is even more. Ultimately it is the stoic who will succeed.