Superheroes

 

Can we learn what it takes to be successful in marketing from our superhero comic book characters?  If seems that if we look at the traits of great marketers, these superheros can indeed be a source of inspiration.

 

Matthew Branson from the marketing agency Blueglass gives us his take on the shared traits of marketers and comic superheroes in an article on the company website. We feature the main points in the following section.

 

 

 

1. Fearlessness

 

Any serious superhero should be without fear.  Ignoring it isn’t enough.  Instead, superheroes transform what would be their fear into something positive and actionable.  They choose to act rather than be bogged down by their own self-imposed limits.

 

We can learn from this as marketers.  How often do we tell ourselves that we “can’t” do something due to our own hesitations?  How many awesome opportunities do we miss every day because we’re too afraid to start a new project, ask for feedback, or reach out to others in our industry?

 

Start doing things that you that you normally wouldn’t.  Consider public speaking, writing something new about a topic you’re learning, or asking your team for feedback.  Keep challenging your limits and over time what makes you feel uncomfortable will become more natural.

 

2. Intelligence

 

Not every superhero can lift buildings or stop bullets.  Some are just ridiculously smart and great at what they do (Batman is also a billionaire, so that’s a nice perk).  Stay on top of what’s going on in your field.  As marketers, we often neglect the incredible amount of resources available to us every day.

 

It’s not always simple to free yourself up, so consider these tips to make better use of your time and increase what you’re able to do in your day-to-day routine.

 

3. Persistence

 

Comic book stories wouldn’t be very entertaining if the superhero gave up every time the villain got away.  Take ownership of what you do and embrace the good and bad moments. It’s inevitable that you’ll fail.  The key is to know when you fail and learn from your mistakesIf you never take accountability for your own failures, how can you expect anyone to take your successes seriously?

 

You’re much more valuable to yourself and to others as a problem solver rather than someone who is “always right.”  Once you’re adept at problem solving, you’ll start to anticipate things not working the way you’d like them to ahead of time and can avoid issues before they creep up.  I’ve learned twice as much (and gained much more credibility) from my abilities to fix things versus being successful.

 

 4. Charisma

 

When they’re not out saving the world, superheroes are usually a part of their communities integrating with the citizens they protect (often with interesting results).  Whether they’re a physicist, billionaire philanthropist, or reporter for the Daily Planet, superheroes usually try to stay in touch with the world around them.   This is what we strive to do as marketers daily.

 

Most of our industry is transparent and social, so it’s inevitable that we’ll reach out to others for feedback or ideas along our path to glory.  Network like a superhero and leverage the relationships around you.  Figure out what makes you valuable and provide it to others in your niche.

 

Internet marketers like to be proactive, share things, and offer constructive guidance.  Get out there and actually walk the walk.  Most of my projects start in a “beta” state that I’m constantly tweaking based on the feedback I’m getting from others.  Bounce ideas off of those around you and you’ll have opportunities to tap into new insights.

 

5. Adaptability

 

Comic book worlds can be crazy places.   Superheroes are always adapting to new story lines with new villains, sidekicks, and crazy plot twists.  Let’s face it; there are many days where the marketing world can feel the same way.  There is always a new concept to learn, process to tweak, or technique that was great last week that is now frowned upon by the masses.  The sooner you learn to embrace change the better off you’ll be.  We live and work in a world where concepts and ideas are never stable.

 

Take opportunities to experiment with different media.  There are very few true “rules” in marketing.  As your skills increase you will learn to adapt to changes in your industry when necessary, so don’t worry so much about what’s the “right way” to be an Internet marketer.

 

 

It turns that there is indeed a correlation between the traits of great marketers and those of our superheroes.  Yup, not only do they provide entertainment – we can learn from them!

 

Can you identify more superhero traits that can be applied to great marketers? Add them with your comments below.

 

Matthew‘s original article can be found here.

 

Deon and Johan

 

 

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