Nikki became an invaluable asset to the Pinstripe team the day she started at the agency. Her skills match the project management role – intelligent, organized, friendly, insightful – but we hit the jackpot with her numerous talents, not the least of which include photography and videography. She sees challenges from different angles and opportunities from an artist’s perspective. Clients love her and so do we. Read her spotlight and you will too!
What inspired you to pursue a career in a creative field?
I grew up an artist and that natural inclination has always been a huge force in my career choices and everything I do.
What do you like most about marketing?
I love that my work in marketing, especially at Pinstripe Marketing, allows me to use my wide variety of skills. As an artist, I like to be very creative and use my mind in that way, but I am also very analytical and love problem solving – I studied engineering for a few years in college and I actually enjoy math, so I still like to exercise that part of my brain as well. Working in marketing gives me the variety and freedom to do it all. I shoot and edit video, write articles and other content, and manage web design projects. So many creative outlets plus analytics all wrapped up in one position!
What challenges does your industry face?
People are inundated with advertising and marketing every day. Recently I attended an event about inbound marketing and the speaker was talking about how we’ve “been bad” as advertisers and marketers. We’ve interrupted people’s lives, family time, and relaxation time to sell products. Now it’s time to give back and stop “being bad.” People are tired of us, but it’s not too late to change that. Inbound/content marketing is one way to start being better.
How do you measure your success?
As long as I’m learning, I feel like I’m successful. I don’t set monetary goals or goals of status – I always want to keep moving forward in everything I do, and the best way to do that is to devour information. I am constantly learning new things about video, photography, artistic techniques, design, and marketing. As long as I can continue to learn and improve my craft, I feel that I am successful in my work. My education is passed on to my clients and informs my art – I do a better job at everything when I keep up with it.
What do you think is the biggest mistake companies make when working on marketing projects?
I think that it’s a huge mistake to think “I need new printed collateral” or “I need a new website” without thinking about the larger picture. When you “need something new” take a look at your entire marketing campaign. Each piece is a part of a symbiosis, and if they’re not working together, you’re wasting your time and money. We always try to steer clients in the direction of thinking about the whole rather than just individual pieces. We want our work to be effective, not just a one and done deal that has no lasting effects on the brand.
What is the most interesting trend you see in marketing?
The current trend is and has been inbound marketing. It’s interesting to me because it really fits my style of relating to people. I am not an in-your-face, salesy kind of person – I like to give. Whether it’s lending an ear, teaching, informing, or helping, that is my preferred way of interacting with people. Inbound marketing allows me to do this in an organic way, and in this way we gain people’s trust.
How has technology helped/hindered your work?
I’m not sure that I can say technology has hindered my work – definitely there are applications and software that have helped make many things quicker, easier and more automated. The thing that I always try to keep in mind is never to resist technology. That means you’re losing your game, getting rusty. A new technology comes on the market, embrace it and learn it as quickly as you can. It may or may not remain viable, but you will be as long as you’re not afraid of change. With technology, and many facets of life, you have to flow like water. When you resist like a rock, you break things, other people, yourself, and your flow.
How do you stay on top of your field?
I love learning, so I am constantly reading industry news, books, and taking courses related to marketing, art, photography, design, and video. I am the Director of Communications on the board of the Society of Marketing Professional Services Tampa Bay (SMPS), and they offer webinars and other educational events that can be pretty enlightening. I take courses in design, art history, and project management on Coursera – there is a wealth of coursework from top-notch universities on the site. I’ve taken some really interesting courses there.
What marketing resources do you recommend? (Books, magazines, web, etc.)
Fast Company is great for just about anything cutting edge, whether it be art, music, design, film, environmentally friendly design, architecture, and even infrastructure. It’s a great resource for anyone in a creative field. American Advertising Federation’s newsletter is full of good advertising industry stuff. Joining local marketing organizations or your local small business association is a great way to keep up with people and learning. St. Petersburg has the St. Pete Greenhouse, which is a wealth of info and education for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the area.
What are your hobbies?
I go to the beach, I cook, do yoga, go to the gym, run with my dog, travel, road trips, I like to go to salvage yards and make stuff with the materials I find, hike, kayak, outdoor activities, river trips, badminton with friends, concerts, art museums and galleries.
I LOVE FOOD. But I guess if I have to choose – Vietnamese and Indian
Last book you read?