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Now is the best time of year to do the best kind of marketing work.

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It’s been fascinating over the years to catch up with friends who work in different fields. Whether they’re a pilot, dentist, accountant, or a long list of other professions where I’ve observed this trend, a surprising number of them have one thing in common: they don’t have to decide what they do each day. They show up, they do the work, they go home.

The pilot is told to fly from here to there, the dentist cleans the teeth of the person who has the 10:15am appointment, the accountant fills out the forms for taxes, etc. On the continuum between creativity and assembly line, they skew toward the latter.

Marketing is not one of those professions.

We are much more like a painter staring at a blank canvas or a novelist preparing to write their next book. And while eventually we do end up doing a series of predetermined tasks when we’re in the thick of it, those tasks still stem from our own ideas, our plans, and our creative solutions to the stories we need to tell and the people we need to hear them.

The irony – but also the beauty – of these ideas and solutions is that, at least for me, they most often come when I’m doing something that doesn’t look like work. I had a really key breakthrough on a project last week when I was wandering around the backyard. I had another while sitting by a sunny window going over the same part of a new site design for the 30th time. I’ve had countless a-ha moments when staring out the window of an airplane.

It reminds me of a story my wife heard once about a friend of hers who became an author. One afternoon his mom visited and saw him sitting in his living room staring at the wall. Confused, she asked him what he was doing.

His response?

I’m working.

For the last many months your team has been doing the work. You’ve been finishing the stories and pushing send over and over and over. The success of those messages will largely depend on the strategy behind them. The plan that guides the nuance of each.

Mid season it can be hard to find the time to really wrap your head around how all of these pieces – your product, your audience, your competitors, your strengths, your budget, your goals, etc. – all fit together. Now, with the snow melting and the summer still six weeks away, is your shot.

Close the computer a little more often, take a few more walks, stare at a wall, wander the base area, do whatever it takes to get yourself in that creative mindset.

It may not look like work, but it may be the most important work you do all year.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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