“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. – Fred Rogers
What if your work were play? From the playful perspective, I tell people that I made a career in the selling air, when really I sold radio advertising. Given the years I’ve studied marketing, it’s hardly surprising I made a career in the industry. Yet, it took my love for beads to shine a different light on the field. And it took me some time to realize marketing could be playful.
Truth is, Jeffrey Davis of Tracking Wonder introduced me to a new perspective during a conversation about young genius. In season one of The Tracking Wonder podcast, Jeffrey asks a number of guest celerities about their seven-eight-or-nine-year-old young genius, and how that young genius performed at their best.
In a startlingly new perspective, I realized my young genius was a natural leader, an enthusiastic gatherer of people and a celebrator of positivity. As the oldest of seven, it wasn’t just my job to call my brothers and sisters inside for dinner. It was an opportunity for a parade. Away I went, a coffee can on a stick, dancing and proclaiming my truth.
Fast forward to present day. As journalist Warren Berger points out in his book, “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Start Breakthrough Ideas”, questions open the door for innovation. This quote from his book catalyzed my inquiry: “A beautiful question is an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something—and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change.”
Using the art of questioning, I introduced a touch of wonderment to my marketing perspective: “What if it’s easy, play-full?
I created a mixed media canvas (the featured image in this post) about the question. Let me assure you, mixed media and canvas perspectives are not my regular “go-to.” Yet, I’ve discovered how important the medium can be to changed thinking.
In a quick collage assemblage, I layered a few of my forays into art: hand-dyed ribbon, circles of silk, beaded embellishments, etc. You get the idea. I collaged materials including a metal heart, a bead-embroidered figure, an exclamative mark (a large paper-rolled bead) at the top.
This canvas is relatable to marketing in several different ways.
First of all, my themed collage introduces whimsy, wonder and child-like appeal to the question. The 8” x 10” composition lives just beyond the scope of my computer screen, forcing me to re-visit the question of marketing from a different perspective throughout the day.
Re-visit is a perfect word because seldom have I considered marketing as a playful activity, let alone a play-filled one. Rather, I consider it a must-do. Thus, the question provides a fresh approach posed to get my brain unconsciously working on an answer.
The reminder keeps me focused and re-focuses me in a positive way. How can a task frequently performed as overwhelming become more satisfying, more akin to play? If I’m on hold during a call, the question pulls me in. In a short period of time it’s brought frequent smiles to my face. In short, “What IF it’s ez, play-full?” is a beautiful question.
If you’re interested in exploring marketing from a playful, practical and strategic perspective, contact me to talk further. (Read more about my marketing philosophy here.) What IF your marketing could be easy, playful and more effective?