There's a quote from the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love that a co-worker and I constantly reference to encourage each other not to settle.
The scene follows Ryan Gosling as he attempts to give Steve Carol a hip new makeover. When dad-jean clad Carol suggests that they make their way to the Gap, Gosling urges him to "be better than the Gap."
Sure, it's sort of trivial, but anytime we're feeling defeated or uninspired, we call up this mantra.
Truth be told, there's a lot of marketers out there that could benefit from doing the same.
With content saturation making it more difficult than ever for marketers to set their efforts apart, mediocre attempts simply don't hold any weight.
If you want to break through, consider the following 5 traits that distinguish innovative marketers from average ones.
They Take Risks
It's been recorded that Edison failed nearly 1,000 times before inventing the electric light bulb. 1,000 times.
Despite all of these obstacles, he's been famously quoted as saying, “Every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward.”
It's this intrinsic motivation and tolerance for failure that lead him to become known as one of the most brilliant American inventors.
Innovative marketers are known to take a similar "no guts, no glory" approach when devising strategies. This isn't to say that they have poor business judgment, but they aren't afraid to stir the pot.
Like Edison, they have an appetite for the unknown, and a refuse to settle for what everyone else is doing, thinking, and saying.
If you're in a managerial role, you'll want to be sure that you give your team members the freedom and space they need to pursue even their craziest ideas.
They Stay Curious
In 2002, Apple's Steve Jobs gave a speech at the Stanford University commencement ceremony.
The last two lines of his speech read, "Stay hungry, stay foolish."
I'd argue that this advice was among the most valuable lessons any of those grads would walk away from the institution with.
In marketing, the minute you become complacent is the minute you fall behind.
Rather than sweep their failures under the rug, they dissect them to identify flaws, downfalls, and missed opportunities. They evaluate what they could have done differently, and make note of it to inform future endeavors.
They turn their findings into repeatable processes to streamline the way they approach and carry out different initiatives.
They Talk Less, Do More
Despite his incredible automobile legacy, Henry Ford left us with a bit of advice worth noting, "You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”
Taking a page from Ford's book, innovative marketers spend less time talking about what they are going to do, and more time doing it.
It's not that they lack communication skills, but rather, they understand if they don't do it first, someone else will (or worse, their competitors will.)
They view this pressure as an opportunity to challenge themselves to accomplish more than they thought they were capable of.
While all marketers have their fair share of ideas saved up, innovative marketers actually execute on them.
They Aim to Understand Behavior
Innovative marketers aren't necessarily psychologists by trade, but they do aspire to think like them.