Lessons from a little boy and his tiger about trust, taking risks, innovating and enjoying the ride.
Growing up, I always identified with the cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbes. I probably still do to some extent. Their adventures taught me many important lessons about life. I learned about embracing the fleeting moments of joy, the pain and heartbreak that come with death, the importance of fostering a rich imagination and that despite the fact that I have a wife and two daughters, I will never understand what goes on inside a girl’s head.
Every day I have to get up and go to school. Nothing ever changes. It’s just school, school, school. But not today. Today, I go for the gusto. – Calvin
The longer I work in the digital marketing world, the more I have come to realize that Calvin and Hobbes is actually a fantastic metaphor for a healthy agency / client relationship.
The role a good digital agency is to innovate, to go careening down a hill like Calvin on his sled; not knowing exactly what waits for us at the bottom, only that it will be a new and exciting ride and that everyone will come out better for it on the other side. It’s the job of your agency to experiment with seemingly reckless abandon — we wouldn’t be much good to you if we didn’t.
Now, I’m not suggesting that an agency should just throw itself blindly down a hill with no idea of what’s at the bottom. You see, Calvin had Hobbes. Hobbes kept him focused. He reigned in Calvin’s wild ideas when necessary, asked if Calvin had run it by his mother (read: legal department) and then gleefully jumped on the back of the sled with him.
The best clients are the Hobbes to the agency’s Calvin. They expect the crazy ideas, and anything less is disappointing. But, the most important thing to remember about Calvin and Hobbes is how they always worked together. They were friends, partners and co-conspirators. They trusted each other implicitly. Sure, they disagreed from time to time, but they knew that each other’s best interests were always top of mind and they never really put themselves at risk. Sure, Calvin was the crazy one, but Hobbes was always there to encourage the crazy.
And Hobbes, like any engaged client, always kept Calvin on his toes. Calvin had to always be ready and never get comfortable. Because when an agency gets comfortable, they get complacent. That’s when the boring work happens. The work that may get the job done, but isn’t exciting anymore. Every agency requires a good pouncing every now and then.
“Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!” – Calvin
As Koch employees, we have all been challenged to innovate. To challenge the status quo, embrace change and redefine what the “best” is. Just like Calvin, we should all be striving for something better. Our leaders, and even more importantly, our customers expect it of us, even if it’s a little scary at first.
Which leads us to that scary hill known as digital marketing. It’s a landscape that’s constantly evolving. It’s not enough to just have a website or a Facebook page anymore. Every day, a new opportunity comes knocking and it’s up to us to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. In this ever-changing world of digital marketing, every business needs a trusted partner; Hobbes needs a Calvin to be successful.
Marketing is changing. This past holiday shopping season, mobile sales accounted for nearly 26 percent of all sales. That is an increase of 49 percent over the past year.1 Digital marketing and engagement, particularly in mobile, is here to stay and companies have to keep up. Companies must leap over the edge and embrace the technology to reach their customers where they are now.
So what does your digital marketing strategy look like? How is your company reaching out to the nearly 77 percent of consumers who research products and services on their mobile device?2
Koch Creative Group is uniquely positioned to understand your specific business needs. Whether its traditional marketing or digital, we are able to find the right mix of crazy ideas that accomplish your goals and still live up to high expectations.
“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!” – Calvin
We’d love to get together and explore with you sometime. Give us a shout.
As KCG’s interactive director, Justin Mosher is responsible for anything with a pixel, from building websites to creating digital publications, and from crafting social media strategies to providing consulting services. With 10 years in the digital space, you’ll always find this self-admitted techie exploring the latest and greatest to find opportunities for our clients. After a long day behind computer screens, Justin looks forward to unplugging with a hearty beef stew and time with his wife and two girls.