Searching for Unicorns

As a hiring manager with experience on the corporate and agency side, I’ve done my share of interviewing - on both sides of the desk. Interviewing for specific hard skills is the easy part. Figuring out if someone has the right soft skills to fit into the culture of an existing team is difficult. I’ve learned the collection of skills that I most appreciate and are often predictors of success.

I used to tell interviewers when asked that “I’m creative and analytical”. My comment was most often followed by a confused stare like they were seeing the mythical unicorn creature for the first time.

Back then, the idea that someone was creative AND analytical seemed far-fetched. The two ideas were polarizing and hard to fathom existing together. The skill ‘creative’ had come to mean ‘art’ and analytical meant math and spreadsheets.

I’ve refined my pitch over the years and my magical blend of analytical and creative is now described as ‘analytical thinking’ or ‘design thinking’. Analytical thinking is a collection of skills that have served me very well in helping devise strategic solutions for all types of companies and marketing challenges.

Analytical thinking is creative problem solving. It is digging into your Google Analytics for hours until finding what drove the spike in site traffic. It is looking at alternatives from a variety of angles., It is evaluating options, considering ROI potential, and asking enough questions to drive others crazy.

That’s one of the characteristics of an analytical thinker - we ask a lot of questions. We need to know WHY and HOW does this fit into the larger strategy and priorities. For every project, strategy or campaign we work on here at W MEDIA GROUP, we start with a myriad of questions. This provides a solid grounding to start working with clients on solving problems. It can take longer to get projects ramped up, but always delivers better results.

  • What does your brand stand for?
  • What is the objective of the effort?
  • Why does the consumer care?
  • What channel are you looking to grow?
  • What is the consumer’s context when encountering your brand?

If someone starts off a project by questioning and challenging you - it is a good sign that you are working with someone who will push you to answer tough questions that will benefit your business in the long run. Easy isn’t always better when it comes to solving your business challenges. Don’t settle for someone who will agree to everything you say and execute without question. Keep looking for your unicorn.

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