In the digital marketing world, people are constantly looking for fresh ways to connect with their audience and get ahead of the competition. Whether it’s designing new technology or developing the latest algorithm, marketeers are eager to embrace the future. But after reading a brilliant article by Frederic Kalinke over at Econsultancy on the marketing wisdom of Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, it got me thinking about the past. As a history geek, I love looking into ancient cultures and the kind of knowledge they possessed.
Philosophers like Aurelius were centuries ahead of their time, preaching ideas that can be applied to the modern day. Another scholar who had a lot of interesting thoughts was the Greek intellectual Epicurus. For him, the purpose of philosophy was to acquire a happy, peaceful life through ataraxia, the freedom from fear and aponia, the absence of pain. Basically, he preached YOLO before YOLO was a thing.
Epicurus’ views are relevant in the modern age and I wanted to see how five of his lessons can be applied to digital marketing.
1. “Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.”
Digital marketing is a popular field with graduates and young people looking to start their careers. It can attract people who enjoy being creative, which is why it’s crucial to always look for ways to improve. Never be afraid to ask questions, whether it’s to do with a new campaign or if you feel as if you need to bounce ideas off a copywriter or graphic designer.
The same can be said for experienced digital marketers. Epicurus is saying that age is irrelevant in the pursuit of knowledge. Only by learning can we hope to become better.
2. “Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.”
Within an agency, people are assigned certain roles, such as account manager and SEO executive. Everyone has their own speciality, but it’s essential to work together to deliver client results. More importantly, friendship within an office provides harmony and act as a great motivator. No matter how hard you work, make time for the people who make life worth living.
3. “The time when most of you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd.”
Working in digital marketing can be stressful sometimes. Clients could be pressuring you for deadlines or you might have an upcoming meeting that you’re dreading. But these are the situations that can provide you with a chance to shine, to step outside your comfort zone and get your point across.
Epicurus urged bravery in the face of adversity. No matter how scary a situation might feel, don’t let it hold you back from coming up with a new idea.
4. “He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another.”
In a society of social media and the fear of missing out, it can be easy to compare yourself to someone else. Inner peace is the key to finding happiness, in both your personal life and in the work environment. Once you have it, you’ll be able to increase your productivity and focus on the things that are important to you. Everything else will fall away.
5. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Epicurus believed it was important to enjoy the little things and celebrate milestones. This kind of attitude could be applied to completing a new website or writing a blog. Every moment can be productive and you shouldn’t pressure yourself into rushing forward. Focus on the present and take it a step at a time.
(This was first written for run2.co.uk)