I submitted a piece for the Ad Age Global Cover Contest called “A Mobius World”. Creating a work that speaks to the theme of a connected world, I drew upon my professional experience to show how the digital space is uniting a world, and how advertising both fuels it and shapes it at the same time.
As someone working in a more technical field that often operates under limiting internal and external constraints, I welcomed this opportunity to exercise some creative muscles. Search engine optimization is a field that draws upon technical creativity as SEOs continually chase search engines–or get ahead of, if they’re good. Unless we’re tightly woven into the processes involved with building a new site, we merely build upon previous constructs. Even then, we don’t completely own anything. Title tag change? Link building campaign? Not something to call home about.
That said, social media has enabled SEOs to flex their creativity in new ways. As search engines’ algorithms now account for all sorts of signals like tweets, likes, fans, and more, we can now hone our link building craft using infographics while building a brand. By optimizing all of a brand’s online properties, we can also further branding efforts while preparing for any PR efforts to counter negative press. Coincidentally, an inflexible organizational structure that cannot accomodate the fast-changing pace of search, or one in which the social and SEO departments are isolated from one another, has become one of the greater internal hurdles inhibiting the creative process. At RBM, where I work in the SEO department, we’re integrating SEO, paid media, and social media to better offer digital marketing services that reap the benefits of a wholesome digital strategy.
Back to the original point though. I sought out this challenge to test my creativity, technical design skills, and my commitment. The trials of learning to design while learning the finer intricacies of a digital drawing tool resulted in a 3-week run of late nights and, on occasion, some head banging. While I don’t get to fly out to the Cannes Festival, I did gain a deeper understanding of PhotoShop while trying to express a connected world through my own lens.