Why All Marketers Need to be Nerds

By Amy Alfaro


Nerd. Once an uncool word for that glasses-wearing kid in the front row of math class, is now being tossed around to those with an extreme passion for something, anything. The connotation of “nerd” has evolved a lot over the last few years but one thing is for sure, if you are a marketer you better be a nerd and proud of it. Especially now that we no longer associate nerd with the Urkel you know and love, but the very smart and beautiful Olivia Munn.

As advertisers, we spend our days being the biggest of nerds. Not only do you have to be passionate enough to develop hundreds of persuasive ways to promote your client, but ultimately, if you aren’t a nerd in your personal life you aren’t relevant to your consumer. Being on top of the trends and having a working knowledge of what is popular is going to make your job 100% easier to relate to the customer. Being a nerd in the workplace is one thing, but to really take it to the next level you have to be passionate in your personal life, too. Here are some reasons why your nerdom is a serious skill you need to hone.

Hit Play: Those hours you spent binge-watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix may have felt like a complete waste of time, but it truly is celebrating a cultural phenomenon that your generation just gets. Were you simultaneouslytweeting about your experience? Sounds like a platform your client could be engaging with potential customers. Or does the idea of binge-watching serve as the basis of a promotion? Tap into that cultural insight. Ultimately, advertisers always must be one step ahead of the trend. Even if that trend means that ice cream client of yours is going to get a chocolate vanilla swirl joke a la Crazy Eyes in the form of an upcoming Facebook post.

Read Up: Public Relations 101 harps that you must read, read, read, read, read. And it’s completely true. Knowing what is going on in the world is important but so is knowing what is going on in your client’s industry, the latest marketing trends and more. Your favorite news outlet should be a minimum, but where your nerdom truly shines is what you read for fun and how you bring it into your job. For me, it’s picking up the new Amy Poehler book or the newest edition of my favorite graphic novel (you should really pick up Ms. Marvel it’s fantastic, Wilow Wilson is a genius). Absorbing new information unrelated to your clients is just as important as keeping up in their industry. It can either inspire new ideas or help refresh your creativity and take you somewhere new.

Try Something New: Being ahead of the trends sometimes means you just have to say yes, just to try it out. Whether it’s a new app or that trendy fitness class (can you say Trampoline class?), sometimes you have to say yes, just for the experience. That new food delivery app could be a perfect fit for the new casual dining restaurant your agency just started working with and that fitness class could be the perfect brand to partner with for another client. You never know where inspiration will come from, but the more unique experiences you have the more open you will be to new ideas.

Ultimately, we as advertisers must experience life to the fullest, because after all, we have to be relatable to our customers. Everyone has something they are extremely passionate about even if it seems ‘more cool,’ than nerdy. The important thing is that you throw yourself into it wholeheartedly and bring something back to your company, agency or brand that is different and unique. Have fun exploring and in the process discovering the latest trend!

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