Tools of the Trade is a new AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps people perform at their top form, from a favorite drafting table to the best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.
Next up is Arthi Veerargavan, head of analytics at Apollo Partners in Philadelphia.
What is one tool you use all the time at work, and how does it inspire your work?
My calculator, and I’m not talking about the one downloadable from the app store. In a throwback to the glory days of the early aughts, I still use a battery-operated calculator, and it’s come in handy on more than a few occasions, especially given my role as an analytics head. Simple and dependable, it has helped me with everything from validating hypotheses to developing insights to calculating timesheet allocations. Plus, it has a solar component, which I love.
Why is it your favorite?
We’re so dependent on our iPhones for everything that it can be nice to reach for something else when the time comes to calculate a quick percentage lift while on a call or building a deck. It gets me the information I need without sucking me into a vortex of unread emails, missed text messages and social media notifications. When I was in a hybrid role, it went with me to the office and back home in my bag. The days I forgot it at the office or at home I would reach out for it and sigh that I would have to open excel to do simple math.
How did you acquire your tool or hear about it for the first time?
I’ve had this calculator since before college. It’s beat up and covered in years of love, but it works just as well as it did the day I got it.
How does it help you be successful?
It keeps me humble. The advancements we have made in tech help us do amazing things. But my calculator serves as a good reminder that “old” doesn’t mean “worse”; there’s still plenty of room for tried and true tools, methods or approaches that you know work for you.
Does it have sentimental value?
Absolutely. This calculator has been with me since I started my career in advertising, and it has served me well at so many different life stages.
Do you think your tool could go TikTok viral? Why or why not?
Ha! I’m sure this relic is TikTok worthy…maybe a calculator with a built-in AI assistant that generates witty and insightful comments about the calculations made. Although who knows if Gen Z’s seen one of these clunkers before?
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