10 Tips for Aspiring Marketers
I wanted to revisit this topic. I think it's because of social media, people starting their own businesses/online revenue streams and a few other things. But I have seen a new interest and intrigue in marketing. I've had a ton of people asking for advice and I’ve had a few people ask me about how I got into marketing? How do I like it? What exactly is marketing? If you want Webster's definition you can look that up but for me there isn’t one exact way to define marketing, at least in the sense of all it entails. Marketing can vary from business to business, person to person, project to project. The main goal is usually to spread information or awareness to people to potentially influence or make them aware of a product or service. I’ve never thought of marketing as trying to make someone buy a product but as the middleman letting the people know what a product/service does and how it could benefit them. As a marketing director I would never want to convince someone to buy a product they don't need or want. I want to find the people who have a specific need or want that we as a company can fulfill in a mutually beneficial way. Personally I love the challenge. I love the idea of how successful I am depending on how many people I can help find what they want and make sure they are satisfied during and long after the process. Marketing is an ever growing field and I thought maybe I could help a person or two with a list of 10 things to know if you’re getting into marketing.
Be Organized-This is key to almost everything in life but especially for anyone in the marketing field. Often if not always you will have multiple daily, weekly, monthly responsibilities, while also multiple short and long term projects. Folders and binders and organized web files will make this so much easier. When you start mixing things up it will only add time and confusion to your job.
Have a calendar/planner-As previously mentioned, you will most likely have more than one thing going on at all times. Adding reminders to your calendar for due dates and recurring responsibilities will help ensure you don’t forget anything. It’s so easy to get on a roll with a project and forget to check the monthly numbers like you usually do this time every month. A planner will work well with a calendar. At the end of every work day plan out everything you have to do tomorrow and when you start your day you will conveniently have everything that needs to be done all laid out for you. But be flexible. This job will throw a lot of twists and turns at you that change your plans in a split second.
Keep a Book of Knowledge-This is something I recently heard of and have just started to dive into. But the helpfulness is obvious and I’ve already used it a handful of times even though it's only maybe 20% done. So basically, everything you learn, every project you do, all the numbers you get back, and anything else you could reference in the future should be written down in a Book of Knowledge. The more organized and in depth your book is the more it will continue to help you in the future.
Familiarize yourself with social media-Hate it or Love it, it doesn’t seem like social media is going anywhere anytime fast. More and more business and influencing is also happening on social media as it continues to grow. Social media is a huge tool for businesses to not only advertise both paid and free, but to interact with your customer base and differentiate yourself from competitors. There are many platforms and each one has its strengths that can be utilized.
Know the ins and outs of your company- This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone but the more you know about what you are marketing the easier it is to market. You should know everything about your product/service as well as the industry they are a part of. More than that you should know your coworkers and staff and especially your target audience. You need to know what people need or want the product or service you offer. The more you know them the more you can relate and market effectively to reach them.
Always be learning-This career field is ever changing. It’s directly linked to the rise of technology, specifically mobile phones and the internet. Everytime a new app or platform drops, there is a way to market or advertise with it. As every Ios or Facebook update happens there is another opportunity. As people's lives, opinions, schedules or anything changes it has a direct effect on marketing. Take the pandemic for example. Now so much more marketing and advertising are focused online as you see less people out and about. You’re minimizing personal face to face contact and maximizing distance marketing. This can and probably will change as we open back up and people who have been cooped up for nearly a year or more start to flock out in excitement and just want to feel normal again.
Interpersonal skills are a must- Customers, team members, staff, bosses, other marketing professionals and many others will be looking to you at some point. You work both directly and indirectly with everyone in the sales process. You need to be able to talk to and learn from your customer base. You need to be able to talk to your bosses about why this marketing plan or idea is a good one and should have money put into it. You need to be able to take your ideas and implement them and have sales staff and others buy in and understand why this will help them and everyone. Marketing is the beautiful yet daunting cross between being technologically savvy yet also having top level interpersonal skills.
Be creative-This is my favorite part of this profession. When going through business school I felt that most everything was black and white, numbers with little to room for creativity or experiment. That’s where marketing comes in and combines it all together. You still run the numbers and see how your ideas are working and where you can improve but you get to come up with ideas and tweak and be unique. There's few certainties in marketing so while that may mean a greater chance to fail it also means there's infinite ways to succeed. And when one thing doesn't work there is always a lesson from it and as long as you learn from it and apply that knowledge to future ideas and projects you will continue to grow and succeed.
Track everything-It’s extremely easy to get lost or overwhelmed or feel like you don’t know which things are working and which aren’t. Keep track of everything. Look at your week to week numbers, month to month and year to year. Track your social media presence, your google presence and your website traffic. The more you know about where and how your customer base is hearing about you the more you can make every marketing dollar count.
Love what you do- I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but this job will be a lot more difficult and your efficiency will go down if you don’t love what you do. Not only should you love marketing but you should have some passion towards what you’re marketing. It just makes every day more fun and more enticing when you buy in and truly care about the outcomes.