12 Ways to Dramatically Improve your Marketing Career Prospects
In a previous post we discussed seven ways to break into marketing and position yourself to secure your first marketing role.
In this post, we’ve updated our advice on six ways to dramatically improve your marketing career prospects by bumping up to TWELVE!
Whatever level you’re at, this list will help you position more effectively for promotions or new jobs elsewhere.
Why is this important?
There are 51m people using the word “Marketing” in their headline/role on LinkedIn. (Search results May, 2022).
It’s a super competitive space. But there are steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of achieving the step up in responsibility you seek.
1. Know your customer like no-one else
Marketing’s primary responsibility is to deliver sales ready leads into the business, such that the company makes a profit over production. To do this, you need to understand your primary customer’s pains and gains intimately in order to be able to serve them.
Couching everything you do in terms of your target customer, their world, their problems, their needs and their aspirations makes for more effective marketing strategy and marketing communications.
That leaves those target customers in no doubt as to what you do and how it benefits them.
2. Know your numbers
Marketers at all levels have to know their numbers. Operationally, you have to get comfortable with data. You need to crunch the numbers, test and second test everything. Treat everything like an experiment and get getter clarity on cause and effect when you’re trying different things.
But when we talk about numbers at a senior level, you also need to know business numbers and understand the impact that marketing has there too.
3. Speak the language of the C-suite
Couch everything your marketing function does in the top level business goals and objectives. There has to be a clear link between what you’re doing to advance the achievement of stated goals – whether in positioning, sales, market penetration, CSR, talent management.
Positioning clearly how marketing plans and activities can help deliver on the goals that matter to the C-suite, using their language, is one very tangible way for marketers to create the opportunity for a seat at the table.
4. Build your own brand
Use platforms like LinkedIn to position yourself on the value you bring to the audience you serve.
Pick three topics and post original content as well as comment around challenges, tips, advice and support consistently to bring yourself to their attention. You might even start your own blog.
Take it further and speak to groups, on podcasts, at events and raise your profile in sector press.
5. Put marketing at the heart of the organisation
The very best marketing marketing directors and CMOs are consummate communications professionals and bring people with them. This means that rather than marketing being an isolated function supporting sales development, it becomes the beating heart of an organisation.
An organisation where everyone understands who the customer is, why they do what they do and how their routine customer interactions are pivotal to long term growth and profitability. It’s your job to bring everyone into the story to help to shape it.
6. Tell better stories
One of the problems with converting passive interest into engaged business is marketing itself. And marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing involves telling more stories.
Analyse the best brands when it comes to communication – you’ll see they focus on being the guide their customers need – rather than the hero – and they focus on the journey and the transformation rather than product features. It’s a particular challenge in B2B but will mark you and your organisation out by offering better content.
7. Understand your colleagues
If you want your colleagues to really buy in to marketing, start by spending more time outside your department. Take time to understand the challenges and needs in other departments.
You’ll build better relationships and have better conversations instead of asking them to appear in a video or write a blog post which will feel like an uncomfortable and additional chore for them.
8. Look for things to fix
High value employees bring additional value to the table. So look for initiatives and projects that would make a positive impact to the organisation. It doesn’t have to be marketing or marketing performance based – and it might be better for your strategic positioning if it isn’t.
Instead look at a areas of of the customer experience – from first touch to onboarding – that might benefit from improvement. It may be something as simple as a checkout procedure, web chat, chat bot nurtures.
Build a reputation as someone who gets things done and has the interests of the business at heart.
9. Build your experience outside your role
Often senior managers may have families so there is a natural fit with roles like School Governorships or Mentoring. But this isn’t just the domain of the senior manager.
Anyone can mentor, anyone can work with a charity or a school. What environments could you bring your specialist skills to, and also develop new ones that will stand you in good stead in your professional role?
Running a club or group involves dealing with suppliers, selling, negotiating and many other skills.
10. Hire brilliant people and let them shine
Leave any ego you have at the door and invest in people that fill your knowledge gaps and can contribute to the creation of a truly high performing marketing team.
Let their brilliance shine and the impact and effectiveness of the marketing function will be plain to see by all other departments, especially sales, finance and the C-suite where you’ll elevate the profile of marketing in your organisation as a result.
11. Be a sponge
Use all opportunities to learn. Maximise your time to listen to podcasts, read blogs. Use technology like Blinkist to speed read hundreds of the finest business books. Go to events, listen, network, speak for yourself. Never accept that you’ve finished learning.
12. Get you and your team qualified
Ensuring your team are qualified, just like you, means their strategic thinking hits higher levels and delivers more impact to your business.
Investing in professional development is also a significant contributory factor to people showing loyalty and staying with employers longer – and this is magnified in challenging times such as pandemics.
Successful senior managers don’t just stop with a postgraduate qualification twenty years ago. They take continuing development seriously to become a better manager and executive.
Free courses get you so far. To find out more about how MMC Learning can help you improve your career prospects with CIM qualification, contact our team today.
Call 0161 826 4644 or click the book a discovery button below.