Exploring Marketing Job Roles

The following outtake, focused on breaking into digital marketing is taken from a recent exclusive recording of an MMC Moments of Truth discussion between Stephanie Leigh-Rose, education and media director at MMC Learning and David Edmundson-Bird, who is an author, a principal lecture in digital marketing and thought leader.

In this extract, Stephanie and David talk about what being a marketing manager actually entails through studying advertisements for marketing roles.

Watch the 10 minute video below for some expert insights into the various types of roles available and what they expect from candidates.

Stephanie Leigh-Rose:

So I’m sure many of you are thinking, “What does a marketing manager role entail?” So we thought let’s take a look at some marketing manager job adverts.

David Edmundson-Bird:

Yeah. So we’re going to go to your standard recruitment agency site. We’re going to go see what people are looking at.

I think people get a bit like, “Oh, I don’t know, what am I supposed to be like? What qualities and competencies am I supposed to exhibit?” So, I’m going to just grab a few at random and see what we get up here.

I would look at two things. One is the responsibilities section. These are the things that you will be doing on a day-to-day basis, where somebody will say, “You are answerable for this.” It often gives you a couple of the themes that employers are really interested in there.

So here I can see words like “lead generation campaign,” so this tells you what kind of organisation this is. Also, the “B2B environment,” I think these people would be expecting you to come from a B2B background, because there’s a particular way of working there. They’re looking at certain things that you need to do. Retaining customers through CRM, so they’re using Salesforce here. So they’re probably going to have an expectation that you have those kind of experiences.

The second thing to look at is what you will need to succeed.

“Excellent campaign management.” So are you able to demonstrate experience at running campaigns? Are you experienced in managing B2B campaigns? So they’ve emphasised that again. The key thing is lead generations, so it’s not about selling direct, per se, but it’s about getting those marketing qualified leads through.

“Fantastic stakeholder management.” Now that could be, you’re going to have a load of people who are going to be shouting at you all the time, and you’re going to have to manage all of those people within the organisation.

“Team management skills,” you’ll have four direct reports. So, immediately, you know that’s your team, so that’s quite a small team. But what you don’t have is an exact idea of what those people are. But obviously don’t go into interview saying, “Yeah, well, who are these people and what do they do?” Well, just look here, “Understanding of the professional services, legal regulatory sector,” that gives you an idea of the area that they’re looking for. So maybe it’s law firms, accounting firms, those kind of things.

“Seamless campaign planning.” So again, it’s about managing campaigns.

Here’s one, “marketing automation experience.” So they will be looking for you to have used marketing automation in the past. That might be around email marketing, it might be about whole campaign automation of message sending and so on.

So there’s a lot of language in there. That’s a bit kind of, “What does that really mean?” But there are some really interesting points that are made there.

One of the things that I’ve noticed on this one is there’s clearly a point where people will be expecting results. So the idea of monthly, quarterly business reviews, that’s where they get you standing up in front of bunch of people and they say, “Right, how many more sales have we got?” so that’s clearly there.

It’s got some of the normal things that you’d expect there, but for me, you would be looking at those skills, lead generation, campaign management, B2B marketing automation, those are the things that you would look at and say, “Have I got those kind of things? Let’s go and have a look at that.”

Let’s go and check another one out. Let’s check out this marketing manager role here. Now, is it going to say the same sort of things or is going to be slightly different?

So this one, again, there’s that B2B word. It says “broad B2B role” here, so what does that mean? I think you’re going to be doing a lot of things here. “Implementation across all channels and partnerships.” So this is a real indicator you are going to have to be working in a lot of areas.

“A proven track record in a commercial role with acute commercial awareness and proven analytical approach,” so do you use the data to make your decision? I suspect they’re looking for somebody who’s able to bring their experience of working with things like customer insight and performance across your channels.

“Experience across all marketing disciplines,” so this is their, “I want someone who can do everything.” Now, nobody can do everything.

Stephanie Leigh-Rose:

So what would that be then? That letter’s not T-shaped – it’s octopus-shaped!

David Edmundson-Bird:

Yeah, well they want everyone who can do everything and that’s every advert I’ve ever seen. So what are you, direct mail brand, sales support, PR, advertising and digital, et cetera. That’s the crux of it, the et cetera. But you’ve got to think is it direct mail and brand stuff that they’re really interested in? Is that where the big focus can be, where your real strength would be?

And again, project management skills, they’re talking about campaign management there, can you manage people helping put together campaigns? Can you then manage those campaigns to completion? So campaign management is again, another theme that’s coming out of there.

Stephanie Leigh-Rose:

Well, you know what I find interesting about this one is in the title that says “Your new company- exciting opportunity to join the expanding marketing team of a growing financial services company.”

So that immediately says to me, okay, not that they don’t exactly know what they want, but there’s room for maybe your new ideas and fresh input and implementing the skills you’ve learned but at the same time, there might be a lot of growing pains. It’s new and they’re growing, so there’s going to be a lot of moving parts. So this would maybe excite someone who’s like, “Yeah, I want to try new things.”

David Edmundson-Bird:

And your hiring may well influence the hiring of other people, because you are say, “Well, I think we need a person who can do this.”

One thing I would say is “growing financial services team,” that’s going to be an area where there is a regulatory control about what you can communicate. So they may well be looking for somebody who does understand the legal implications of operating this area, as well. So it’s not just a random marketer here. It may well be looking for somebody who has operated in the professional services business, or anywhere where there’s been an element of regulatory control in the past.

Let’s try one more. Let’s try growing tech business. This’ll be exciting to people. There’s those words again, “key stakeholders.” You’re going to have to be explaining decisions and leading groups of people.

“Execution of the marketing strategy by delivering end-to-end marketing programmes,” so these are people who will know about business objectives, marketing objectives. They will be asking you to contribute to those and be expected that you’d be able, to say, build comms objectives around that.

“Run hosted events, trade shows, conferences,” now there’s the new thing, there’s the very offline promo experience that they’re looking for there.

“Produce written materials that communicate the brand mission.”

“Write, translate, edit press releases and then lead PR efforts with the local global PR agency.” So they are saying there that we don’t want you to be a PR person. We are going to be working with PR professionals that we will bring in. However, you will need to know how to work with those people.

“Collaborate with global teams,” so there’s people outside of the UK here. Maybe in different time zones? So maybe if you can demonstrate some experiences there.

There it is, again, “Run hosted events, trade shows, conferences.” So, there’s a whole big emphasis on, you’ve got to be able to go and do shows.

Stephanie Leigh-Rose:

This is right up my alley. It’s my background!

David Edmundson-Bird:

It’s almost at the event management end of things, so that might well be something to think about.

Down here, “Track, measure, and report ROI, return on investment.” You’ll need to be able to come from a background where you have this proven return on investment on your activities. So you’ll know what works, what doesn’t work, and you’ll be bringing those experiences into this discipline here.

Specialism says “Digital Marketing,” but there’s also this big emphasis on offline exhibition stuff. Anyway it’s clearly working with big people in the organisation, big ideas around working in those offline events.

Stephanie Leigh-Rose:

And it’s wildly different from the last one we looked at. From my background in trade shows, I mean, that’s totally on the floor with people, actually doing it, running it. So it’s not going to be a typical desk job necessarily or work-from-home that much. So something to consider.