Night and day it’s Cinderelly
Make the fire, fix the breakfast
Wash the dishes, do the mopping
As marketers, we’ve all felt like Cinderella – isolated in our tucked-away cubicles and left to deal with our ever-growing task lists. With the exception of a few doozies, most of our colleagues are quite a bit nicer than the evil stepsisters. But at times, we are still not treated with the respect that’s warranted by our education, capabilities, enthusiasm and fresh ideas. Oh Prince Charming…..where art thou??
So what’s the ambitious B2B marketer to do without a fairy godmother and glass slipper to advance his/her career? Put down your broom and dust cloth and bookmark this post. Here are 10 more nuggets of wisdom (check out Part I if you missed it) in my 50 tip series to help build your very own Cinderella story:
- Get a Marketing Plan – FAST!: There isn’t any way for a marketer to prioritize tasks without a firm strategy and an expertly crafted marketing plan. A solid plan is your roadmap that details all the right turns towards achieving firm goals. Without it, you’re just turning and turning and turning. And instead of making progress, you are likely spending resources that lead to nowhere. Check out these Unmuted Marketer posts for more information on marketing plans:
- Have Something to Say: My best business mentor once told me that a key to quickly gaining respect is to having something insightful to say at the start of every business meeting. Marketers – this is especially important when you are meeting with the senior management team and/or firm owners. Acting as a Fractional CMO for a number of companies, I’ve observed Marketing Managers and Marketing Coordinators show up with notepads and pens ready to document tasks. To my frustration, they say nothing! Ambitious marketers need to come prepared to actively participate and that may include politely challenging non-marketers who dole out nonsensical marketing tasks.
- Insist on Being Client-Facing: B2B buyers receive approximately 5,000 messages per day. It’s seems unbelievable but I do believe it’s true. Just the other day, I was at a dermatology appointment waiting for the doctor to come in and noticed an electronic billboard with rotating messages about skin care and medicines. So how will your marketing messages break through the clutter? While I could write ten or more blog posts on this very subject, let’s focus on one primary fundamental: know your audience. How can a marketer possibly put together an effective communications plan without deeply understanding his/her buyers? Insist on attending sales meetings, client meetings, and spending time on the phone (or in person) with a few customers per month.
- Double-Check Internal Communications: Most marketers get their external communications professionally proofread (if you don’t, I highly recommend it). This tip is all about double-checking your internal communications. You need to earn the trust of your colleagues to communicate on your firm’s behalf. Typos and bad grammar are trust busters. I had a client ask that an experienced Marketri Marketing Manager be removed from her account because one email had a typo. Error-free internal communication matters….a lot.
- Find an Experienced Mentor: My recent post, WHY MARKETING COORDINATORS DESERVE UNLIMITED THERAPY AND STIFF MARTINIS, seemed to strike a chord with many aspiring marketers. In that post, I recommended that junior-level marketers push to have some form of experienced senior-level marketing guidance through a Fractional CMO or a strategic marketing consultant. Some companies understand the importance of making this investment but others may not. If your firm isn’t willing to invest in a professional mentor, don’t let that stop you! Ambitious B2B marketers can turn to trade associations for guidance. You can also reach out to your favorite thought leaders on Twitter to see if they can spare an hour or two a month.
- Don’t Be Perceived as 9-to-5: Career-minded marketer’s to-do lists are daunting. Besides the tasks you are given, you are learning about web-based tools that can automate manual processes; finding better ways to measure progress against KPIs; building your social media connections and presence; documenting best practices; and evaluating the effectiveness of your website. While everyone strives for some work/life balance, position yourself as driven and consistently willing to go the extra mile to be the best in your field. Your company won’t want to lose you!
- Learn the Business: I often hear company leadership saying, “He doesn’t understand what we do.” Many of my clients are engineers, CPAs, attorneys and, as marketers, it’s impossible to walk in their shoes. What we can do is read client deliverables and ask questions about them. Suggest that a technical professional do an informal “lunch and learn,” as oftentimes other professionals and support staff have no clue about some or all aspects of a company’s products or services. Showcasing some technical aptitude will accelerate your professional respect.
- Get Involved: If you aren’t already active in a marketing trade association, there’s no time like the present. Attend events and join a committee. Consistently stay involved and express a desire to be on the Board. It’s a great resume booster for sure and will also help to elevate your stature within your own B2B company. You want to be seen as a leader, and being on a Board is a surefire way to accomplish it.
- Measure. Measure: Nothing can turn a marketing disbeliever into a raving fan faster than showing measurements. Become familiar with Google Analytics. Set up annotations to track the impact of your marketing campaigns on website traffic and lead generation. If you have marketing automation software, such as HubSpot, invest in learning how to set up campaigns in order to gain the most accurate reporting. Measurement should be in the forefront of all marketing.
- Share Informative Content: In Part I, I shared that marketers need to be reading constantly as our field is changing at the pace of technology. When you discover a great piece of content that either validates something that your company is currently doing or has future marketing implications, share it with senior leadership. Don’t, however, just forward a link. Offer your own unique insight as to why this is highly relevant content and what it means to your firm.
You have so much to offer and this is your time to shine. Follow these tips and subscribe to the Unmuted Marketer to receive Parts 3–5 of 50 Bookmark-Worthy Tips for the Ambitious B2B Marketer and create your happily ever after!