Marketing Executives don't just have degrees
When you are paying $30,000 to $60,000 per year in the US to gain an under graduate degree of some form, whether its marketing, management or communications - then you would want to make the most of it. But the truth is, few and far between do. They choose to holiday and party in summer and other vacations rather than get leg up on other students by taking on internships in chosen fields.
The more internships with great references that you get, and perhaps the opportunities for future employment where you do internships, is a no-brainer. Work your ass off, make sure you get noticed, do something that makes your future employer think that they cannot afford to not have you on their team when you graduate, and last but not least, do something that looks strategic for your CV.
Millennials have taken over from baby boomers
If you are a millennial and you work in marketing, you are already ahead of the game. You should know and be successful at social media engagement. If you don't have many followers, and have no idea how to Snapchat, Instagram, Tweet or FaceTime - then forget it. Marketing is not for you. Better still, if you don't have an up to date LinkedIn account with 50 groups in which you participate in, you are behind the eight ball when it comes to business marketing. These are all things that you should know and if you don't then you better learn fast because there is not a marketing job on the planet that won't require these skills.
Good manners and values go a long way
Standing out and having a voice is one thing. Good manners and values are another. If you have been taught correctly, your manners will stand out from the crowd and managers will notice you and your ability to use good manners that are installed by great parenting or a sense of understanding that manners go a long way. Values are a must and while they are hard to see in a 5 minute meeting, they are easy to depict on your first day. #kindness #honesty #loyalty #trustworthiness #respect are all values that managers need in their team and as they further develop, make formidable leaders in organizations.
Tactical marketing skills
It's great to have a degree, but unfortunately, most Universities are not up to speed with the latest in marketing techniques and tactical requirements of the workforce. Writing a marketing strategy for instance in a marketing agency is inherently different to writing one at University. University you learn theory, but in the real work, there are a lot of other things to take into account that are not only over-arching but tactical. Even though you may have studied marketing, you still need to write an EDM, direct mail letter, press release and a number of communications articles. You also need to understand and relate back to your strategy, analytics that impact what you write, when you write and how you write. Understanding and being able to use the entire marketing mix is imperative to being a good marketer. Actually, a rockstar marketer.
Technology skills with a thirst for the latest
Never be left behind by other marketing counterparts on the latest in technology marketing platforms. If you are a late adopter, not only will you forget to register your company domain on that platform and your competitor will beat you to doing it, but you will also not get the traction required to hit the top faster than competitors. It's proven, that early adopters are the one's who usually make it to the top and stay there.
Understand and use KPI's in everything you do
Marketing is grey. I said it. It is. But there are many KPI's that you can put behind tactical marketing outcomes and if you can, you should. It will give management something to benchmark your skill base on, and compare year-on-year.
Use marketing for the forum for sales to occur
That means become best friends with the entire sales team and give them everything they need to have no excuse not to sell. Simple, yet few marketing understand this basic.
If you are a rockstar marketing executive, expect the big bucks. Everyone will want you and will be vying for your attention. They will market to you and you will be remembered long after you leave a company. Remember to stay with any company you work for for at least 2 years, showing commitment to learning, structure and an ability to navigate your way through the curve of employment.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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