Maximize your potential as a marketer
Marketing and technology are not what they were 20 years ago. The advancements in technology and digital marketing stacks have been significant – so significant that some marketers might be feeling left behind. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Technology has opened up a world of opportunity to become customer obsessed and embracing new tools and channels can be a defining moment in a marketer’s career.
So how does a marketer go from the classroom to the boardroom successfully? The path is not as linear as it once was. More and more marketers are being “made” from a STEM background – bringing their technology and data analytics experience to the marketing pitch – and successfully transitioning into the role of a strategic marketer. These marketers bring with them skill sets and subject matter expertise in various facets of technology such as AI, CRM, Salesforce and more.
But what does this mean for the “traditional” marketer, or one without a marketing degree? The answer can be as simple as taking advantage of moments and opportunities that will maximize your experience.
- Invest in yourself. Learning doesn’t stop once you’ve graduated. Register for marketing and technology courses and seminars. Build on skills and knowledge about marketing math, martech tools and advancements, and CRM – just to name a few.
- Invest in your team. Make learning a priority. Encourage your teams to attend seminars, take courses and access their partnerships for education. Empowering your team allows them to build their confidence in taking risks, generating new ideas and increasing their adoption of marketing tools that deliver a more personalized experience for end customers.
- Make connections and stay connected. Build a network inside and outside of your organization and field. Observe and learn from others: What are they doing to move their business ahead?
- Make friends, be curious and ask questions. Connect often with your CRM, analytics and IT partners and make them an extension of your marketing team. Today’s technology is very sophisticated and can seem overwhelming, but you don’t need to be the SME or get into the weeds to ask the right questions. Focus on building a baseline understanding of what is available and what it can do for you to better serve your customers. Let the experts on your team work their magic in the background and bring your strategy to life.
- Build credibility. Data is your friend – your best friend, in fact. Remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Translate data and insights into a business need and evaluate the customer opportunities. Sometimes you’ll meet success and sometimes you won’t. That’s ok. Even misses are wins. Share the great and the not so great and make improvements as you go.
Here’s an example to illustrate this advice:
Mark Fairhurst, Vice President of Marketing at Mercatus Technologies, didn’t start his career with a formal education in marketing or technology. He was on the liberal arts academic path, jogging towards a career as a professor. However, he made a left turn and hasn’t looked back.
Mark started out with a basic understanding of digital (before digital was even a word!). What facilitated his growth was an ongoing pursuit of skepticism and curiosity. He was always asking questions, primarily: Who’s your audience? What motivates them? What are you trying to solve?
From there, Mark focused on unravelling the problem and building the strategy. Throughout his career, he analyzed how best to reach his target market, built the relationships and connections he needed and found the right partners that introduced him to the technology that would ultimately help him engage with customers.
The short of it is that you can be successful as a marketer as long as curiosity is part of your toolkit -- Curiosity about the industry you work in, the customers you market to, the partners you engage, the teams you interact with, and the tools and technology available to you.