So you're ready to cut your teeth in the fast-paced, exciting world of marketing. Self-motivation is undoubtedly important, but you also need to be receptive to time-tested advice and understand how to apply it to your own tasks and work environment. Keep reading for nine crucial pointers that’ll help you discover, grow and thrive while in the marketing industry.
- Be Inquisitive – Always try to look at situations, technologies, and trends with the purpose of unearthing what you can glean from them to use in your marketing work. If you have the right mindset, a casual conversation with your best friend could trigger new ideas about how to promote your latest client’s book tour.
- Think Outside the Box – As a novice marketer, you don’t have seniority among your peers. Because of that reality, some contacts and resources that may be available to more experienced people will be off-limits to you at this point in your career. However, there’s no reason to be discouraged. Urge yourself to think outside the box, beyond the usual tricks and techniques. Your resourcefulness could pay off for clients and earn admiration from peers. To get into the habit of thinking in ways that defy expectations, continually ask yourself, “Is there something I’m missing?” or “Could I go about this in a different way?
- Network Like a Pro – Since you’re new to the marketing industry, you’ll probably feel at least slightly limited by a perceived lack of experience, coupled with the knowledge that people aren’t familiar with you yet. However, you can still show others you’re ready to excel by learning how to be an excellent networker.
Whenever you’re at a conference, chatting with colleagues over lunch or sitting on the train during your commute, always be ready to talk about your career. Consider anyone you meet a potential ally who could take your career to another level. Keep business cards on hand and compose at least one “elevator speech” you can use when someone asks, “So, what do you do?” Strive to be on your best behavior at all times, too.
The impressions you make could cause the people in your environment to be interested in getting to know you better and do what they can to advance your career, but might also have the opposite effect.
- Control Your Messages – Being persuasive is not as simple as it might seem, because there are elements that you can’t control. You can manage some parts of the messages you deliver by using enticing words, relatable stories, and funny examples, but people’s brains also take the information they hear and link it back to past experiences they’ve gone through. You cannot control that aspect, but you can exert power over how the message is perceived.
One way to do that is through mirroring, a technique where the speaker mimics body language noticed in the listener. Mirroring helps build rapport and make people feel more at ease in your presence, leading to them being open-minded about what you’re saying. According to some studies, sales increase from 12.5 to 66 percent when mirroring techniques are implemented.
- Familiarize Yourself With Marketing Metrics – There are some easy ways to tell if your marketing tactics are working as intended. Maybe one of your clients is a former music superstar breaking back into the entertainment industry after a 10-year hiatus. Say you’ve noticed her Billboard rankings quickly accelerate the week after you run full-page ads in major magazines and kick off a dedicated Youtube campaign. There’s arguably a good chance the things you’ve done to advertise the release spurred the improved chart performance.
However, in some cases, you’ll need to rely on less obvious metrics to figure out whether what you’re doing is useful, or if changes are necessary. Data about website visits, concert attendance, interest in the artist across social media channels and even ringtone downloads could all tell tales of marketing method worthiness.
- Keep an Eye on Industry Advancements – You’ve already learned how it’s important it is to have an inquisitive mindset and realize that almost any interaction could stimulate good ideas for your marketing career. Similarly, work hard to stay on top of industry developments. Trade journals, websites, and blogs offer excellent insight that could help you learn about effective new approaches before they become mainstream. Subscribe to this Martech publication and listen to Douglas Karr's Martech Zone Interviews Podcast! You won't be able to understand every article, but over time you'll increase your knowledge exponentially.
- Take Inspiration from Admirable People – As you work your way through the marketing industry ranks, remain humble and always expose yourself to the backgrounds of people you admire. Those individuals may not even be in the marketing industry, but they can still teach you principles that are advantageous for achieving your goals. If the people who inspire you are famous, consider downloading podcasts, reading autobiographies, or watching Youtube interviews to get more details about how their minds work.
- Explore Marketing Automation Technologies – According to some industry analysts, knowledge of marketing automation is an in-demand skill that could help you get ahead while navigating an ever-changing landscape. Besides possessing knowledge about an increasingly prevalent topic, you could become more efficient with everyday duties. Marketing automation makes it simpler to spread the word, generate leads, and communicate with customers, without wasting time through redundancy.
- Demonstrate Patience – In your haste to make progress and get results for your client roster, you may get impatient, especially if it seems newly implemented techniques aren’t working. As hard as it will be sometimes, have a persevering attitude. You aren’t likely to see major gains overnight. Patience is essential, especially before poring over data to see if your suspicions are true.
- Join Marketing Communities – Modern marketing is largely dependent upon technology to effectively deploy and measure strategies with limited resources. The tools are here to help and you can learn a ton just asking questions of experts in our community. Be sure to join marketing communities throughout social media – especially ones that speak to marketing within your industry. You won't understand every conversation – but you'll pick up great tips that will help you expand your knowledge over time.
Welcome, New Marketer!
Hopefully, these ten tips help you feel more confident as a new marketer. Remember, even once you transition from a novice marketing professional to a verifiable expert, there is always more to learn.