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Everything I love about marketing
I will tell anyone who asks (and many who don’t) that I love marketing.
Everything about it… even the spreadsheets!
Once I figured out that marketing was the career for me, I’ve never looked back. I’ve fortunately never had to consider (nor wanted) to pack it all in, or even had the inspiration for a drastic career change.
That assurance is something I’m very proud of, but also highly appreciative as I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be when trying to find some semblance of career balance, combined with an overall career direction.
Yes, I’ve moved in-house after years of agency life, and even though it was a big change, it was (and remains) completely marketing-focussed. And I love it.
But exactly what is it that makes marketing work for me? Here’s some thoughts that may also resonate with you….
This is as close to a clear number one as possible.
Marketing goals, whatever your sector or product, are broadly the same: pieces of activity that raise awareness to encourage an action – a sign up, a lead, a sale.
(In whatever way shape or form that looks like for where you work.)
We as marketers, in our various specialisms, are tasked with delivering these results using the channels at our disposal.
And that means identifying the problems facing our customers, and developing ideas that help them. But more than that, it’s doing it creatively to spark a reaction within that customer’s mind that makes us memorable – can we relate to the customer’s journey in the lifecycle, or trigger an emotion, or create a reaction?
Creativity doesn’t just mean designing the best looking graphic or the most stylish video – naturally these are important – but coming up with an idea that stops someone in their tracks and makes them feel something.
This gives me a massive buzz.
Ideas coming to life
Having to constantly be on your toes, testing and developing ideas is something else.
But so is seeing them come to life.
In old-school times this was ‘seeing it in print’, and now there’s a million different ways for something you’ve created to be put in front of your audience.
I love it! It’s always a proud moment.
And making sure you take the time to feel that pride is so important – which I repeat regularly in 121s and mentoring meetings.
No matter my level of involvement in any project – from proposing the initial idea to simply proof-reading a blog – I take pride in all of it.
Just because I didn’t design it or write it, doesn’t mean I should stop myself from feeling the buzz of those who did. Especially if whole concept was my idea in the first place, or I had a major input into it along the way.
That’s why personal win sheets are so important!
Creativity goes beyond the incredible skills of designers, copywriters and videographers – that initial idea is the hook that might connect all of them.
If it was yours, make sure you tell yourself that!
And, if you had absolutely nothing to do with any of it, still share in the excitement of your team and, critically, the reaction of your audience.
I thrive on deadlines
I realised this a bit too late in my university days, at the same time understanding why I was more successful at school (structure, processes etc.), but I need deadlines.
They push me to not only complete the project or task at hand, but give me the necessary pressure to think more astutely about whatever it is I’m working on.
Not only do I need these deadlines to stop procrastination getting the better of me, I actually relish them.
Marketing is full of deadlines: a launch date, a print deadline, a campaign date… all of these and more happen every week.
By being given a deadline or, more commonly, telling someone that I’ll deliver the work to them by a certain date, I give myself a boundary and framework to work to.
This creates a level of expectation, but also allows me to exceed their expectations – even if that’s as simple as submitting something a day earlier.
Always, always, always ‘under promise, over deliver.’
I thank my dad for that one.
Love for the tools you ‘hate’
And, coming back to the spreadsheet comment at the start, you know you love something when it makes you tolerate tools or processes that you were never really a fan of before.
This is me and spreadsheets.
They’re a necessary evil when it comes to tracking and reporting, especially for social media stats.
As writing was my ‘thing’ at school, I had little time for anything Maths-related – as proven by my B grade at GCSE, before I thankfully was able to drop it.
Now, I spend a hell of a lot of time contemplating numbers in and out of spreadsheets.
I actually enjoy it too!
It also helps that the data and insight team at work are very knowledgeable and patient when I need help. Cheers team!
Analysis and reflection
The need for spreadsheets and other forms of data collection is because it’s essential.
You always have to pull the results of your activities, whether presenting internally or to your client if you’re in an agency.
This shouldn’t be for the sake of it, or because you feel the need to justify why marketing matters, but to demonstrate an impact on your KPIs, and the wider business.
It doesn’t to show you’re doing a good job and have numbers to back it up.
At the same time, and this is one of the hardest parts of marketing to get used to, sometimes stuff fails.
Easy to say, hard to get used it.
Taking the time to assess and reflect on why something didn’t work, is just as important as the planning that went into that idea in the first place.
Reflecting on what you and the team did, with stats, helps you to understand what you need to do differently next time. As much as this can be painful at the time, especially if it was your idea to begin with, it can be cathartic, and it’s definitely a valuable learning exercise.
Importantly however, and borrowing a phrase from a connected sector – ‘it’s PR, not ER!” – so if something does go wrong, it’s not the end of the world! Even if it does feel like it at the time.
I work well in a crisis
We have a running joke at work that we secretly create any potential dramas that occur. This is obviously not true, but it does help to keep spirits up if something does happen that rewrites the plans for our day.
Keeping the ‘PR not ER’ phrase in mind, helps us to crack on with whatever we need to do or solve, which keeps you grounded and gets you through the day.
I know others don’t like it, but I’m honestly in my element… thriving!
It gets my adrenaline pumping and sharpens my focus to solving that one overarching issue. And, when we do sort it, there’s a huge sense of achievement and team effort.
You can’t beat that!
Fortunately any sort of crisis is rare and even when something does happen, it’s usually the knock-on effect from something extremely positive that’s created high demand.
It’s all fun!
What do you love about marketing? Add yours to the comments below.