How To Become A Marketing Superstar
When you think of “successful marketers,” who – or what – comes to mind? Do you immediately think of a renowned industry expert or high-profile marketing professional? Or do you look to a mentor or a colleague for inspiration?
Those of us helping to hold down the marketing department are certainly aware of at least a handful of marketing celebrities in our midst. But what about the many other marketing professionals who shine bright in the areas of efficiency, dependability, and overall effectiveness? While they may not have taken up residence in the center stage of our minds – yet – chances are that you already know of more than a few marketing rock stars who are continuing to knock their company’s marketing efforts out of the park.
What Does A Marketer Have To Do To Become Successful?
Of course, on the road to becoming a marketing superstar, we have to start by asking ourselves what a successful marketer has to do to become successful in the first place. This question was posed during a roundtable discussion among peers to an incredible group of top-notch marketing professionals representing CPA and business consulting firms across the nation, what we learned was that achieving “success” really isn’t that hard. Actually, it’s pretty easy as long as you’re willing and able to embrace a few key habits.
Introducing: The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful Marketers
After much discussion, the peer group concluded that, in order to find professional success, marketers must embrace seven key habits. While these specific habits may change from one year to the next, the overarching theme will persevere. As you read through these seven habits, consider how you might weave one, two, or all of them into your daily routine.
1. Be a lifelong learner.
While it may feel really difficult to make time to do things like read books, attend webinars, or listen to podcasts, these activities are essential in order to grow as a marketer and find long-term success in your careers. Changes happen fast in the marketing world, so it only makes sense to cave out some time to stay on top of current trends, understand new concepts, and invest in your continued professional growth.
Generally speaking, if you are truly serious about becoming a successful marketing professional, take time to:
- Attend a conference – If you can’t attend an in-person conference, why not try a virtual one? Since COVID, countless organizations are now offering free registration to attend their virtual events.
- Sign up for webinars – You can find a webinar for nearly everything these days. And even if your day is full and you can’t attend the session in person, you will likely receive a copy of the presentation delivered to your email just for signing up. So, if there is a webinar you’re interested in, go ahead and register. You can view it at a time that makes sense for you.
- Read articles – Using content curation tools like Content Gems can provide you with relevant and timely content on a chosen topic … a ’la marketing. You can also visit your favorite marketing sites to sign up for email updates.
- Listen to podcasts – Marketers are great at multi-tasking! So, why not go for a walk and listen to a quick marketing podcast like Marketing Over Coffee for inspiration.
2. Understand where the value lies.
Remember that your priorities and opinions about the importance of certain marketing KPIs may be vastly different from your leadership team’s. Even though those in the C-suite might love looking at numbers on a page more than most people, if the numbers they’re looking at don’t resonate with them and demonstrate the value they’re looking for, they simply don’t care. In the end, you’re just wasting your time.
3. Serve internal staff as you would paying clients.
Your service line leaders, sales staff, and others are sought after for their expertise in a number of technical areas in much the same way you, as a marketing professional, are sought after for your technical prowess and insight into marketing, communications, public relations, and business development. While you may not be charging your company’s sales team an hourly rate for your services, you are still being paid for your expertise, which means that you are very much a professional advisor.
Therefore, it’s absolutely vital that you approach the firm’s internal staff and industry leaders similar to how other team members work to develop and maintain relationships.
Listen to episode 131, “Stop, Collaborate, & Listen (To Your Customers),” on unsuitable on Rea Radio, Rea & Associates award-winning weekly podcast for business owners.
4. Honor Commitments.
For more than 20 years, Brad Circone, chief brand officer, president, and founder of Circone + Associates has helped some of the most notable companies discover and articulate their brand voice. When it comes to branding – professional and personal – he likes to say, “The promises you make, differentiate you. The promises you keep, define you.”
As a marketing professional, it’s up to you to set the tone for your department by walking the walk – not just talking the talk. A major component of this is honoring your commitments. Your ability to demonstrate credibility, reliability, and trustworthiness will go a long way in your journey toward marketing success. And, as an added bonus, when you demonstrate your ability to honor the commitments you make to others in your organization, they will be more inclined to honor the commitments they make to you.
In addition to demonstrating your trustworthiness, outlining and honoring your commitments is an excellent way to elevate the marketing profession within your organization.
Listen to episode 202, “How A Bad Band With A Great Brand Secured A $3.6M Record Deal,” on unsuitable on Rea Radio, Rea & Associates award-winning weekly business podcast.
5. Seek to understand before trying to solve.
Those who are looking to become successful marketers should always strive to be active listeners. Don’t just go through the motions of having a conversation while nodding along to everything that is being said, instead try listening to what is truly being asked, seek clarification when you don’t understand, and ask good follow-up questions.
Becoming an active listener and working to understand the needs of others is also a great way to reveal opportunities that the original asker didn’t initially consider – like when a webinar could make a bigger splash than a blog post or when a mailing might be a more cost-effective solution when addressing a specific audience.
Ultimately, when you seek to understand before rushing off to complete a request, you are sure to develop better relationships with leaders throughout your firm while gaining more insight into the asker, the service line, and even the firm’s overall objectives.
Volunteering has countless benefits for those looking to become successful marketing professionals. Not only is it a great way to expand your professional network, but it can also help you explore and develop additional marketing skills, provide you with insight into a particular market, help you stay on top of trends, reinforce your personal and professional brand, and reiterate your firm’s commitment to serving the community and the profession. Not to mention the general fulfillment that comes from giving back.
7. Create processes and communicate
Creating processes can be an incredibly powerful way to succeed in your marketing career, particularly since marketing can naturally be a chaotic profession. Whether you are implementing formal processes to identify holes in your team’s existing workflow, developing a plan to make transitions within your department easier, or mapping out to-dos to introduce more efficiency to your daily tasks, establishing processes will help you feel more in control of your day and, ultimately, of your career.
In addition to Trello, some other marketing professionals in my circle recommended the use of programs like Wrike and Asana to keep their teams on the same page and to communicate assignments. Others are using tools like regular Zoom meetings and internal newsletters to keep people informed while providing ongoing education about key firm-wide processes. Another great way to communicate processes to your team or throughout your firm might be to create a simple walk-through using Camtasia with a voice-over.
Bonus Habit: Prepare ahead of time for meetings or projects.
Don’t just put a meeting on the calendar and “wing it.” Instead, be respectful and efficient with everybody’s time. First and foremost, before you even put a meeting on somebody’s calendar, ask yourself if it’s necessary. Then provide them with a little insight into what attendees can expect from the meeting. As the meeting date gets closer, send over an agenda. Finally, give yourself at least 15 minutes before the meeting to go over the flow in your head.
Meeting preparation isn’t just a great strategy for you to demonstrate professionalism in your career, agendas and meeting prep empowers your guest to come to the meeting ready to have a meaningful discussion, take action, and establish a clear direction. This degree of efficiency is priceless in business and will really set you apart and elevate your role within the company.
How To Take Your Marketing Career From Good To Great
Now that you’ve had a chance to see what other marketing leaders from several highly-regarded CPA and business consulting firms have to say on the subject of developing a successful career in marketing, take a minute for a little introspection. How many of these seven habits are currently alive in your daily routine? What can you do to improve your existing workflow and outlook and what will you change now that you know how other marketers are making change – and success – happen?
If you would like to learn more about these seven habits of highly successful marketers, feel free to reach out to me directly. Or, if you are looking for additional insight to help move your business forward beyond marketing and communications, contact us today to speak with one of Rea’s service professionals about the challenges you’re currently facing in your business.
By Abbey Kanellakis (Dublin CPA Firm)