What I Learned From The Deep End…

Marketing is an analytical and creative mind game and mastering it is a whole other game on its own. I got lucky, landed an awesome marketing job in the leisure industry and it’s been all smiles for the most part. I got thrown in the deep end and remember saying things like “sorry, I’m not that experienced in marketing, but I think this might work”. I pushed the bar, determined to become a real marketer and learned a few things along the way…

1. Getting into marketing crash course: It’s often quite tough getting into a marketing position. The best thing to do is to get experience. So get involved with varsity projects, start a blog, publish a few articles, apply for any available jobs at marketing agencies, volunteer, just be creative. No matter how little experience you have, the fact that you’re out there actively working towards your goals, sets you apart from other applicants.

2. Follow every trail: If you’re doing research and come across something that looks interesting, but doesn’t really apply to what you’re trying to find out, check it out anyways. Knowledge is never a bad thing in marketing, and ideas sometimes come from the most unexpected places. That doesn’t mean you should follow every single lead, as I’ll discuss in my next point.

3. Learn to rely on your instincts: The best marketers rely on and know when to trust their gut. Master this skill and use it to your advantage. It will save you loads of time and ultimately contribute your campaign success.

4. Be brave: Don’t be afraid to take chances, but if you do, see your ideas through excellently. This will give you more credibility, lead to more freedom to experiment with campaigns, and ultimately improve your performance.

5. Spelling and grammar: Never making errors will result in a polished and professional brand image, and will pay off in the long-run for you and your brand.

6. Keep notepads everywhere: You never know when an idea is going to strike. You’d think that you could never forget the best idea ever, but it happens. Even if you don’t have the time or the resources to execute an idea right now, you should document any ideas that pop up and keep adding to that list. One day, when the time is right, you’ll have a treasure chest full of golden ideas to tap into.

7. Always be professional: Take care when communicating and always be nice and professional, be it with your colleagues, suppliers or clients. You will develop better relationships with people and it always comes back to you.

8. Negotiate: As a marketer, negotiating is a valuable skill to learn. I mean you’re technically negotiating with your audience to do an exchange of some sorts. Some ideas are to ask suppliers for added value, bundle products for discounts, try to get free exposure, or negotiate a barter agreement where you exchange your company’s services for a portion of the cost.

9. Ask questions: Not only will you learn, but this also works great for turning enemies into allies.

10. Change your environment: If you’re running out of ideas or hitting a creative block, the best thing to do is to get up and do something different. Take a walk, sit and work somewhere else for a bit, or focus on a different project.

11. Use your data: Statistical data is your audience’s way of talking to you, so listen! Use your data to identify their wants and needs and then respond to those needs. You’ll learn to understand your audience and perform better, so let your data come alive.

12. Be humble: We all make mistakes. Own up and handle it in good fashion.

13. Pick your fights: Not all fights are worth it. Choose your fights wisely.

14. Learn to compromise: Sometimes campaign obstacles are out of our control. Explore all possibilities and find a way around it. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that if there’s a will there’s a way. How badly do you want your campaign to succeed?

15. And lastly, respect the team: These are the people who help you make your ideas a reality. Discuss your ideas, get involved and be objective. You’d be surprised how many ideas come just from chatting about what you’re busy with.

I’m absolutely addicted to learning and marketing and couldn’t imagine a more rewarding career choice for myself. Have any comments, feedback or personal experiences to share? I’d love to hear about it!

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