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Posts Tagged ‘marketing career’

Marketing Career: How to get budget approval to build your skills

October 5th, 2012
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What challenges undermine your marketing department’s potential? When we asked that question to 1,646 marketers while researching for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Executive Guide to Marketing Personnel, here’s how they responded …

 

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So today’s MarketingSherpa blog post is aimed at helping you overcome challenges #1 and #3: to help you get budget approval to build your skills. With Email Summit 2013 coming up in February, we’ll use a MarketingSherpa Summit as the example for this blog post to show you the factors you should consider when conducting a little internal marketing of your own.

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Personal Branding: 3 tips for personal SEO

June 22nd, 2012
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If someone were to enter your name into Google, what results would they find?

Establishing your personal brand online has become increasingly important, as more HR professionals and hiring managers turn to search engines for information on applicants. Some reports indicate upward of 90% of recruiters regularly research candidates on Google.

Moreover, realize that your competition has already taken action to improve their search engine results. According to ExecuNet’s 2012 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, 67% of executives have actively worked to become more visible online.

These executives are working on their results, but what about you? In a best case scenario, you will earn a few results on one of the top search engine result pages (SERPs). Worst case scenario? You find that you share a name with a slew of more established, accomplished and published people — at least according to Google results.

So, what can you do to improve your search engine results? Here are three tips for boosting the search ranking of your name.

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Gaining Business Leader Buy-in: 7 CEO personas

June 21st, 2012
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You may have an incredible plan to improve your company’s marketing performance, but unless you can do a little selling, you’re never going to be able to start marketing.

I’m talking about internal selling. Often, when marketers want to make significant changes to their company’s marketing performance, it takes some budget to get the ball rolling. That may be budget to buy a new tool or platform, work with an agency, or hire some new employees.

If you want to get that budget, you have to convince the CEO (or perhaps CFO or other executive, depending on where you are in the organization) that you can deliver some serious ROI.

And yet, ironic as it may seem, marketers are usually not the best at selling, especially internally.

At last week’s Optimization Summit 2012, I had the pleasure to introduce Kristin Zhivago, President, Zhivago Management Partners, when she presented “How to Optimize Your CEO’s Anointing of Your Marketing Efforts.”

Her top piece of advice was, “You have to be the one in the company that has the personal knowledge of your customers.”

Much of your internal ability to get things done will come from being the trusted advisor who can speak on behalf of the customer to the CEO and business leaders.

To do that, she recommends actually calling customers and interviewing them. “Sales people are dogs. Marketers are cats. We’re shy,” Kristin acknowledges. But she encourages marketers to overcome their inherent introversion and get customers on the phone.

 

Your CEO’s ‘functional persona’

Beyond knowing your customer, Kristin advises marketers to know their CEO as well. In this presentation, she broke down CEOs (and, really, all business leaders), into seven “functional personas” to help you understand how to work with, and become a trusted advisor to, your business leaders.

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Meeting Agenda Template: How to run more effective and efficient meetings

May 1st, 2012
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I bet you could get a lot more actual work done without meetings, eh?

An example of this is David Meerman Scott’s answer to the question, “How are you so prolific?” He lists several reasons, but my favorite is, “I don’t have to sit in any damn meetings (unless I want to).”

However, you are probably not like Mr. Meerman Scott. If you are the average marketer, you have to sit through many, many meetings. Let’s take a look at how to make your meetings more effective and efficient (and feel free to pass this advice anonymously to the biggest time wasters in your organization).

 

The problem – unorganized meetings

Of course, this isn’t the only problem, but one major issue torpedoing many meetings is that they are unorganized and the facilitator put in little prep work on the front end. This is why so many meetings are ineffective, underutilized, unnecessary and just plain, well, time wasters.

To help you improve your own meetings, here is a free meeting agenda template. It’s what we use here at MECLABS. Feel free to replace our logo with your own if you use it internally or externally.

 

 

Let’s walk through the elements of the template. This advice isn’t based on research or reporting, simply what I’ve personally learned in my career. And I’d love to hear what you’ve learned as well.

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Marketing Management: What is your company doing to increase knowledge and effectiveness?

March 22nd, 2012
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Do these facts about training for marketers surprise you?

  • Training is the most important factor in retaining marketers under 30
  • Three out of four marketers are not receiving the training and development they need for competence and success
  • Only about a third of marketers describe their department as “highly skilled and competent”

These are just three pieces of information in the brand-new 2012 MarketingSherpa Executive Guide to Marketing Personnel.

 

But read a little further, and things get curiouser and curiouser (to paraphrase Alice in Wonderland). You see that turnover in the marketing department is a problem, especially in large organizations:

 

CHART: HOW SIGNIFICANT IS TURNOVER IN YOUR COMPANY?

 

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If turnover is a problem now, in an unsure economy, what is it going to be like when the economy starts picking up stream and marketers have more job options? It gets worse; the vast majority of companies have no career path for marketers. And it doesn’t matter if you are in a small company or a large one:

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Marketing Career: 4 questions every marketer should answer (and what you need to know to start asking them)

March 16th, 2012
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Very few of us, especially marketers, know what next year or the year after will look like. Things are constantly changing and progressing with new approaches, better analytics and a greater level of sophistication in our industry.

The good news, while those aspects continually evolve, there are a few things you as an individual can do to ensure a productive and prosperous marketing career. They may seem obvious, but consider them carefully because your choice will mean the difference between a rewarding and frustrating career.

First and foremost, according to research I conducted for the 2012 Executive Guide to MarketingSherpa Marketing Personnel,  80% of marketers take assessments  to identify key competencies and personality traits. (An assessment is an examination, test and/or survey(s) that measures specific behaviors, values and/or skills that provide insight into an individual’s abilities and capacities.)

However, what comes next is disappointing … our study also showed that less than half of the assessments were actually used (by companies) to help ensure you are in the right marketing position. So, if you work for one of the companies not using assessments, your career satisfaction and success is entirely in your hands.

“People don’t pay for average.” — John C. Maxwell

And neither do marketing departments.

While you may enjoy multiple aspects of the marketing process, if you really want to excel in your career, you must ask yourself: “Which aspects do I enjoy the most and which am I best suited for?”

The reality is that you may be fairly competent in several areas, but no one is good at all of them — plus, each area is growing in the level of sophistication so rapidly that it is easy to quickly fall behind the learning curve. So what do you do?

  • Obtain a copy of your assessments and make an appointment with your manager or HR specialist who had those tests run. Identify what you want to learn about your behaviors, strengths and weaknesses before the appointment that apply to the field of marketing you most enjoy.
  • Have the individual go through the results with you thoroughly. Ask questions during the process. Yes, you will hear a lot of things you already know, but it is essential you see your competencies from another’s paradigm, not just your own. Let them identify your strengths and weaknesses based on the data.
  • Use the comments you obtain from the debrief session to help you develop a plan.The plan should consist of:
    • How to use your strengths in your present position
    • How to reduce the weaknesses that might inhibit your professional growth and development
    • Try to codify what developmental resources you will need to obtain, either through or outside of company resources
    • Assign priorities and time frames, then implement your developmental process. Do not wait on a manager or  HR to do this for you. You may have to wait a long time for other’s help.

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Marketing Career: 7 habits of highly effective marketing job seekers – part 4

January 27th, 2012
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We’ve reached the fourth and final post of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Marketing Job Seekers blog series, where we take Stephen Covey’s habits and help you practically apply them to your marketing job hunt.

Today, we’ll cover “Synergize,” which is all about working together – or as the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” The job search doesn’t have to be a solitary chore. This habit thrives on all that networking you’ve been building upon for years.

We’ll also discuss “Sharpen the Saw,” which wraps it all together in that the job search doesn’t begin and end with the job. It must all revolve around you, your skills and your experience. The last habit works to keep you at the top of your game, even through long gaps of unemployment.

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Marketing Career: 7 habits of highly effective marketing job seekers – part 3

January 13th, 2012
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This third installation of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Marketing Job Seekers blog post series will examine how Steven R. Covey’s fourth and fifth habits can help those looking for marketing positions (you can check out our discussions of “Be Proactive” and then “Begin with the End in Mind” and “Put First Things First” here).

“Think Win/Win” will help you decide which companies to apply to and what message to convey in your cover letters and interviews. The fifth habit, “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood,” will also help job seekers in crafting their cover letter message and resumes, but also provides tips on preparing for interviews.

 

Habit 4: Think Win/Win

In a Win/Win solution, all parties should mutually benefit and feel good about the decision.  Covey says, for any type of situation, if both parties cannot reach a Win/Win, then they should agree on ‘No Deal’ or walk away from the table.

  • A Win for the company

When I started thinking about how this habit relates to the job search, it reminded me a bit of President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Instead of your country, though, ask what you can do for the company or organization to which you wish to apply. Then, relay that answer as your value proposition in both your cover letter and interview.

Some companies receive thousands of résumés for just one opening. Chances are you will not be the only applicant to meet all their minimum requirements. You must provide some added value that could push the company forward in some way.

What is your “wow factor”? Determining how the company will win with you as an employee will answer a vital question for any job seeker, “Why should my ideal employer interview me instead of other applicants?”

Inform employers exactly what you’ll bring to the table that no other candidate can. Read more…

Marketing Career: 7 habits of highly effective marketing job seekers – part 2

December 9th, 2011
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Last week’s marketing career post explored how marketers should implement Steven Covey’s first habit, “Be Proactive,” into their job hunt. Scott Howard, Executive Director of Operations, MECLABS, helped to draw out applicable and helpful tips from the bestselling book. This week, we’ll hear from him again on the next two habits: “Begin with the End in Mind” and “Put First Things First.”

 

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

I find this to be one of the most important habits for job hunters. Why? Because it is the foundation on which all following habits build. Without an end vision, you won’t know how to best direct all the energy you put into the other habits.

So how do you create this vision? Covey instructs you to create an image, picture or paradigm of the end of your life just as you want it to be. In a job seeker’s case, picture the job you want to have not just now, but also the one you want in the future. Using this reference, you will then determine your behavior and actions now and in the future. It also works on the principle that all things are created twice, once being mental, followed by the physical. Beginning with an end in mind focuses on the mental construction. (The physical will start to take shape in the next habit, “Put First Things First.”)

Scott says, “You need a destination. You can’t know how to get somewhere without first knowing where you want to go.”

Envision your ideal career path. Where do you want to be in five, 10, 20 years? Know the general direction you want to go, and focus your job search on positions that support this vision. In essence, you will create your own personal mission statement.

As a job seeker, I know how tempting it can be to apply to anything and everything. Having a job is better than not having one, right? Well, not necessarily. A résumé riddled with short employments or unrelated job positions does not look good to potential employers. Don’t continually apply to jobs you know you will leave in six months, or that have nothing to do with your end vision.

In The New York Times’ blog, Room for Debate, Katherine S. Newman, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University, explains it further, “…if [your] biography doesn’t match [your] aspirations, it can be a tough sell when newer, less ‘scarred’ job seekers flood the pool from which the boss is choosing.” In other words, taking that unrelated job could hurt your chances of following your ideal career path.

This habit helps to narrows down your job search. Focus on what you what to be and do, then determine the steps, values and principles that will get you there.

Try writing this statement for yourself, and fill in the blanks to it is applicable to you …

“I want to be a (digital marketer, B2B marketer, community manager, etc) so that I can (list your contributions and achievement here). To get to that destination, I will (take an internship, apply for specific job descriptions, further my training or education, build my network, etc).”

 

Key Takeaway:

  • Envision your idea career path. Once you determine your career destination, hone your job search to focus on this ideal direction. If you’re not quite sure where you want your career to go, try reading through MarketingSherpa case studies to get a deeper understanding of certain roles and organizations.

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Marketing Career: 7 habits of highly effective marketing job seekers – part 1

December 2nd, 2011
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It’s a tough job market out there. According to Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report, only 40% of companies reported plans to add staff in the fourth quarter, down from 52% at the beginning of the year. And while decreasing numbers may tempt you to apply for every marketing job you do find, that’s certainly not the most effective way to conduct your job search.

You know from your marketing experience that “batch and blast” and “dialing for dollars” doesn’t work, so why spam potential employers? Instead, prioritize your job search by focusing on positions that will get you on the career path you have in mind to effectively get the most out of each resume you send.

This is where Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People comes in. While not a job seeker advice book, Covey’s book does outline seven habits that easily and wholly apply to the job hunting process. Over the course of four blog posts, I will explain each habit and provide useful ways to apply each to your job search.

I have also spoken with Scott Howard, Executive Director of Operations, MECLABS, and a big fan of Covey’s book. Scott oversees all operations across MECLABS Primary and Applied Research groups, including hiring approximately 60 new employees over the next year. He was kind enough to share some additional job seeking tips you can derive from the “7 Habits.”

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