As a young professional trying to make it in the world of marketing, I spend a great deal of time thinking about my career. It's selfish, but it's important because the world I studied in school not so long ago is different today. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that marketing is a vastly more demanding and technical field than I had anticipated. Today's marketing unicorns need to be creative, tech-savvy, strategic, and organized.
On that note, here are 4 things that can make or break you in the changing marketing landscape. I've backed up these points with some data from a joint survey conducted by Forrester and the Business Marketing Association titled B2B CMOs Must Evolve Or Move On.
Marketers can't be boring. If you want to influence consumers, you need to have many areas of interest, skills, and experience. 96% of CMOs agree that the breadth of skills needed to succeed in marketing has increased dramatically. To do this effectively, I've made it my job to be hyper-curious. What does that mean? It means leaving work at a decent hour to explore the world around you. A modern marketer interacts with the world around her with wide-eyed wonderment, learning about the next innovation or interesting trend. A modern marketer reads books, listens to podcasts, and generally tries to experience as much as possible! Being able to draw from a wide range of experiences makes you able to relate to different consumers more easily.
Be perpetually in beta
97% of marketers say that they are doing things they've never done before. What this means is that you shouldn't be focused on nailing something on your first try. Instead, get your campaign in-market and keep your eyes glued to the data. Be prepared to evaluate how things are going on a frequent basis and adapt your strategy on the go. This is also a constant learning experience.
Don't ignore the technical side
54% of CMOs have stated that marketing's working relationship with IT has dramatically increased in recent years. This is a big deal; IT outranked Sales as the most important department to work with. Furthermore, marketers are evolving into a mix of creativity, strategy, and technology. The rise of the marketing technologist is a real trend. Not interested in technology? Don't know how to talk IT-lingo? The future of marketing may pass you by.
Don't lose your creativity
We've all seen the terrible ads on LinkedIn and Facebook that look like they were designed in paint and written by a high-school student. You're really busy with being curious, technical, and constantly iterating, but at the end of the day your job is to influence a consumer to take action. Consumers are emotional and respond to creativity. No technology in the world can replace a creative, dynamic marketer who understands how to be persuasive.
It's no easy task, but if you want to keep up and reach the top you can never forget the careful balance all marketers need. It's something I'm working at every single day, and I'll never be 100% there, which means I'll always have more to learn.