No two marketing careers are the same. In an age where job titles are proliferating – a recent survey conducted by CIM came up with no less than 1,500 different marketing-related titles from respondents, each of them, for the most part, suggested by just one person – and the remit of marketing itself is growing broader, it’s hard to find commonalities.
That said, many junior marketers who receive a promotion – or move up by moving job – are likely to be deficient in the same areas. Here are three suggestions on what you might be missing and how to rectify the situation.
Learn to assert authority
First, it’s important to learn about the management basics. Although many people feel that they know instinctively how to take charge, being assertive – but in a non-confrontational way – is something that doesn’t come naturally to most. In fact, the UK trails other countries in employee engagement, a condition that could be rectified with proper attention to the science of management.
Remember that former bosses who just ordered you around probably didn’t help you the most – it is the ones who give support and advice that are really popular and useful to the career progression of people in their team.
Becoming a manager is just as big a change as moving into a new industry. Reading up on management theory, asking your new peers for help or even attending a training course could be the answer.
Understand the whole department
The marketers you are now taking charge of could be working on areas outside your expertise – everything from market research to SEO and developing pricing strategies. It’s very important to understand their individual way of doing things, and what they believe they can deliver going forward.
Over time, though, it’s also good to learn about best practice in their niche – and what they might be able to do with the right attitude and the right training – so that you can help them to improve their own careers.
Deal with the C-suite
As a junior marketer, you carry out your specific tasks and report to your manager. As head of a team or department, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with the C-suite – which is a very different proposition.
Rather than talking to your superiors on a daily basis, you’ll be preparing strategies, reports and budgets for set intervals. You want to show that you’re building the department and forging your own path as a leader, but at the same time receive reassurance that you’re doing a good job and aiming to achieve the right objectives.
Because they’re pressed for time, the chances of being able to ask company directors for help will be limited. Trying to gain access to one of them as a mentor may be a good option if you want to tap into their valuable experience.
By Rob Coston, CPL Reporter
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