Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Mastering marketing thinking, part of Marketing Foundations.
Whether you spend your entire career in marketing, or just part of it, you'll find marketing to be a fascinating and challenging area of the business to work in. Like any profession, you need to continue to develop your skills. Given the changes in technology, and emerging trends. You have to constantly update your skills or they'll get stale. When I give career advice, I remind people to never let a year go by without developing some part of your professional skill set.
Now here are some tips on how to continue mastering your marketing skills. First, you need to decide where you want to focus. I think of marketing as a continuum over three phases. You can work in the early opportunity phase, which includes things like new Product development, Innovation, Design, and Marketing research. In the strategy phase you're involved in activities like Marketing strategy, Brand development, and Market expansion.
If you work in the execution phase, you're involved in things like Sales, Advertising, Pricing, and Retailing. You can have a gratifying career anywhere along this continuum, but once you find out what you like the best focus on it and put all your development efforts towards that. If you spread your training over too many areas, you may dilute your skills. Next, dive deep into that area and study the classic, as well as the new academic research about it.
Always think of yourself as a student of marketing. Read about what other companies are doing. Stay on top of new technology, watch for new trends, especially using social media tools. Remember that marketing is all around you, so take advantage of it. When you see a new product in a store or you see a commercial on TV, try to figure out the marketing aspect of it and what the strategy of the company is trying to use. That really builds your marketing muscle. If you consider yourself a marketer, then I advise you to join the community of practice.
Get out there and engage in organizations like the American Marketing Association, or the Product Development and Management Association. There's a professional society for just about every aspect of marketing, whether it's retailing, sales, pricing. There's even one called SCIP, the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals. These organizations are a great way to network and learn new skills. And finally, be sure to practice your craft.
Learning is a process of taking an action, reflecting on what happened, learning from it, and then improving for the next time. You want to learn at a rate faster than the rate of change. That means you need to experiment, practice new techniques while perfecting the old ones. If you do this on a continuous basis, you'll find a career in marketing even that much more rewarding.
You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance.
- Marketing in an organization
- Assembling the team
- Creating the marketing plan
- Analyzing your products, customers, and market
- Segmenting customers
- Creating a value proposition
- Developing a strategy
- Setting goals
- Setting prices
- Using social media
- Presenting your plan to leadership
- Budgeting your plan
- Measuring success