How Mentoring Can Boost Your Marketing Career

In the ever-changing landscape of marketing, where trends evolve rapidly and new technologies constantly emerge, either having a mentor or becoming a mentor can boost your marketing career.

By becoming a mentor, you can offer invaluable guidance, insights and support. This empowers your mentee to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and advance professionally. But mentoring is not a one-way relationship. Mentors report that they feel they gain more from the relationship than they give by gaining insight and knowledge from another sector, industry or business. Where the mentee has more digital experience this can help upskill and keep the mentor abreast of the latest digital marketing techniques.

Specifically, mentoring can significantly boost both your own marketing career as a mentor and your mentee’s marketing career.

Accelerated Learning Curve

Mentors provide a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from their own successes and failures. By tapping into their expertise, they can help the mentee avoid common mistakes and help accelerate their learning. This can include marketing-specific learning such as understanding consumer behaviour, B2B expertise or digital marketing strategies. But a good mentor will also help the mentee by providing a fresh pair of eyes on a stale CV or asking the difficult questions that a mentee is avoiding. A mentor also learns from their mentee and will often gain up-to-date techniques currently being used in the digital space.

Expanded Network

A good mentor will have a large and responsive network. They will be happy to make introductions and open doors to new connections. They can introduce mentees to industry leaders and potential clients. They can suggest ways of expanding a mentee’s network outside of a specific job function or industry. For a mentor, working with a mentee in a specific industry provides real insight into that industry and how it may differ from their own experience in that sector.

Personalised Feedback and Development

One of the greatest benefits of being mentored is that mentees can ask and receive impartial and actionable feedback on what is happening in their day job. A mentor is not a parent, a colleague, a boss or someone that a mentee needs to impress. A mentor can offer constructive criticism, highlight areas for improvement, and help a mentee focus on their strengths. A good mentor will enjoy providing support and advice and will ask for feedback on their own performance.

Confidence and Support

Sometimes, all one needs is a pat on the back. The feeling that you are doing a great job. Marketing can be a demanding and fast-paced profession and it is often fraught with uncertainty and ambiguity. A mentor serves as a trusted confidant and source of support, offering encouragement, reassurance and guidance during challenging times. With a mentor by your side, a mentee can approach new opportunities with confidence, knowing that they have someone to turn to for advice and perspective. Seeing a mentee flourish in confidence is one of the most satisfying feelings a mentor can experience. Spotting the potential in a mentee and enabling the mentee to develop, grow and fly is very fulfilling.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Mentors can play a pivotal role in shaping a mentee’s career path and opening doors. Whether it is suggesting that the mentee goes for a promotion, encouraging them to find a better-paying job or connecting the mentee with influential stakeholders, a mentor can help a mentee navigate the complexities of climbing up the career ladder in marketing.

Continuous Growth and Adaptation

In marketing, staying ahead of the competition is a necessity. A mentor can help mentees stay abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices, ensuring that they remain relevant and competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape. By encouraging and helping the mentee embrace a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation, they can help the mentee future-proof their career. A mentor needs to continuously adapt and grow to stay relevant to their mentees and mentoring allows them to do this.

Role Modeling and Inspiration

Having a mentor who has achieved success in the marketing industry can be incredibly inspiring. However, not all industry leaders are willing or capable mentors. By observing a mentor’s leadership style, work ethic, and strategic approach, a mentee can glean valuable insights into what it takes to succeed in marketing. Role-playing scenarios of difficult in-house meetings, presentations and new client meetings can vastly improve the chances of success for the mentee.

In conclusion, mentoring is a personalised development tool which greatly benefits both the mentee and the mentor. It is a two-way street which can keep a mentor relevant in today’s changing industry and can give a mentee the skills, competencies and confidence to pursue their marketing ambitions.

Next Steps

If you would like to benefit from becoming a mentor or a mentee, sign up for the CIM’s Mentor Match portal. You must be a full Member or Fellow to become a mentor.

By Philippa Seal FCIM,