How marketers can market themselves

Marketing is dynamic and inspirational. Ipso facto, you must be too. If not, at least evolving in a progressive environment

After spending some 20 years in this profession and a small fortune on career advice and marketing training, it is commented I do a good job at promoting myself.

Always happy to share my knowledge, I have written this blog to give you some insights which have helped me.

How can you be taken seriously if you cannot practice what you preach?

Like a robust marketing plan, you too need a vision, a brand, a forecast with ways in which you are going to transform. Design strategies that work towards broad goals.

Education of what marketing is: Marketing is not just advertising, or branded merchandise. As much as I like high quality stationery, I am not trained in procurement or the guardian of the store cupboard. It is so much more than that…

The role of marketing is an important one. But for some people they still are unsure of what it is. The simplest way I sum it up is understanding the customer so we can sell better. The Chartered Institute of Marketing define it as “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

Think about your niche. What do you do that is unique? If you cannot confidently and genuinely convey who you are, what you do and why you do it well, how can you expect people to trust you to do the same with their business?

The importance of internal marketing: Clearly define and communicate what you do, what you have done and where you are heading.

80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketers. 75% of CEOs think marketers misuse the real business definition of the words “Results”, “ROI”,” Performance”. According to Professor Malcolm McDonald, marketers started to be pushed out of the boardroom when focusing on the wrong metrics.

Focus on the right metrics

Know your audience: Depending on who you are appealing to i.e. your executive team, your stakeholders, your peers, getting the right information to the right people at the right time is critical.

Your CEO might not care about the increase in facebook likes but will care about a new product launch creating X increased sales with X marketing budget, gross margin risen from X to Y, profit statistics and customer growth & retention for example.

The importance of external marketing: Get out and about! Pursue other activities outside of your organisation to make you more 3 dimensional. For example, I joined Pimp My Cause, sit on the South West board for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, am part of the Worshipful Company of Marketors livery company and even done mystery shopping! It will broaden your interests, your horizons and expand your network.

LinkedIn is your friend: If you were going to make yourself Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) friendly, what is missing? To learn some hints & tips, check out Luan Wise here. She also does LinkedIn profile audits with suggestions.

Show an interest in others, be interested and interesting. Comment on other people's LinkedIn content where you have a common interest.

It will expose you more, especially when you engage with 2nd or 3rd connections. Write a sentence such as "great article because…” to show you as having a wide interest in others opinions and with authority when you contribute your meaningful thoughts.

Marketing is to be taken more seriously, so look at your accomplishments that matter. For example, you will see several recommendations on my LinkedIn profile that align with my personal career goals and what I set out to do i.e. I enjoy complex problems and manage them resourcefully. Put people first and committed to developing the people in my team. At the same time, have high performance standards leading with best marketing practices.

Top tips:

1.   Write your own manifesto i.e. I am looking to provide structure to X with well thought out plans / Deal directly with problems caused by confusion and inefficiency / Create a positive, lasting impact on the business / Initiate an action oriented, energetic fun approach

2.   Having the credentials to back up your competencies are important. Look at your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to see what you can upskill. There are plenty of regional events, webinars and short training courses you can attend run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing plus reflect on any new activities you have undertaken (like writing a blog!)

3.   It’s OK to have set backs. No-one has a perfect linear career. It’s good to reference how you have overcome these challenges. Marketing has often shown its best true colours when facing adversity and diversifying when necessary to stay ahead of the game

4.   Find a good mentor / coach / peers / internal champions. Most professionals are perfectionists and set ourselves high standards. You need people around you to point out (objectively) the things we do well and our blind spots through 360 feedback

5.   Get references but get the balance right; the best form of marketing is still positive word of mouth. Ask people for a LinkedIn recommendation. Do not ram your successes down the wrong channel i.e. Blatant showboating on WhatsApp groups when people cannot “unsubscribe” but do impart your knowledge (like I am now with this blog) on appropriate platforms.

Further reading;

Forbes: The 5 Most Effective Ways To Market Yourself (And They're All Free) here

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM): Marketing Analysis Portal (MAP) allows insight into capability gaps here

Article written by: Helen Christopher, FCIM Chartered Marketer