It’s the end of the quarter on a Monday morning. You wake up, stumble into the bathroom, and catch a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror. You notice how “out of it” you look after spending yet another Sunday night preparing “the spreadsheet” for your big marketing meeting today. Your boss, a new VP of Operations named Brad, recently gave you a great review, but you wonder if he truly knows what you do.
Peering at yourself in the mirror, it seems like a few more gray hairs have cropped up since you last checked, so you sigh, head to the shower, and get ready. Thoughts swirl around inside your head, and before you know it, you’re having a full-blown conversation with yourself as the Keurig gurgles making your first cup of butter toffee coffee.
Does Anyone Know What I Do?
That one question sticks in your mind as you ease into your dining room chair. What used to be the place where friends would gather over too many glasses of wine has turned into your remote office… the place where you spend 50+ hours per week rushing from Zoom call to Zoom call, to Teams, to Outlook, and back to Zoom.
Finally, these words exit your lips, “How do I explain my job to Brad and everyone else?”
The Answer is in the Question
You are a marketer. A marketer’s primary job is to “promote” something. And now, more than ever, you not only have to promote your company’s products and services but also promote yourself. While the goals set by your organization include selling, you won’t get anywhere unless you internally promote YOU.
So where do you start?
Qualities of a Marketer
Flipping the script a bit from the challenges you face each day, including hammering away composing posts that get clicks, retweeting, re-sharing, and split testing, you must educate and evangelize to the C-Suite so they comprehend what you do. You’ve got to start speaking their language, and that begins with an understanding of your unique impact on the organization.
Several qualities are needed to be a great marketer, and while this list isn’t comprehensive, it illustrates actionable steps on how to evangelize both your company’s products and your role:
- Research and Data Analysis
As you know, interpreting metrics and identifying key performance indicators is at the heart of marketing. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, and why, you’ll never be able to measure the success of your campaigns. Likewise, with your managers who may or may not understand what success in your role is, you may need to provide data to show them what you do.
- Creative Communication
An excellent marketer has written and verbal communication skills. They can break down complex concepts into ideas that anyone can understand. The most skilled communicators use stories and visual aids to convey their ideas and answer that one big question on every customer’s mind – “What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)” Similarly, you need to communicate your role to everyone inside your organization, and especially your boss, by using the same tactics. Start with the WIIFM and communicate your value to the higher-ups. Share your successes by using words that appeal to their bottom line. This will make you an indispensable employee, rather than a line item.
- Organization and Planning
While most people think they are organized and methodical, real-life shows a different story. Your ability to cut through the chatter, assemble data and people, and chart a course towards a goal, is the real test of organization. You must think through all of the avenues to get to where you want to be, and that includes a course to the goals of gaining more responsibility, resources, promotions, and accolades from your superiors.
- Teamwork and Leadership
While leadership is not the major function of all marketers, the ability to motivate others, both inside and outside of your team, is. You have to champion your ideas (and yourself) while completing the smaller tasks to get to where you want to be. As a marketer, you’ll need to depend on others, and get buy-in from your organization’s leaders for any resources can get. This takes a mix of both being a team player and leading the way toward desired outcomes.
Summing it All Up
Explaining your efforts and results to anyone outside of your team may prove to be a challenge, but as a marketer, you’re up for it. Once you’ve mastered the intricacies of marketing, you can use what you’ve learned to shamelessly self-promote within your organization. With a combination of analysis, communication, planning, and leadership, you can ensure that your manager sees the value of what you do. All of this will lead to your success. For all of the Sunday evenings that you pounded away at your laptop, you owe it to yourself to use all the skills you have in your toolbox to promote your own work to the C-Suite.