5 Tips To Advance Your Marketing Career

5 Tips To Advance Your Marketing Career

by | Nov 4, 2020

What would it feel like to advance your marketing career to the next level, be respected, make more money, and love your job?

I’m sure all of us know the answer to this question!

In today’s rapidly changing world, marketing professionals are not only required to be digitally savvy strategists and leaders, but do everything better and faster with less. If you want to step up and stand out and advance your marketing career, you’ll need to master these 5 critical tips.

  1. Think Like a Leader

A mentor once told me, “Begin every conversation by asking yourself, ‘How can I make a meaningful difference?” And when you do, it changes how you think, what you say, and the conversations you have. Suddenly differences of opinion and small grievances fall away and give rise to new ways of thinking and opportunities you couldn’t see before. Sometimes the biggest problems are actually a chance to explore opportunities hidden in plain sight.

Professional Development
For leaders and aspiring leaders alike, learning is a lifelong passion that can change how you interact with the world. Contributing positive energy to a team helps you inspire and rally people to surpass their expectations – and this is the hallmark of a good leader. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and committing yourself to making the people around you successful and enhancing the company’s ability to propel customers toward realizing their goals, can advance your career and catapult you to greater success.

  1. Develop Your Personal Brand, Online, In Person, On Paper

Your resume or CV is important, but it’s not the most significant element of your job search! A resume can influence if you get in the door to talk with the hiring team or knock you out of the running by not conveying your fit for a specific role, but it won’t seal the deal. One of the first things hiring managers and recruiters do is search for you online, so keep your profiles consistent, focused on your goals, and looking good.

For marketing professionals both your offline and online brand is critical. Platforms such as LinkedIn are often an important part of the recruiting process. You can use online platforms and social to go beyond what’s on your resume to amplify your story and showcase your skills, expertise, values and how you give back to your community.

Stand Out and Move Up
Leverage Your Career Brand! Join AMA CT on Nov 17 at 7pm as Branding and career expert Loretta Stevens, Founder and CEO of Competitive Edge Branding, LLC, walks us through today’s hottest trends in marketing your personal brand to advance your marketing career!

  1. Communicate Well, Listen Even Better

Have you ever presented a topic and left people with eyes glazed over and blank stares? It’s a bad feeling, and it often begins when we try to showcase our expertise and technical proficiency prioritized over giving people what they actually need to address their pain points. Instead of concentrating on what you’re going to say next, actively listen, ask questions and make certain you understand what the other person is trying to convey.

To be a great communicator you need to know who you are, be sincere and develop confidence in yourself and your ability to connect with others. In our global society, many companies work with people all over the world so you should continually practice training and development to improve how you communicate online, by phone, and in-person.

Sell Yourself and Your Ideas

The ability to influence people and sell yourself and your ideas is essential in marketing. It’s not enough to say, ‘I’ve got great communication skills’ or ‘I play well in the sandbox,’ instead you should perfect the art of telling an interesting story around your accomplishments. It also helps to practice the art of small talk because it makes us more human and can be a real stress-buster in negotiations.

Marketers who present themselves and their topic well, are knowledgeable, prepared and can sincerely and comfortably communicate often get promoted. CMOs look for people with the potential to become future leaders and traits such as preparedness, sincerity, resilience, confidence, charisma, and the ability to inspire and rally people around a vision.

Being able to consistently speak knowledgeably about the company sets you apart, shows you care and earns trust. Sometimes marketers who are less experienced or new on their jobs freeze up in meetings and interviews because they’re nervous, or worse, simply show up unprepared. Effective leaders and decision-makers admire team members at any level in their career who are prepared and can speak with clarity and confidence about the company, products, initiatives and concerns. Bottom line: No matter what your role in marketing, you should be able to confidently grow business and explain how you would do it, why you’re uniquely qualified, and what sets you apart from others.

  1. Level Up Your Digital Marketing Skills

2020 has been a year like we’ve never seen before and has seen marketers are struggling to keep up with current events dramatically accelerating digital adoption and shaping marketing trends. Because of this, there are some hot digital marketing skills that are in serious demand. Even if your career is concentrated in a different area, curiosity and knowledge of these skills can give you an advantage over other job seekers. It’s always beneficial to seek professional development and expand your knowledge in these sought-after segments. For example, McKinsey & Company talks about the ‘new normal’ following the pandemic and how motivated marketers can “reimagine and modernize” their playbooks. What skills will you need to develop?

Source: McKinsey & Company Reimagining Marketing in the Next Normal

  1. Document & Show Your Biggest Wins

As part of your personal brand you should be able to talk about, and show big impact projects you’ve been involved in and the results they yielded. Ideally you should keep an online portfolio that accurately highlights your value, accomplishments, collaboration, and credibility. Did you make things more efficient? Launch a podcast? Partner with sales? Run a high-performing email campaign? Participate in a training and development course? It’s about being not just a producer but a value creator and strategic thinker. Remember, if you don’t promote and celebrate your achievements, you might lose out on a position to another marketing professional who does.

When you proactively manage your marketing career, you don’t always have to move up the ladder to advance. And it isn’t only about the money. Although fair compensation is important and you should always know your worth, advancing your career might mean aligning your job with your passions, more time with family, working a four day week, pivoting into a new area of expertise, switching industries, moving from a small company to a large or from a startup to a non-profit.

It can be frustrating to feel like you’re not making progress and growing your career. While none of us can predict what the next year will bring, it’s likely that the world won’t return to how it was. If you are willing to enroll in professional development and commit yourself to these 5 marketing career advancement tips you’ll be more in–demand, get closer to where you imagine you should be, and grow your career.

Stand Out and Move Up
Leverage Your Career Brand! Join AMA CT on Nov 17 at 7pm as Branding and career expert Loretta Stevens, Founder and CEO of Competitive Edge Branding, LLC, walks us through today’s hottest trends in marketing your personal brand to advance your marketing career!

About the Author

Chief Experience Officer, Kelly Ashton Bradley is AMA-CT President elect (2021-2022) and a master brand builder. She leads companies through the art and strategy of creating a purpose-led brand as a powerful statement for greater impact. kellyashtonbradley.com.