Wondering if marketing is a good career choice for you?
A reporter recently asked me for my insight and advice on career choices for would-be marketing professionals. In case you're wondering the same thing, here's what I shared:
What Kind of Person is a Good Fit for a Marketing Career?
Marketing is such a broad career that you need to figure out what kinds of companies you plan to work at before deciding on an initial area of specialization.
For example, suppose you plan to work at startups, small businesses, or very small marketing teams. In that case, the right person needs to be extremely resourceful and exceptionally versatile -- as you'll likely wear at least a dozen different hats at some point during the year.
If you work for a mid-market or enterprise-sized company, you'll likely end up specializing in one particular facet of marketing such as content, search, social, video, copywriting, graphic design, UI UX, field marketing, brand marketing, or channel partner marketing.
No matter where you end up, marketers that do well end up having strong written and verbal communications, great time management and project management chops, and a neverending thirst to learn.
My Career Path in Marketing
I am 31x certified by HubSpot Academy, including in Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Digital Advertising, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Sales Enablement.
I began my career marketing and selling higher education PC hardware and software solutions for IBM Academic Information Systems (ACIS) and supported high-leverage co-marketing campaigns.
I’m a former Microsoft Corporation content provider for and an advisor to the Small Business Server (SBS) product teams and small business channel partner teams in Redmond, Washington.
I’ve led marketing for a venture-based B2B SaaS company that’s applying AI in the accounting and enterprise finance space.
Most of what I consult on now centers around digital transformation, go-to-market content strategy for mid-Market and enterprise IaaS, SaaS, and Fintech.
Best Parts of a Marketing Career
I can significantly impact each client's differentiation, thought leadership brand, competitive positioning, sales cycle acceleration, and revenue growth.
You never get bored. Especially when working with B2B technology clients (mostly IaaS, SaaS, and Fintech), their industries change incredibly fast. While digital marketing changes ever quicker.
Worst Parts of a Marketing Career
When working with non-marketers (small business owners, entrepreneurs, and founders), you need to spend a lot of time on education and managing expectations. Non-marketers many times have wildly unrealistic expectations around time to results and costs/investments.
Many are also relatively new to balancing search vs. content, organic search vs. paid search, search vs. social -- and even why content and user experience matter more than just about anything.
When it comes to B2B technology companies, you will, by definition, get a lot of interest from companies whose business models aren't strong enough to afford paid search and paid social -- and are looking for you to perform marketing miracles in wildly unrealistic time frames.
Advice if You’re Considering a Career in Marketing
Always be learning and always be applying.
For example, if you take a course on content marketing, use what you learned to write an eBook, build a conversion path, start a blog, launch a podcast, and engage on relevant social channels.
How to Find the Best Career Opportunities as Marketing Professional
If only I had the crystal ball! But here’s my take:
Where you choose to work and who you choose to work for can enormously impact the kinds of marketing you work on.
In many companies, marketing professionals are treated as subordinates to sales professionals.
Since strong marketers can make a major impact on company growth both within the sales team and in many other areas of the company, it's best to seek out career opportunities where either you or your marketing leader has complete autonomy to prioritize what's best for the business and for customers -- rather than being glorified order takers for a sales team that controls the marketing budget and marketing strategy.
There is so much opportunity for marketing professionals in a digital-first world to make an enormous impact on company growth.
What other questions do you have starting a career in marketing? Let me know in the comments below.