As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing I am extremely proud to be part of the CIM Mentoring programme and over the past couple of year's it's been a real privilege to support and learn from young marketers who are at the very start of their professional journey.
When I look back at the past 27 years so much as changed. I started off stuffing thousands of envelopes so that clients were up to date with news, events, products and services and now, nearly three decades on, thousands if not millions of people can access information at the touch of a button.
But there are some fundamental marketing principles that haven’t changed a bit and in a way it’s comforting to know that however tech savvy we now might be, the building blocks of any good marketing department are still complex, critical and sometimes tricky to put in place. So, what are they?
Good communication. To be a successful marketer good communication with your 'client' and the stakeholders involved in business is key. It’s a marketers responsibility to help the business understand how strategic marketing can and needs to be, what it actually is and what it means to their business, how it is going to be delivered and what it can achieve. For those businesses that think they know marketing they may need to think again.
Mis-conception is the bug bear of many marketing professionals and so it’s important to make sure that all stakeholders agree, at the very beginning, on what they believe the priorities are, how much they have to spend, how it’s going to be delivered and who is going to deliver it.
They need to put their in the ‘chosen one’, giving them an opportunity to do what in their professional opinion, needs to be delivered to achieve results, without compromising the integrity of the business or the sometimes complex relationships within it. If you don’t follow this simply mantra then you can waste a whole lot of time managing people rather than marketing.
Plan - some businesses are great at planning and know exactly what direction they want to go in. Others don't and that's OK. Marketing has an important role to play in helping an organisation understand their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so that they can see a clear way forward and then understand exactly how marketing can protect, influence and help them to achieve their goals.
Project manage – one of the best qualities a successful marketer can have is to be able to juggle all the 'marketing balls' in the air at the same time. Prioritisation is key - daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and understanding what’s important to the business, to a person, to a strategy, to successful delivery is critical. Communication and project management go hand in hand.
It's not simply just about digital - digital marketing has a really important part to play in any marketing plan but it should be one element of an intricate spiders web of activity - all of which is designed to speak to the right people. in the right way, using the right channel, at the right time. Maybe it’s my age but I think it's dangerous for any business to put all their eggs in a digital basket.
Marketing is a powerful tool that any business can benefit from but for it to work businesses of all shapes and sizes need to let it in, they need to understand and trust it. Marketers need to put relationships, planning and priorities first. They need to understand the DNA of the business so they can deliver exactly what's needed when it's needed most. It’s all about understanding, respect, collaboration and trust.
It's still one of the best jobs in the world and I'm lucky and proud to have decided way back in the 1980's that this was the life for me!