Being a marketer is a pretty great gig, most of the time.
There’s always something new to do, so you’re never, ever bored.
But then again, you’re never really “done” with anything either.
I chose my top 5 great (and terrible) things about being a marketer and, since I’m a content marketer, turned them into a SlideShare.
Great: Marketers Have a Great Diversity of Skills
Writing articles, designing infographics, analyzing data, setting up landing pages — there are a lot of skills required on a marketing team.
These diverse needs attract a wide variety of personalities to the profession, including those who don’t have formal training in marketing at all. Input from multiple sources can lead to creative solutions and exciting collaboration opportunities.
By throwing together professionals with different backgrounds, personalities, and skill sets, marketing has the potential to push us beyond our comfort zones and into new and challenging experiences.
For many of us, this makes coming to work a genuinely enjoyable experience.
Terrible: Potential for Personality Conflicts
Unfortunately, when you put dissimilar people on a team there’s also potential for some clashes.
Marketing managers sometimes have to act as referees when the data nerds start insisting that the writers focus more on ROI and less on flowery language.
Meetings can sometimes feel more like battles of wills, with neither side willing to give an inch or admit a fault. Strong management is key to overcoming these pitfalls.
Agile teams typically have a better shot at cohesion than marketing departments that run on traditional waterfall principles, but marketers will sometimes need to work a little harder than some other teams to get to a place of unity and cooperation.
Great: Instant Feedback on Your Work
When you’re sharing a lot of what you create, you get the benefit of instant input from your audience and peers.
People retweet your clever post, they open and click on your emails, and they visit your website. You can see these numbers in real time and feel really good about the impact that you’re having.
This kind of feedback loop can be really encouraging, driving you on to create more and better resources to share with what you imagine to be adoring fans just dying to see what you’ll do next.
We marketers don’t get to feel like rock stars very often, but when your latest Slideshare blows up it’s pretty darn close.
Terrible: Instant Feedback on Your Work
Of course, the flipside to getting positive feedback right away is getting negative feedback (or none at all) in real time.
When you work hard on an article and triumphantly share it on social media but get absolutely no engagement, it can be gut wrenching.
The challenge is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and create all over again.
Fortunately as marketers we should have access to lots of data that helps us understand why nobody responded to our latest campaign. We have the unique opportunity to learn from and adapt to failures so that they turn into future success.
Great: Winning the Sales Funnel
You’ve carefully mapped out your customer journey, lovingly crafted content to guide them through each phase, and set it all free to help drive sales. The numbers start climbing, and they just keep going up. You are totally the boss of the sales funnel.
This kind of success is particularly great for marketers because it ties our work to real, actual dollars coming into the company.
Sometimes other departments tire of hearing us go on about brand awareness and other less tangible marketing metrics, so “we drove X% of new sales” is nice to say.
Terrible: The Sales Team Disconnect
For most of us the final piece of the sales process rests outside of marketing and with the sales team, which means that no matter how awesome we might be at driving leads to them, they have the potential to ruin it completely.
We spend weeks writing, designing, and promoting a new white paper. It gets shared all over the place, and the CRM can barely keep up with all the leads it’s driving.
Then you walk through sales and overhear things like, “Oh, well, I’m sorry to hear that. Please keep us in mind for the future.”
Sales numbers stagnate, and you get no credit for your successful efforts.
No doubt about it, being saddled with a less-than-stellar sales team can definitely be a downside of being a marketer.
Great: Social Media for the Win!
After years of careful experimentation you feel like you’ve really mastered the crucial social media channels.
You’ve crafted an engaged and loyal following for your brand across multiple channels, and they respond well to what you share. And all of this despite early skepticism from executives about “this whole Twitter thing.”
Even better, you can see real results being driven from your social media efforts, including traffic and conversions. You are, indeed, a social media maven.
Terrible: I Just Can’t Even…
Your friends and family actually don’t believe that you work on social media for a living, because they haven’t seen you post anything on your personal accounts in months.
After living inside social networks for hours everyday, it’s impossible for you to summon the energy to log back in after hours. As a result your own virtual networks and personal brand can suffer.
So many tweets, so little time.
What Are You Great/Terrible Marketing Moments?
What else belongs on this list? Share your own great and terrible parts of being a marketer in the comments!
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