Marketers, what does your job really entail, and what should you be doing to move your company forward?
Whether you are in an exclusively marketing related job or have a different title but actively participate in marketing activities, it’s important to occasionally evaluate what you do. Technology and social media have rapidly changed marketing approaches as well as traditional advertising, and a marketer’s role has to change with the industry and the wider business climate.
Zweig Group’s 2016 Marketing Survey of A/E/P & Environmental Consulting Firms found that 86 percent of firms in the industry employ full-time dedicated marketing staff. Nearly 100 percent of firms with 250 or more people employed at least one full-time marketing person. Those in top leadership positions – presidents, vice presidents, and COOs – are most likely to take on the role of marketer, both when a firm has dedicated marketing staff and when they do not.
The most common job duties for marketing people include the development of brochures and other collateral, planning social media campaigns, graphic/web design, public relations, presentation development, and proposal development. Marketing directors specifically spend most of their time on business development activities and RFP/RFQ submissions. It’s been my experience consulting – especially at smaller, stable firms – that the marketing department spends most of its time on proposal development, with extra time spent on stable, repeating activities such as a newsletter, preparation for an annual event or tradeshow, and occasionally social media.
There is no denying the importance of these functions, but even if what you’re doing is working at the moment, change, flexibility, and creativity are going to be necessary if your firm is to thrive in the future. Consider adding these five things to your marketing to-do list every day.
- Do something creative. Draw something, write something, create an advertisement, compose a photo, or direct a movie clip. Get out of your comfort zone – creativity begets future creativity, something that is currency in today’s marketing environment. No matter your job role, I promise you’ll need this skill in 2017 and beyond!
- Commit to learning something new. Technology is changing at a rapid pace. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” try to learn how. This could be anything from a piece of software, a program, or a physical skill.
- Teach someone something. You will be surprised at what you can learn by teaching someone else. You may also find that by teaching and delegating certain aspects of your job they are done better by someone else and you are freed up to be more productive in other areas.
- Have a conversation with someone at the company about their job and what they are working on (this can be someone from any department). This is so important. Marketing has to stay connected to the daily work of the firm and its true purpose.
- Work on or get involved with a billable project. The 2016 Marketing Survey reported that 56 percent of respondents say their firm’s marketing staff work on billable projects. Like No. 4, staying connected with the work of the firm is the best way to understand its position in the market – its strengths, capabilities, and, most importantly, the people!
Christina Zweig is Zweig Group’s director of marketing. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.