It’s a fact that marketing can make or break a business. Gone are the days when marketing was an isolated element, or an afterthought, in the business world. Now, it is inseparable from a business’s successful foundation and future growth.
It is also a highly complex industry that is anything but static. Instead, it contains many moving parts. It requires thought, planning, and flexibility. Because it has developed into such an active field, some of the brightest minds have made it their chosen career. But with this comes fierce competition.
If you are a marketer, chances are you put in the time, education, and energy for success. But how do you gain that competitive edge that can help you stand out from other top professionals? It can be as easy as implementing small but effective habits into your work routine.
We’ve compiled 10 of the best habits that you can start today. Read on to learn more.
1. Stay Focused on Relationships
Something that many people in the industry lose sight of is the drive for relationship building. The heart of marketing is in connecting with people.
Crafting a connection with someone is far more likely to get them interested in your product than dull, impersonal tactics. When it comes to staying focused on relationships, there are a few routes you can take.
Consider the Customer When Crafting Content
You should follow strategies that will lead to a relationship with your desired audience. If you want to boost sales and revenue only in the short term, the creation of one-time buyers is a desirable outcome.
But, if you want to sustain long-term growth for your business, you need to build relationships with customers through the content you create. You want them to trust and engage with your brand regularly. This is how you find people that are loyal to the brand.
When it comes to the creation of your content, strive to be:
- Personable – When you are writing with a specific audience in mind, it helps to come across as personable. Some people are quick to mistake warmth with unprofessionalism. However, this isn’t the case. If a relaxed, more informal tone is appropriate for your particular brand, then that’s great. But, you can still be personable while maintaining a more formal tone in your writing. Look for small ways to make your writing and content more amiable.
- Engaging – Consumers are exposed to a vast number of different messages every day. Everyone is fighting for their spot at the table. They want to capture the consumer’s attention. So how can you make your message stand out from the crowd? You need to engage the person reading your article or watching your video in the first few seconds. These early moments are some of the most crucial for keeping someone’s attention locked in on your product.
- Action-oriented – In good marketing, you will find a call to action. You want people to take action – usually by going out and buying the product or service you’re selling. The language that you use shouldn’t be pushy or over-the-top. But you can provide consistent, gentle reminders to the consumer. Remind them to take that action and how it will benefit them.
Constantly Build Your Professional Network
In addition to the audience you’re trying to target, focus on the professional relationships you have all around you. This is something that Eric Siu and Neil Patel hit home in their popular podcast “Marketing School”.
Siu, founder, and CEO of Click Flow, and Neil Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital, are both nationally recognized marketers and get together to offer advice to marketers at all different points in their careers. The two industry professionals often emphasize that a career in marketing is a social one.
You can only go so far if you are relying solely on yourself and your talents. You need to be able to collaborate with those around you. It is also valuable to know when to ask for help. To build up your professional relationships, consider some of these tips:
- Official partnerships and joint projects – Partnerships and joint projects can be a great way to improve your network. They can be within your own company or even between companies. Bringing in people you don’t usually work with can stimulate more creativity.
- Conferences – Professional conferences are a fantastic way to maintain professional relationships. They apply to every career field, but especially to marketing. Look for local ones or take a trip out of town. You can meet new people and share ideas.
2. Invest in Education
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to never stop learning. Digital marketing and business optimization leader Rajendra Singh Bhadoriya makes a point of this in his various publications. You need to invest in education for yourself. If you don’t brush up on your skills, you run the risk of falling behind. This is especially true if you know it takes time for you to pick up new skills. The industry is continually shifting, and you need to be able to tackle the changes it presents to you.
On a similar note, you should also consider sharing your knowledge with others. Becoming a teacher allows you to constantly review and practice skills you already have. Plus, working with young minds can be useful. They may approach a problem in a way you’ve never considered. Fresh perspectives are always a plus.
If you are very advanced in your field, you may want to consider teaching at a small college or a large university. You can also offer courses and seminars to younger audiences that want to begin building professional skills. Making the marketers of tomorrow will help you be a stronger one today.
3. Practice Your Storytelling
In many ways, marketing is just storytelling. You have a structure that typically consists of a beginning, a middle, and an end. You want to present the story to potential customers, have them understand it, and move them to action.
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You have to be creative if you want to make it in this career. To be a successful marketer, you should try to practice your storytelling skills. There is no wrong way to do this, but a few ideas include:
- Engage in public speaking – This is an essential skill for all professional marketers to have. You need to be able to pitch your ideas to companies while articulating yourself well. This is why you should look for opportunities to strengthen that skill. For example, at gatherings for friends and family, prepare a speech and ask if you can deliver it.
- Watch live performances – This may seem like an odd way to practice your storytelling skills, but don’t dismiss it right away. Live performance, especially theatre, has been at the root of human storytelling for thousands of years. If done well, it can capture a person’s attention and move them deeply. If you see a live show, try to analyze how it connects to its audience.
- Write creatively – Even if you don’t consider yourself a skilled creative writer, sitting down and trying to write a short story is still a great way to practice your skills. What you write is just for you.
4. Keep Up With Trends in Tech
Technology has a significant influence on how business is conducted. This, in turn, affects how companies market themselves and who they market to.
For example, a decade or so ago, social media marketing was hardly something that people thought about. But now it is an integral element of most business marketing plans across the world. As a professional, it is your job to read the news and keep up with the latest tech trends.
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You never know when the next super trend is about to take off. And when it does, you want to be a master of it.
5. Stay Organized
With any job you have, staying organized will only aid you in your career – but it is essential if you hope to be a successful marketer. It is fair to assume that you’re handling multiple projects at once. If you aren’t organized and able to prioritize them, you may be unable to give all of your pitches, projects, and ideas the attention they need.
Stay organized in:
- Physical files – If you have a desk at the office, keep it clean. Make sure your space reflects an organized mind. A clean and organized workspace is also more professional, especially if you work in a shared office. Or, let’s say you have a more mobile office style. For example, maybe you freelance and work out of coffee shops. Make sure you have everything with you before you leave that you need to be productive.
- Online data – If you do a lot of work online and on your computer, keep your digital files tidy as well. Delete files you no longer need. Tag and categorize all your digital content so that you can find it quickly. Also, make sure that you stay up to date on all of your virus protection.
6. Trust in the Data
A successful marketing campaign will always be data-driven. Your campaign should draw on past reports and create data for future ones.
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You should build your strategy based on the information you receive about your target audiences and their behaviors. When in doubt, always go back to the numbers.
7. Follow Your Competitors
To maintain an edge in the industry, make sure that you keep up with your competitors. Just like you, they will be trying to launch new and exciting projects. Part of your job is paying attention to their efforts. They might be working on a hot new idea that you can also explore.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. There are even programs that monitor all these platforms for you.
8. Communicate Effectively with Your Team
In the world of marketing, you often work better in a team. That is why you need to know how to communicate with your team effectively. If there is clear communication among team members, you will all be at your most productive and most creative. You should, therefore, have strong interpersonal skills.
If you are in charge of a team, make sure to manage them fairly but effectively. You can do this by regularly checking in with them and setting clear deadlines.
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In addition to your immediate team members, you should communicate well with other departments. For example, in his LinkedIn article about mastering marketing skills, Paul Petrone suggests that marketers should learn more from the sales department. Understanding the sales process will help you do your job better.
9. Think About the Short-Term and Long-Term
Another thing that you can do to be successful is to analyze all possible outcomes of a potential campaign or project. You want to consider how it will affect your company in the short-term. But you should also think ahead and predict how it may affect your company in the long-term.
By running through a list of possible outcomes, it may help you avoid undesired ones. For example, your team may be working on an idea to boost immediate sales by introducing a sensational celebrity as a spokesperson. But while thinking about the long-term effects of using this celebrity, you realize that they are a loose cannon and may not be worth the risk to your public image.
10. Remember to Evaluate
Last but not least, remember to evaluate your progress. One of the best ways to improve your current self is to learn from the past.
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Once a project comes to a close, take stock of what went well and what didn’t go well during the process. Brainstorm ways to improve your techniques before the next project. Jayson DeMers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, talks about this in one of his industry articles.
As you move forward in your marketing career, remember that you have a daily commitment to being your best. You should always take time to self-reflect and think about how you might incorporate more of these helpful habits.