17th of June

YOU DON’T HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT MARKETING TO BE A MARKETER


The other day, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who I first met via social media, but has become a close confidante and teacher.

We were talking about the various changes we’ve seen in the time we’ve known each other (close to 10 years now) and how these changes have impacted both our careers and the content we publish on our respective blogs.

While she continues to blog about marketing – but more slanted towards tech and how AI will impact business – I moved away from that a few years ago, to focus on more personal stuff.

I shared my thoughts on that decision in this post from April 2014, and I guess that’s culminated in the recent launch of my Turn Off the Overwhelm project.

As we talked, she asked whether I felt the move away from marketing-specific content had harmed me when it came to career choices, or “putting myself on the map more”.

After all, if I’m a marketer but I don’t blog about marketing, why would anyone hire me for a marketing role in their business?

While this wasn’t her point of view per se – she was simply asking as if from a hiring company viewpoint – it was a fair question, yet one I’ve never worried about.

Words, Like Clothes, Don’t Make the Person

One of the topics I consistently push back on is the “dress code argument”, where you can only be taken seriously in business if you dress for the part.

While I’m not advocating for cargo pants, tee, and sneakers for every job, to me it’s irrelevant what someone wears to do their job – the results come from the action(s) of that person, not their sartorial choice.

I’ve worked at some companies where the smartest dressed and – by association – smartest thinkers have been woefully underqualified, whereas the jeans and shirt wearer has brought home stellar results.

This isn’t the old boy and school tie network economy anymore. That died out a long time ago (except in some industries that seem destined to be stuck in the past).

Much like the presentation of an employee shouldn’t have a huge bearing on their ability to do the work, the words on a marketer’s blog shouldn’t dictate their ability to be a marketer.

I’ve been in marketing for over 20 years now, after gaining my marketing degree back in the UK.

During that time, I’ve been lucky enough to lead marketing initiatives for some of the most well-known B2C and B2B companies around, and privately consulted others on modernizing their marketing strategy and culture.

All this came from what I did for the company versus what I did for my blog. Not once in that time was I hired for writing something on my blog – while it may have helped in awareness of me, it meant squat when it came to the ability to do the job I was being scouted for.

Because, let’s face it, at the end of the day anyone can go Google strategy and tactics and use these results to publish something that makes them sound uber-smart.

Implementation and execution, though? Now that’s a different beast.

Marketing Isn’t Everything, But Everything is Marketing

And this is why, to my friend’s point, I don’t worry about my “prospects” when it comes to mot writing about marketing here on the blog.

My current role didn’t come as a result of the marketing content I was publishing here. If I was to leave that role at some point in the future, my next one wouldn’t be because of the marketing content I write here (probably because there is none these days!).

Instead, it’ll come from results I brought to my current role. It’ll come from references on past results at previous companies. And it’ll come because of the strategic ideas I share for the future of any new role and its place in the hiring company.

Marketing is a means to an end. It’s an important means, and you need to know your shit to be successful at it and bring the results you’re paid to bring.

But it’s just one facet of a far bigger picture.

The people stories that drive marketing, and the behaviours, interests, and intents of these people when it comes to services and products, are the dots that really start to connect everything.

Everything we do is marketing, whether we realize it or not.

The stories we share on our blogs. The behaviours we exhibit when sharing content, or consuming content. The simple act of what we stand for and what we fight against is us “marketing our preferences”.

All of these actions helps connect us with people that have the same outlook, or vision, or belief. Some of these people will be decision makers who want to bring our beliefs and viewpoints to their companies and help market it to their customers.

And none – or at least, very little – of that will come from blogging specifically about marketing.

Which, truth be told, is exactly how it should be.

Categories:  Online Marketing

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