As marketing professionals we have all been there. The seemingly endless and dreaded marketing job search. Most of us aren’t eager to repeat that process anytime soon. Unfortunately we are not always in control and in today’s market being downsized is much more common. So how do we make unemployment less likely to happen or at the very least less painful? First and foremost is to find out if you are a “Marketing Dinosaur” by pondering these questions:
- How willing are you to change from the way you do things now?
- How have you changed from the way you used to do things?
- Are you open to the new dynamics of content marketing and the benefits of social networking?
- How active are you on LinkedIn and community trade organizations?
- Do you have a mentor and who are your Marketing Thought Leaders?
- Can you do your job better?
If you’re feeling a little uncomfortable right now then continue reading. The good news is that a dinosaur doesn’t have to be old, and someone old doesn’t have to be a dinosaur. As an obsolete or outdated marketer you need to focus on changing the old way of doing things and adapting to the current approaches to make “you” better at your job.
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and brands need to evolve their strategies to meet the demands of the emerging digital world. To accommodate market changes savvy marketers are constantly getting better at what they do as their audiences become more discerning. The result is a do-or-die marketing landscape where only the most current marketers are surviving. There is no room for dinosaurs.
To enhance your marketability you need to continue to learn through professional development activities. Professional and continuing education activities, designed to keep you current in your field, come in all shapes and sizes and allow you to better anticipate changes, innovation, and opportunities that are on the horizon.
New websites, social media platforms, marketing automation, data analytics, webinars, blogs, training videos, and online education programs are coming out every day. The opportunity to learn something new is abundantly available and you better be making the most of it. Free and paid educational sites exist that include www.coursera.org, where you’ll find Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals, Introduction to Data Science, and Data Mining. Alison offers free certified learning with classes that include How to Build an Online Business, Google Analytics, Adobe Photoshop, Podcasting, UsingTwitter. Log onto LinkedIn’s purchase Lynda.com and sign up for Conversion Rates Optimization Fundamentals, SEO Fundamentals, GoogleAdwords Essential Training. Taking advantage of these training and certification opportunities will not only help keep you educated in your current position but will also speak highly to recruiters and hiring managers during resume reviews. Training demonstrates that an individual is interested in perfecting their skill sets as well as the desire to successfully evolve in a role or an organization.
Don’t forget about Google. There is literally nothing you can’t find on Google. YouTube has a “How to” video for anything and everything including How to Make a YouTube Video.
For those experienced traditional marketers that want to bone up on digital media try my personal favorite. HubSpot.com, provider of inbound marketing and sales software, isn’t afraid to put resource tools out there to help develop their offering. They provide marketing tools, eBooks, webinars, and templates for anyone at no charge as well as some fee-based certifications.
Know your Industry Thought Leaders
Do you know Jay Baer, Peter Shankman, Joe Pulizzi, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, Jeff Froman, Christopher Penn, Scott Monty, Ann Handley, Chris Anderson, Jeff Weiner, or Scott Stratten? If you don’t recognize most of these names then you have plenty of homework ahead of you. These are marketing industry leaders, authors, bloggers, and speakers. You need to pay attention, read, understand, discuss, follow, like, comment, and share the trends, knowledge, opinions, and methodologies of these and other professional, innovative, and successful leaders in your industry. Interviewers love to ask questions about ca candidate’s favorite book or thought leader. Don’t be caught off guard and ill prepared. Don’t be a Marketing dinosaur!
Check the Job Market
Even when you have a job it is good to check out today’s market. Observe what hiring managers are currently advertising for and what skill sets are being emphasized as important. Pay attention to the trending critical skill sets (hint Data! Data! Data!) and measure yourself. Is there something else you need to be doing to stay competitive and are you taking advantage of everything your current company has to offer for employee development?
Networking Where it Makes Sense
Join Meetups and Marketing trade organizations and connect with people directly related to your industry as well as industry suppliers, customers, and people working in related fields. These organizations usually meet monthly and provide access to some of marketing’s greatest thinkers, strategists, and authors like MapQuest Co-Founder, Chris Heivly, Target’s CMO, Jeff Jones, Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, Avinash Kaushik of Google, and Gert Garman of Disney. Also remember to be willing to genuinely help others while you have a job. To quote Chris Moody “Success is measured by your ability to help, influence and indoctrinate other groups.”
There’s no shortage of volunteer opportunities for marketers. Your local church, community shelters, charities, and animal rescue organizations like the HSUS and SPCA always need volunteers. Graphic designers can help with fundraising and event brochures, photographers can photograph available animals that are up for adoption, and social media pros can broadcast out the available fur balls to thousands in seconds. The rewards aren’t monetary but they are strong resume builders. These environments provide perfect training grounds to learn and develop your skill set.
Today’s technology moves quickly and while it means there is more to keep up with it also lowers the barrier to entry for information we need to keep ourselves competitive in the workplace. Don’t be a Marketing Dinosaur!