9 Ways to Be a Marketing Bad-Ass

Assistant Director of Marketing, Rhian Williams gives her tips on how to be the best marketer you can possibly be!

1. Always be polite and respectful even when being a bad ass! If you’re going to lose your sh*t, try and do it behind closed doors.

2. Understand the difference between a marketing or communications ‘policy’ and ‘strategy’ — for something to be a ‘strategy’ it does need to outline what is actually going to happen rather than just defining different audiences/markets, different channels/media, who does what , when etc…(this is a policy). A strategy is defined as “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”….the clue is in the word “action”. A policy is defined as “A statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol.

Global domination starts here!

3. The customer is King — understanding who your customers are is probably the single most important aspect of any organisational strategy. Does everyone in the organisation know exactly who the target market is for different products or services? You’d be surprised how many ‘front-line’ colleagues couldn’t differentiate between the wants, needs, desires and behaviours of different customer groups, and to understand how to address these. What are you doing to help your internal stakeholders fully understand their different customers?

4. Follow the 80/20 rule — 80% of all activity and budget should be spent in line with an agreed strategy and only 20% should be left for unexpected ‘surprises’. You will not get the desired results if you move away from this too much. However be prepared that this approach may not be popular — but this is a necessary part of being a marketing bad ass. Otherwise you’re just being an ass!

£35.50 left in the budget for team pizza! (I joke, I joke).

5. Relationships, relationships, relationships — mastering the art of effective relationship management in any marketing role is critical. However, this is often neglected and people often fail to appreciate that relationships are a two way process — you can’t expect everyone to work in the same way as you would like and sometimes you need to meet in the middle. At the start of a project identify the people who are pivotal to making a project successful, without whom the project could fail. If you can get their buy-in from the start, decisions can be made easier and quicker and often over email which doesn’t work if there isn’t a relationship already established. Is there something you can do in return for a key internal stakeholder, or what can you give back, to illustrate how committed you are to the working relationship?

6. Have your data to hand — a difference of opinion over a proposed activity should be settled using relevant data but you need this data immediately to hand before taking forward an opposing view. Have you got the right mechanisms in place to capture relevant customer feedback at appropriate touch points?

7. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket — thinking ‘Digital’ is critical — ignore the impact of an effective digital marketing strategy at your peril! However, digital marketing is not the solution to everything and you need a balanced approach to your strategy. For example, if the decisions of a handful of influential stakeholders will affect the future success of your business, developing relationships with these people with the hope of influencing their decision-making would have to take priority over a huge social media campaign if resources are finite.

8. Action! Fancy business cards, schmoozing, and endless conversations are all very well and good, but action DOES speak louder than words. Try and divide your time between the talking and the doing — let your reputation speak for itself through the results you deliver and the relationships you genuinely build. Silver embossed business cards are impressive to begin with but once the silver has worn off and the edges are frayed, they lose impact and look tired!

9. Sometimes it is not always possible to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s but you need to work out what is “liveable with” to drive a project forward to achieve a successful result. If in doubt, ask yourself “Is this proposed marketing or communications activity supporting the marketing strategy?” If it isn’t then don’t do it! Simples! You’d be surprised how often this is not followed.

What are your Marketing Boss tips? Tweet them to us @UniNorthants #UoN