7 Surefire Ways to Limit Your B2B Marketing Career Advancement

7 surefire ways to limit career advancement.pngI read a post on the surfing blog The Inertia the other day titled “9 Surefire Ways to Get Punched in the Mouth While Surfing.”

And while this has absolutely nothing to do with B2B marketing, demand generation, MarTech or content marketing, it did cause me to reflect on some of the things I’ve seen marketers do on the job that can only be described as career-limiting.

Just to be clear, I’m not advocating that anyone be punched in the mouth for committing any of the below (it’s better just to imagine it). Besides, they’re already hurting themselves.

Here’s my quick list.

1. Reject the tech

We all hate dealing with new logins, learning new systems and adjusting our established processes to accommodate software rollouts. And the irritation is understandable, especially for us marketers when we’re usually dealing with marketing tech stacks made up of no fewer than 10-15 tools (not to mention all the other systems we use for travel booking, expense reports, payroll, training, etc.).

But when you stubbornly drag your feet on learning to use new software applications, you’re not just stalling your own productivity, but that of your entire team.

Establish goals and timelines for any software implementation that everyone signs off on. Working out the resistance and making compromises before you get started is key to having everyone’s expectations aligned – and enforceable if necessary.

5 software licenses.jpg

“Ron, are you sure the company didn’t buy five software licenses?”
Business photograph designed by creativeart - Freepik.com

2. Be the quiet type...or the loudmouth

There’s two sides to this one, and both can be bad for your career advancement: speaking up too little or talking ad nauseum. I struggle with the first myself. I was taught not to interrupt people, and marketing meetings or conference calls can quickly turn into wars of attrition where people speak louder and louder until others back down. I feel physically uncomfortable when this occurs, and often tune out of the conversation as a result.

HOWEVER, when you’re too shy (or polite) to jump into a business conversation and voice your opinion, your silence can be misinterpreted as one of several negative characteristics: apathetic, uncreative, unknowledgeable, lazy, etc.   

On the other hand, when you’re always the person who must be heard and steamrolls conversations, it can slowly create resentment with coworkers. They’ll then find new channels of communication to ensure their opinions are heard, bypassing you and your ideas. This isn’t good either.

It’s smart to balance how often and the manner in which you express your ideas. Pick your battles, as they say, and be the expert in your area of responsibility.

softly spoken club.jpg“I’d like to be the first to welcome you to the softly-spoken-yet-highly-productive bean bag team. Please use hand gestures from this point on.”
Business photograph designed by katemangostar - Freepik.com

3. Badmouth the the contract closers

I noted the importance of not deriding sales in a blog a couple months back. It’s worth noting again.

Sure, certain sales reps can be overbearing and full of themselves; case in point: Ben Henson

ben henson.jpg

…I’m kidding.

But while sales reps like Ben may wax endlessly on how great life is in Bend, Oregon (seriously, don’t get him started on this topic), they’re also the closers.

Sales is marketing's most important teammate, and attending to the buyer’s journey is like a relay race; your team may comprise four Usain Bolts, but it’s not going to matter much if you can’t figure out how to pass the baton. And this can’t happen effectively without trust and mutual respect between sales and marketing.

4. Star in The Hangover

Socializing over a few drinks at company engagements or corporate-sponsored events is pretty much a marketing necessity. It’s easier for people to forge lasting bonds when they’re letting loose and having a good time.

And yes, this may even include making a bit of an ass out of yourself during karaoke. But there's a line, and most of us have witnessed someone backflipping over that line and into some pretty bad consequences.

I once saw a newly hired marketer get really drunk at the company’s annual summit, overtly harass a few coworkers with what I’m sure he thought was George Clooney-like charm, and then pull the glasses from an exec’s face before trotting out to the dance floor wearing them. He wasn't at the company much longer.

We all make mistakes, but some are inexcusable. And there seems to be a positive correlation between these incidents and not handling one’s alcohol.

Further, the occasional hangover should be concealed at all cost. Not even getting drunk with a prospective customer to close a deal is an excuse for not handling work the next day. Pack a few of these in your luggage if you no longer have a 23-year-old’s metabolism.

wine before brunch.jpg“Few more of these and I’ll be ready for that company brunch.”
Business photograph designed by katemangostar - Freepik.com

5. Flaunt your MQL metrics

This one is kind of like #1 – it’s about change management. The expectations placed on marketing teams have grown substantially in recent years. Lead volume is no longer a strong KPI.

In fact, a poll we took in a recent webinar on demand orchestration showed that “pipeline value/opportunity creation” is the top B2B marketing success metric.

This means our jobs have become harder, and the challenges will only multiply. But it also means the importance of marketing has grown, and thus career-advancement opportunities for those who drop the “marts and crafts” mindset and acknowledge that slinging branded knickknacks at events and even focusing on top-funnel lead gen won’t do much for company growth or your career development.

6. Job hop like it's a race 

Actually, this is a controversial topic – studies have shown that “staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime.” I just put this one in here because we’re losing a well-respected member of our marketing team who’s moving to Utah to join a hippy snowboarder commune or something…and it’s fun to give her a hard time about it. 

Seriously though, remember the MarTech world is small and word travels fast. If you’re going to jump, try not to burn bridges in the process. In fact, there’s an increasingly good chance you end up in the Boomerang club.

7. Write a passive-aggressive, thinly veiled blog post about co-workers

Hey, you should write about what you know. And though I’m far guiltier of most of the above than any of my co-workers, I’m sure I’ll receive a few unkindly worded emails for this one. Worth it.

taken into the garage.jpg“No, no, it’s just a coincidence we’re all going down to the parking garage at the same time, David.”
Business photograph designed by katemangostar - Freepik.com




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