How to get a promotion in Marketing;

How to get a promotion in Marketing;

Senior Marketing Strategist Owen Rosinger breaks down the highway to becoming a Marketing Exec.

Owen Rosinger HeadShot Author of "How to get a promotion in Marketing"

For such a complex industry, it hardly seems fair when a marketing role gets reduced to just social media posts and debating what hashtags will hit the right spot. #dailygrind #youreworthmore. But there is a light at the end of the insta tunnel – the recognition (and pay raises) you deserve are within reach. No matter how you found the career ladder, climbing it is a matter of careful planning. Here are some executive tips to mount your own personal campaign and make the right people look in the right direction: at you.

#1 – A solid work ethic means solving problems.

The secret to finding a balance between ‘boring automaton’ and being ‘argumentative’ at work isn’t about personality. The sweet spot is how you are approaching the challenges brought to your desk.

No matter how serious the problem, try bringing a solution or strategy to the table every time. You can’t fix everything with a snap of the fingers, but presenting thoughtful options will both make you look good to the boss and give you a head start controlling the situation. Not only is it a valuable skill, but it’s also a good way of showing your value without blowing your own trumpet, an attractive work ethic when the time to talk about promotion rolls around.

#2 – To gain trust, show you’re trustworthy.

Here’s an unpopular truth – your boss doesn’t want to micromanage you. Unfortunately, many managers default to micromanagement when they don’t trust the effectiveness of the actions performed by their marketing personnel. Fortunately, this can tell you a lot about their concerns and what you can do to step up your game.

If you want to be the right candidate for more responsibility (and the higher pay that goes with it) you’ll need to show that you’re the one managing projects – not just doing the legwork. I’ll dive into more detail in the following tips, but it’s important to keep this in mind as you read on.

#3 – It’s hard to see what you can’t measure.

Metrics are your friends. They may differ from one company to another, but there is always a way your boss will be measuring success or profitability, so don’t be shy to ask them what these metrics are. Finding ways to contribute towards said metrics will only increase your value, and give you another way to step up that ladder.

#4 – The sales team and you.

Many people make a mistake by thinking if their job title doesn’t include the word ‘sales’, then it’s ‘not their circus, not their monkeys’. The truth is there’s more than one way to bring in sales revenue, and you can add to the companies profits by keeping your eyes open for opportunities.

Ask your team how they manage sales. Learning more only opens more doors, and gives you an opportunity to angle and refine your own work to add value, or approach your tasks in a way that opens more doors for revenue to come flowing in. Attributing revenue gains to your name is one of the most powerful ways to show proof of value to your employer.

#5 – You can’t be versatile if you don’t try new things.

It is true, experimentation can have a reputation for being risky, but the truth is you can’t be original if you can’t break the mould. A unique masterpiece never comes from following a recipe, and you can’t stand out at work if you let your perspective or practices become rigid.

It does take courage, but trying new things will always bring you either direct profit, or valuable experience, which are both vital to building a successful (and financially rewarding) career in marketing.

#6 – Avoid the trap; you’re not a pawn.

Successful marketing involves many different talents. Even the ‘simplest’ social media posts involve a mountain of skills: Market & Competitor Research, Hashtag & Trend Research, Photography, Filming, Editing, Graphic Design, and Copywriting, just to name a few…

Whatever your skill level is in each of these fields, they all take time. Trying to perform all of these tasks by yourself is possible, but showing your boss that you’re a strategic, lateral thinking marketer with all that going on is impossible. For example, if you were the producer of a blockbuster film, would you speak with a conductor of an orchestra when it came time to compose the music? Or would you try your best to master over 20 different musical instruments and play the parts yourself?

An executive marketing professional needs to have the big picture in mind to generate a higher quantity of marketing content, at higher professional quality, and with greater room for experimentation (and yes, even room for some “failure” or “teachable moments”). Like with a financial investment strategy, you have to give yourself room to invest your time in multiple parallel projects. This will result in a higher turn-over of successful projects which will look better to your boss, and also protect your personal interests. After all, no one wants to find out that the one project that took their heart and soul is destined for the trash can. It doesn’t look great to upper management, and it’s a heartbreak you can avoid with smart planning.

#7 – Show leadership by sourcing leadership opportunities.

Especially if you’re starting out, it is not uncommon to think that your boss may have hired you to “fill a gap”. There’s no shame in that kind of role and it’s a great place to start, but if you want to develop past the gap-filler position, it’s up to you to do the groundwork. You may have the skills or potential to lead, but to realise it you’ll have to take initiative to see and manage the bigger picture.

So take the time to explore new tactics, investigate areas that have been neglected or never touched and present some new concepts every once in a while. It’ll keep your ideas fresh, your skills sharp, and the boss’s eyes on you when the next big opportunity is on the table.

#8 – Build a team you can trust.

Bettering your position and managing projects strategically and laterally means you’ll need to find a trusted team. When you start making big promises, it’s important that the people reporting to you are people you trust. After all, they’ll be the ones helping you to deliver. Be sure to build mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals and creatives who understand your goals (not just the company’s) and are driven to help you reach them.

Professionally, it’ll benefit your work, but having a team you trust will also ease the daily grind, keep your projects balanced, and help prevent burnout as you build your career.

Ready, Set, Go!

It can be a real challenge tailoring advice to fit your own situation, but it’s never too early to start brainstorming. If you’d like to know where to start, that’s where creative agencies (yes, like us) come in. We have a huge range of creative capabilities and are consistently offering free advice, ideas and insights, and our marketing clients trust us to keep them ahead of the curve.

Over the years, our creative agency has helped thousands of marketing professionals get noticed and promoted. If you’d like to hear more about how we work with marketing professionals and how we’ve helped others fly through the ranks, please don’t hesitate to reach out and book an obligation-free chat with me, or hit me up on LinkedIn. The hardest part of any task is getting the right start, and I look forward to helping you with that.

Cheers to your future success,

Owen Rosinger – Marketing Strategist.


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