Ten years ago, I was sitting in a Differential Equations class learning about …. well, the things you learn about in a Differential Equations class. If you asked me what I was going to do in 10 years, marketing would have never been a word in my vocabulary. Yet, today, I have been in marketing for close to 5 years now and am loving every minute of it. If I started my career in marketing, I might not have enjoyed it as much as I do today. Why? Because I think the different roles I was in prior to marketing has helped me better understand how to market to potential buyers.
Coming from technical support, account management and competitive intelligence, has led me to understand how to educate the market. When I first joined marketing, of course, I knew nothing about PPC, SEM, SEO. That was definitely a learning curve for me and has led me to respect marketers even more. There is a perception out there, however, that marketers put the “fluff in stuff.” That is not the case. I nailed down 6 myths about marketers and have revealed real truth behind each below.
1) Marketing is all rainbows and lollipops.
One of the biggest reasons why I love marketing is that it’s a numbers driven functionality of the company. The tools to measure online marketing tactics have become increasingly sophisticated so you’re able to track entire life-cycles of buyers, from the initial interest all the way down to purchase. Consequently, you can track every dollar put in and what the exact output is (in most cases) and can have daily, weekly and monthly goals. It’s a numbers game not a Candy Land game.
2) All marketers have to offer are offers.
Historically, promotions were the only tactic used to drive demand. With the advanced tools now in place to measure the performance of marketing tactics, you can actually spark engaging conversations with prospects that is meaningful to them. The goal of marketers is to educate the market, not to force them into something they’re not interested in. It’s about solving people’s problems. Understanding personas and their respective pain points are essential to building a successful marketing program.
3) Marketers make things look pretty.
If there is an ROI on pretty, then yes, making things look pretty can potentially be a tactic. But pretty doesn’t necessarily sell and you have to be more than just a pretty face. People want solutions and if you can provide helpful content, you’ve earned the trust of a potential buyer. It’s not about boasting how awesome you are.
4) Marketers are all business majors.
While many marketers are business majors, I am seeing more and more math/engineering and English/journalism majors join marketing. Why? For one, to understand the analytics behind marketing, you have to actually enjoy looking at numbers. It’s essential to what marketers do today. In addition, content has become a significant driver for all marketing distribution channels and those with a strong writing background are essential to creating content that drives demand.
5) Marketing is a far away land not integrated with the rest of the company.
Marketers enable the sales team to drive leads, send the customer service teams customers and finance has to understand the entire cycle. Marketers have to be integrated to be successful. And for content, my team at Rackspace works more with our engineers, developers and product teams more than anyone else in the company. They are the builders of the product and a conversation with them is essential for us to understand how to speak to the marketplace.
6) Marketers like to spend money.
As mentioned in #1, marketers are number driven and if there is not case for ROI, there is not a case for marketing spend. Depending on goals, money does have to be spent, but it is also tracked by the dollar and not just down to traffic, down to purchase. Many think marketers order cool swag and spend money on fancy client dinners. There has to be a business case for the money spent.
I am sure there are many more perceptions out there but these are the ones that I come across the most. The increasing use of the web for every day actions has changed the way marketers do business; it’s not about the 4 P’s anymore. Are you a marketer? I would love to hear your thoughts.