"Game plan"- Professional Development for B2B Marketers


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Feature in January 2013 edition of B2B Marketing Magazine (www.b2bmarketing.net), written by Lucy Fisher and containing a "Top 10 tips to drive professional development" contribution from Steve Revill.

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"Game plan"- Professional Development for B2B Marketers

  1. 1. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT “You need two things to be successful: you need to be fabulous and you need to be visibly fabulous” CAROLINE TAYLOR VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING IBM UK AND IRELAND GAME Own your goals Successful marketing leaders all agree on one thing: managing your career is your own responsibility, and progression shouldn’t be dependent on a one-off annual meeting with your line manager, which may or may not go your way. PLAN This is something Claire Macland, VP, EMEA go-to-market at Avaya feels strongly about. It’s all too easy to grumble, she says, “There’s a big difference between those who own their careers and those who think the company owes them a career.” Macland also advises if it’s your ultimate aim to rise through the ranks, it’s essential you can see the alignment of your personal tasks with wider business goals. In addition, she warns how some job descriptions are out of date. “It may be some of your tasks are inherited from someone who thought at the time they were important. Don’t let your goals be something that’s done to you. Own them.” She also cautions against becoming too specialist, too early. “If your job is internally focused and not customer-facingAmbitious B2B marketers can drive their careers forward in 2013 by then you probably won’t end up in board to marketing will add fuel to your personal case in point, she reveals getting ‘glowing’ marketing management,” she suggests.implementing a powerful personal action plan. Lucy Fisher finds out how review and show a deeper understanding of feedback from her own CFO really shifted It might, however, be the case that a A business-wide issues. her manager’s impression of her. “It’s sideways move is what is needed in order especially powerful to get positive feedback to get your career on the right track. Many t the start of a new year, Leaders Report. Among the key findings, Diez-Aguirre stresses the importance Increase your visibility from those you may expect to be your advise confidential discussions, within most of us will feel the report revealed getting senior level of ‘SMART’ objectives – those that Caroline Taylor, vice president of marketing adversary,” she says. mentorship schemes for instance, as a motivated to break bad buy-in is B2B marketing leaders’ biggest are strategic, memorable, achievable, for IBM UK and Ireland, reiterates Diez- With responsibility for signing off the way to uncover where your passions and habits and start new, more priority, after keeping on top of marketing realistic and timescaled. And while many Aguirre’s argument about marketers always promotions within the marcomms function capabilities align. productive ones. It’s also trends and technology. Whether it’s buy-in organisations focus on professional being ‘on show’. She advises that if you at IBM, Taylor says she’s well aware of Wherever your heart leads, don’t be afraid the classic time at many to specific marketing activity or simply development reviews typically in January or want to get noticed, you should ensure the need for individuals to stand up and of being seen as career-hungry. It may not large organisations for buy-in to you as an individual, this task February, Diez-Aguirre advises marketers you know who your key stakeholders are, be counted, to be enthusiastic, and build be a very British trait, but open ambition isstaff to start thinking about their personal is key at every stage of your career if you to consider their professional development volunteer yourself for initiatives and don’t networks both internally and externally. no bad thing, according to Julie Downing,reviews, ahead of professional development want to progress. and objectives regularly, rather than on an be afraid of speaking out. IBM performance reviews used to take EVP HR and marketing at IT consultancyreviews with their line managers. These “To have marketing activity championed annual basis. He also encourages marketers “You need two things to be successful,” place in January, with career development NTT Data. Grow your network and your ownreviews are the perfect platform for by a non-marketer is powerful,” points out to “manage by influence,” which of course she says. “You need to be fabulous and meetings following in March. Taylor personal brand she says, using all avenuesmarketers to showcase their ambitions in Javier Diez-Aguirre, director of corporate takes pro-activity and sometimes humility, you need to be visibly fabulous. It’s all reveals, however, that now a ‘career smart’ open to you, and that includes onlinea strategic way and ensure their role is a marketing EMEA at Ricoh Europe. too. “Very often we are not necessarily too easy to do the first but forget about framework has been implemented, whereby marketing forums, blogs and social media.valued one across the wider business. “It’s show-time all the time. Make sure subject matter experts,” he admits. “It’s the second.” managers are strongly encouraged to LinkedIn’s corporate communications In September 2012, B2B Marketing everybody knows about what you’re doing important to work with other teams during Taylor advises seeking feedback from maintain discussions on an ongoing basis manager for EMEA, Richard George, sayssurveyed more than 100 marketing and explain why it’s added value. And focus the planning process so goals are aligned.” stakeholders across the business; not just and to have conversations at least once the professional networking site is beingleaders for its B2B Marketing on the facts, not just the qualitative stuff.” Providing evidence of this kind of approach those who you suspect will flatter you. As a a quarter. increasingly used as part of hiring decisions.34 B2B MARKETING MAGAZINE JANUARY 2013 b2bmarketing.net/professional-development b2bmarketing.net/professional-development JANUARY 2013 B2B MARKETING MAGAZINE 35
  2. 2. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 10 TOP TIPS to drive professional development Follow these proactive steps to strengthen your professional development by Steve Revill, consulting partner at Positive Momentum 1. Think of 10-15 people that have sales funnel. Teams are rarely structured the biggest impact on your ability to that way, so you have to bridge the gaps. succeed in your job – peers, subordinates Think in terms of lead numbers, quality and superiors. Mark those relationships out and revenue. of 10 and set about improving them. 7. Ask for feedback in an ongoing and 2. Initiate new projects that have a structured way – not just as an annual wide impact on business performance. tick-box exercise. It will help you do your Take on additional responsibilities that will job better. help solve your boss’ problems. 8. Don’t be afraid to be stand out 3. Map out your boss’ relationships and and challenge convention. In big see where they overlap with yours. organisations, there can be silos that are How can they ‘accidentally’ hear good hard to challenge, but if you do, the end things about the work you do and how result might well be increased efficiency. you’ve done it? 9. Fix broken relationships. Ask 4. Know your market and ensure you yourself why a working relationship is are monitoring competitor activity. not productive. Be humble. Look at the“We’ve got three lines of revenue – premium Apply this market knowledge to every stronger relationships you do have andsubscriptions, marketing solutions and campaign or project meeting. think about whether you can replicatetalent solutions,” he says. “Talent solutions 5. Stay close to your customers. Larger elements of these elsewhere.is the biggest and fastest growing. More corporate marketing functions can be 10. Remember, it’s your job to managethan 13,000 companies are using our disconnected from the customer. Listen in your career. Use your external marketingnetwork for this now.” on the call centre. Go out with sales and skills (segmentation, targeting and He adds, “There are more than two account managers. positioning) to create a personal brandmillion companies with pages and 6. View marketing and sales as one communications campaign of your owninformation regarding their products, continuous process throughout the throughout the year.services and ethos, so you can findsomebody working at a company you’reinterested in and ask them how they got their function,” she says. Increasingly, she to work closely with the customer servicetheir job, or for an introduction.” adds, IT and operations are key departments team. People are having conversations daily If indeed you are happy to stay at your to collaborate with too, given that marketing about your brand. It’s up to marketing tocurrent employer, ensure you leverage technologies are exploding. drive and support this alignment.”personal and professional development James Lawton-Hill, head of marketing at Lawton-Hill says during his career he’sreviews fully. Downing stresses the Brother UK, highlights the customer service learnt how important it is to show business-importance of thorough preparation team as another department for marketers wide understanding and demonstrateand says this has become even more to focus on collaboration. “It’s important strategic thinking. It can be all too easyimportant in the current climate of reduced to get bogged down in day-to-day tasksheadcounts. “Having something in writing and see things only from the perspectivewill help you to structure the discussion,” “Think of 10-15 people of the marketing department. By actively that have the biggestshe says. “Set half a day aside to draft it collaborating with other departments,and then go back to it. It’s very easy in this you will have demonstrable evidence forfast-moving world for things to get forgottenand, in this economy, people’s roles have impact on your ability your personal review about how you are supporting the wider organisation.probably grown.” to succeed in your job. For Rob Morrice, managing director at agency IAS B2B, a wider perspective is key.Break down boundaries Mark those Morrice pays for his staff to buy books,One area marketers can focus on whenlooking to drive a personal action plan is relationships out of watch films, subscribe to professional magazines or attend events that will add tothinking about a proactive approach tounderstanding wider business functions. 10 and set about their pool of knowledge. “If you want to be good at ideas and at marketing, then you Debbie Williams, chair of the Institute ofDirect Marketing’s (IDM) B2B Council and improving them” need both specific knowledge and general knowledge,” he says.an independent consultant, found going out STEVE REVILL Regardless of what your ultimate careerwith sales teams a valuable experience in CONSULTING PARTNER game plan is, a well constructed personalher career. “Sales always think marketing POSITIVE MOMENTUM review that considers just some of thesedon’t understand them. It shows personal issues will help drive your professionalinitiative if you set out to understand development in 2013, and beyond.36 B2B MARKETING MAGAZINE JANUARY 2013 b2bmarketing.net/professional-development