Tara Burns

Making A Marketer

Posted on 2nd February 2016 by Tara Burns

"This is a very exciting time to work in PR and marketing, but what skills does it take to make a modern marketer?"

I have often struggled to explain what it’s like to work in the PR and marketing industry. Early in my career, I handled the PR for some of the world’s biggest tech companies. Yet having explained this to my grandmother, I later heard her proudly report that I “worked in computers”.

Fast forward a few [cough] years and I still struggle to explain what I do for a living. The phrase ‘no two days are the same’ is certainly true of PR and marketing: one day you could be writing web content or filming a video and the next you’re hosting a global customer event or client workshop.

Most marketers I know ‘fell into’ this career but once they were in, they were hooked. Then, there were the lucky few who always knew what they ‘wanted to be when they grew up’. And then there are those who join straight from university as part of a graduate training scheme – indeed some of our top talent came to us via this route.

A quick straw poll in the Doghouse highlights that one career path doesn’t fit all. Only 16% of the Dogs studied PR or marketing at university, with others opting to study law, business, history, literature or languages. The magic happens when we tap into this rich pool of knowledge and bring experience and new ways of thinking together.

What is becoming very clear is that this is a very exciting time to work in PR and marketing. The career options are greater than ever. We work in an industry where we can tear up the traditional agency rulebook that says you should start at the bottom and work your way up, and embrace a complex career path model instead.

And while it is always possible to train for skill and capability, it is almost impossible to train someone to adopt the mindset and approach needed to thrive in this industry.

So what attributes make a modern marketer? For me, it comes down to three things:

You question

When we are toddlers, we annoy our parents by asking “why?” incessantly. This may be annoying for the parents but the toddlers are onto something. They are getting to the root of the problem. At Man Bites Dog, we love questions. In fact we actively encourage curiosity. By being curious and asking the right questions, we can get to the crux of the customer problem our client is uniquely placed to answer.

You adapt

This is a fast-paced and ever changing industry and with the flurry of technology and social advancements, it is an industry that requires those that work within it to adapt at a rapid pace or else face rapid irrelevance. A good marketer will have solid instincts that enable them to thrive better than those who constantly search for approval or proof.

You go in search

At heart, we are problem-solvers. We go in search of the perfect way to evidence an idea so that it will support commercial conversations. We immerse ourselves in the latest technologies, tools, trends and thinking to hit upon the perfect solution. We live and breathe news and constantly seek out new ways to use all available channels to activate our campaign programmes.

These characteristics are really just scratching the surface but if these strike a chord with you, get in touch.

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