Job security is important in any industry, but especially in one like marketing. While the role has expanded in recent years to include a wide variety of responsibilities, it can be easy for a firm to resort to cutting the marketing budget when scaling back without thinking about the long-term repercussions of doing so. To achieve marketing job security and assert the value of your role, you need to keep these six things in mind.
1. If your talents are versatile, put them to work
The more tools you have in your box as a marketer, the more you’ll be seen as an asset to your firm. If you know how to do more than what was in your starting job description, put that knowledge to work. For example, if you have coding skills that you know could save your firm outsourced developer time, make that website update. If you can design on top of writing copy, put something together. The more varied tasks you can take on will help you succeed, especially if you are a department of one or two people.
2. But set limits and don’t over-promise
It can be easy when you’re just starting out at a new firm to promise the world to everyone who has a request. But, over time, this can come back to bite you. Setting limits, being mindful of the time you’re spending on various projects, and providing reasonable timelines to finish your work are all important things to put in place. While “under-promise and over-deliver” might be an overused saying, there is truth to it. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin, because then you won’t be good to anyone, and worse, you may be seen as unreliable.
3. Keep learning
If you’ve been in marketing for a few years, you’re bringing a lot of experience and know-how to your position. However, things change quickly, and resting on what you know can only get you so far in your career. Set aside time each week to keep learning and improving your skills. You could do this in a variety of ways.
Online training is the easiest way to set aside time for learning in ways that are cheap or free and don’t require travel. Google Analytics Academy, HubSpot Academy, Coursera, Udemy, and many more sites offer free marketing courses. There are also paid options on some of these sites, as well as Hinge University (a great resource for professional service firms) and Lynda.com. These options don’t even scratch the surface of all the places you can go to get affordable to free information on marketing.
You can also attend training sessions led by organizations or user groups. Look for local marketing chapters near you, or larger marketing organizations that may have online or in-person meetups in your area. If you’re using one tool, or have a particular skill set, you may find a local user group to attend as well. HubSpot, Tableau, and Adobe, for example, have user groups in different cities.
Learning isn’t limited to courses, either. Using a service like Feedly, you can subscribe to different publications on marketing, graphic design, sales, UX, or whatever topics that interest you, all in one place.
4. Don’t be afraid to assert your expertise
Because marketing is an ever-widening topic, it can be difficult to get people at your firm to understand the scope of what you can do or what you know. If you came from an agency environment where you worked in different industries with several different clients, you have even more broad experience to draw from. This breadth of knowledge and experience can help teach those who may have a narrower frame of reference something new, or provide ideas for tactics that they didn’t have in mind.
5. Tie what you’re doing back to strategy
We’ve all gotten caught up in the day-to-day needs of a firm. There’s always some kind of fire that needs to be put out – an urgent email, a proposal that needs to be put together, a PowerPoint presentation that needs formatting. But still, your marketing tactics should tie into an overarching strategy. Whether it’s using the Ansoff Matrix, a buyer’s journey, a flywheel, or some other type of model, find a strategy that speaks to what you want to accomplish as a firm, and build your game plan from there.
6. Empower other members of the firm to be marketers
It may seem counter-intuitive to get other coworkers to do the work for you, but the more you can get non-marketers engaged in your activities, the more marketing will be valued by the firm in general. You’re also amplifying the reach of your efforts. Empower your coworkers who are experts on services to write blogs, share content on social media, contribute to email newsletters, reach out to clients about testimonials and case studies. Expand the work you’re doing by showing others how to contribute to the overall marketing efforts of the firm.
Marketing job security can be a scary thing to think about, especially when big events in the world cause firms to look closely at their budgets. But in stable or turbulent times, following the six steps outlined above will help secure your position and highlight the value you bring to the firm.
About Sammi Dittloff
Sammi Dittloff is a Marketing Consultant, writer, and founder of Needs More Fiber, an agency dedicated to adding substance to a brand's content. She previously worked as the Marketing Director for Chortek LLP for 3 years. As a freelance content marketer, consultant, and strategist, Sammi specializes in content strategy, brand manuals, SEO, and analytics. She has 15 years of experience in marketing, writing, promotions, advertising, and analytics. Sammi was a Media Writing TA while pursuing her MA in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has since returned to school for an MS in Nutrition. Her latest projects can be found at needsmorefiber.com and hisammi.com.