This post is a detailed description of a corporate marketer’s profile and how things have changed in this role over the past six years. It used to be that things changed every decade, now it changes every two years. Your challenges are forcing you off of your comfort zone and you better get ready because there’s more coming. Read on to learn more.
You usually sit in front of a shiny PC or Mac. You prefer subtle, yet nice clothing because it allows you to blend in with your smart, yet insufferably humble coworkers. When you shine, you do because of your smarts and not your looks but can probably pull off a sharp look on demand. It’s clear now that those nights or early mornings at Equinox Fitness with your personal trainer are paying off. Maybe you started an organic diet or don’t care about organic as long as it’s balanced.
You are an up and coming corporate marketer.
The city where you are located could be San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or Boston and in the posh part of town of course. Maybe you work from home and spend the days in your home office and you have time to spend with your family.
You are always drinking coffee.
Because of your experience and education, you know a lot about what you do and what you do is marketing.
Six years ago your main concern was how to impress your boss and how to clearly tell your agency what to do. There was stress of course. The endless meetings that went nowhere, the boss that was behind the times yet forced you to drive marketing programs that are now considered old media. After all, you were there to grow professionally and not to be a paper pusher. But you dealt with that because the perks outweighed the sharp edges.
Four years ago things started to change very quickly. Search marketing was all the rage and you or your agency had no idea what it was so not too much attention was given to it. Just now you are starting to realize that you should have mastered search engine marketing a while ago, but you still have things under control. There is so much to measure and you do your best to come up with comparisons that your boss will understand. You learn how to tell your boss (nicely) that Google is used by every one (Yes, even C-level executives) to search for information. You were ready for that moment when you said, “see, you are a C-level executive and you use Google. The proof’s in the pudding, you exclaimed as you had this moment you thought it would change everything. But even then their answers where something like, “Joe, I have no time to Google, I am too busy talking to the CEO”. You just sigh.
A couple of years ago things got really out of control with social media and the twitterification of marketing. You were OK with fast pace but your company was slow to catch on. The agency had no idea what hit them. If you were running thing you would do it the way Ted Rubin is running things at e.l.f. cosmetics. You would put yourself at the forefront of the hustle and bustle and would utilize every single tool that is available to you as a marketer to use money more efficiently, to drive awareness and to deeply influence the bottom line. But you are not running things, at least not yet.
You took to action and built a personal brand for yourself and you taught your co-workers by example but without being preachy. You became a filter of noise. Now you have a larger following than your brand and are looking to help your employer move things forward by using your personal brand. Unfortunately things are not going to be easy. The big cheese needs to control the message and the employees as well.
So what do you do?
You have two options that come in different shades of green and gray. You either find another job where you can bloom or settle. The reasons why you choose either are very personal and I respect them. We don’t really have to go into detail about them right now, unless you want to share them in the comments.
But what about the employer?
Your employees have options and will exercise them if the company does not evolve to accomodate them. Sure, you will hold on to smart people, but you will forever be forfeiting the ones that can propel your company to new heights. The ones that break the mold. The ingenious workers that will put your company at the forefront of innovation faster than your competition.