I‘ve been working in the marketing field for almost 20 years now. It’s a field of constant learning and growth. Looking back, I’ve identified three things that I wish I learned at the start of my career.
1. You Don’t Know Jack…. Test, Test, Test – I created the most viewed banner in the world in 2000-2001 and it was the highest performing banner on every ad network. I considered myself a marketing god for a little while until I failed on another marketing project shortly afterwards. This humbling moment was important in my career. I learned a few lessons: 1) It’s ok to fail, its actually part of the process 2) Get ideas from as many people as possible and test 3) the first version of your work will never be your best and finally 4) test your work often, in this world of instant analytics and feedback, you’ll get better results doing A/B or multivariable testing. You might be more creative than others but you get better with testing.
2. Learn about design – Marketing is a cross discipline field and you need to know a lot of different skills. Even though you don’t need to be a designer, you need to know enough about design to give proper feedback. Saying “I don’t like it” or “Something is wrong” isn’t productive feedback. You’ll need to learn the basics of proper design and how ti give actionable feedback. I would recommend everyone to read “The Non-Designer’s Design Book” by Robin Williams (not the late-comedian by the same name.) I’ve added the book to our suggested reading at HealthJoy.com and highly recommend it to all our designers so we are speaking the same “language.” You can read the book over a weekend and it will give you all the tools you need to work with designers and improve your own work.
3. Get in the habit of writing often – Writing is so important in marketing – it’s one of the foundations! Even if you don’t think you are a natural writer, get in the habit of writing. You’ll get better, its a skill that comes with time. To be honest, I always considered myself a good communicator but a bad writer. One-day I set myself a goal to write a book and began blogging afterwards, I’ve written over 100 blog posts on my own blog and have drastically improved my writing over time. I try to write as simple and as approachable as possible. I’ve always loved the quote by Einstein “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Well, I hope this helps a few of you out that might be starting off. For those with a few more years of experience… What would be your three career life lessons? I would love to hear them!