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What Should Marketing's Class of 2015 Expect? The Customer Edge looked to our community and crowdsourced from the likes of Jonathan Becher, SAP's CDO (Chief Digital Officer) and Luke Kintigh, Intel's Chief Content Strategist, plus more - for their best marketing advice to recent grads.
“Most everything you learned in
the university about the practice of marketing is, or will soon be, outdated. My best advice is to truly focus on how to become a compelling, creative storyteller. It’s about wisdom, not knowledge. Facts are commodities – wisdom is not. If you can weave true meaning from data, if you can fashion useful stories from mashed-up how-to manuals, and if you can create value in the form of content-driven experiences, you will be the most sought-after marketer any company will ever want.” – Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose), Chief Strategy Officer
“New grads should obtain as
much experience as possible in creating campaigns for businesses and organizations. Volunteer to help local nonprofits with their social media. Offer to create a new logo or slogan for a friend or family’s business. Then make sure you record the results. Return on investment and demonstrating that you can help people solve their marketing problems will get you to the next level with a job or a new client.” – Susan Chesley Fant (@susanchesley), Marketing Instructor and Corporate Director of the Masters of Marketing Program
“LinkedIn will be your catalyst
to success. Don't underestimate it, and start investing in your personal branding on it now. Always remember: It's not what you know, it's who you know, and LinkedIn is the enabler of this socially.” – Chris Reed (@BlackLinkedIn), CEO/Founder
“Check your ego at the
door. Entry-level marketing looks nothing like a Nike commercial. Focus on your impact on the business objectives every day and you will flourish.” – Christine Nurnberger, CMO (@cnurns)
“If you want to be
a career marketer, I would recommend you begin at one of the top CPG companies which have well- established training and mentoring programs. After some period (say 5-7 years), move to a medium-sized technology-focused company in a highly-competitive category. Above all, embrace diverse experiences.” – Jonathan Becher, Chief Digital Officer @jbecher
“Marketing today is so broad
and has many more nuances than even 10 years ago. Marketing could encompass PR, event planning, Web site management, social media, content creation (including the use of video), and just plain old advertising. But each of these pieces needs to serve a goal; these tools help you reach that goal. Ask the question, “What are we trying to achieve with this campaign?” before you start any marketing campaigns. It will guide the tools you use and the way you use them.” – Tracey Welson-Rossman (@twelsonrossman), CMO
“One thing I have been
telling aspiring marketers to do is start and manage a blog with 500-plus word posts. I actually don’t think the topics matter much as long as you create great content. Try to do a post a week. Content is everything these days, and real experience creating content is critical.” – Craig Rosenberg (@funnelholic), Co-Founder
“Whether you want to go
into a large consumer brand like Uniqlo or an enterprise software company like SAP, there are a few things that will help your baseline skills as a marketer. A combination of cognitive psychology paired with a quantitative course like calculus or econometrics will be incredibly valuable in your life as a marketer. Quantitative skills will help you identify what to improve, and a good understanding of human behavior and psychology will help diagnose how to improve it. Finally, even if you don't go into a field in technology, basic knowledge of marketing technologies will also be helpful.” – Maricor Resente, Head of Marketing
“New grads can come from
any background, but I tend to look for these skills: great writer, creative thinker, problem solver, analytical (both with numbers and data but also with thinking and situations in general), detail-oriented but flexible, someone who can smile and laugh – especially at themselves. And I always ask if the new grad has ever balanced a checkbook (demonstrates responsibility and the ability to work with budget numbers). The skills above don't just apply to a job description but a mindset today's marketers must have. We have to be equal parts creative genius and metrics and analytics guru, but we also have to have a healthy sense of humor because it is not an easy road, and you are going to need to learn to not take yourself too seriously.” – Liz Miller (@lizkmiller) SVP, Marketing
“Spread your marketing wings as
wide as you can. Raise your hand and get firsthand experience in new high-growth areas. After you've built up some expertise, start to connect the dots to an integrated approach. Content, media, data, and technology – it's all coming together, and those who understand all parts of the ecosystem, not just some of it, will succeed. The modern marketer will have to be adaptable and possess a hybrid skillset that reflects this larger trend of convergence.” – Luke Kintigh (@lukekintigh), Global Content and Media Strategist
“Most great career opportunities spring
out of extracurriculars – what you do, who you meet, what you create outside of the day job.” – Scott Cowley (@scottcowley), Marketing Strategy Instructor, Digital Marketer, and Researcher
“I came to marketing through
a career in the arts – and I truly believe that this unconventional path has been an incredible asset. Having a deep understanding of visual culture and design is imperative for marketers and a skill I fully recommend embracing.” – Erika Velazquez (@erikaalpern), Senior Director, Brand Marketing