The UK creative sector generates significant revenue for the UK economy, contributing £84.1 billion in 2014 alone. Latest UK Government figures suggest employment in this sphere is increasing, growing by 5.5% from 2013-2014 to a total of 1.8 million creative industries jobs. And with the marketing industry’s growth showing no signs of slowing down, there are more opportunities for skilled, savvy marketers than ever.
If you’re embracing the industry boom and embarking on the next step of your career, whether that’s as a manager, head of department or marketing director, there are many things you can do to help give yourself the best possible start. While the formalities of the induction process and training are essential in any new role, senior marketers will know there is plenty more that can be done to get the most of a new role. Here’s how you can make it happen:
Embrace the company culture
Cultural fit is one of the most important considerations for any hiring manager, and corporate culture has been pointed to as a crucial component in producing sustainable growth and long-term economic success. If you’re coming into a company in a senior or supervisory role, you’ll be expected to not only learn the culture and values, but live them. Start from day one by going beyond the formal inductions and meetings to find out more about the company structure, social climate and team interactions.
Get to grips with products and services
Marketers often work in silos, and it can be easy for helpful information to slip through the cracks during the whirlwind of the first few weeks on the job. Navigate this by speaking to as many different people as you can – both within marketing and in other functions such as sales – to find out as much as you can about the products and services your new company delivers. Different business functions will have fresh perspectives on the highlights, challenges and other intricacies of your business’s core products, so take notes.
Go for lunch with your team
Nothing forms a better bond more quickly than eating and drinking as a community. This will give you the opportunity to find out more about your team, from both a work and non-work perspective. As 35% of workers don’t think their employers care about them as team members or people, according to Rapt Media, it’s important to project a warm team environment from day one.
Informal time shared with colleagues can naturally lead to happier teams, and as happiness makes people 12% more productive, it’s in your best business interest to encourage social interaction.
Ask questions of everyone
Asking questions during your first few weeks in a new job can have multiple benefits. The first is that it will endear you to your fellow marketers. Research suggests that people who ask questions not only land better jobs, but can become better managers. Secondly, asking questions about your new organisation, and its products, services, processes and people, will better equip you with the knowledge required to perform at a high level in your new role.
Find out how others work
Individual and team working styles can provide more insight onto how your new company works overall. Start with the marketing team – do people work independently or bounce ideas off each other? Are there structured meetings and brainstorming settings or is it more informal? If you have the opportunity to sit in on sales meetings and interactions, this can help you to put the pieces together between the two functions. Also take the time to have casual chats with others around the office, whether it’s over a coffee or in your lunch break, to get more of a feel for how things are done.
Make an effort with the sales team
It’s an unfortunate truth that the sales and marketing functions can work fairly independently of each other in many businesses. This shouldn’t be the case, and if you notice a disconnect between the two departments in your new office, make the effort to bring more cohesion to the table. Go beyond the formal introductions to find out sales people’s frustrations, pain points and client issues, as well as deals and clients they’re proud of and how they think their relationship with marketing is going. Sales and marketing teams that work together experience 36% higher retention and 38% higher sales win rates, according to MarketingProfs, so it’s in everyone’s interests for the two functions to work as one.
Review marketing campaigns
All marketers will want to review existing and previous campaigns when they start at a new company, but an experienced senior marketer will go into more granular detail to find out what works, what doesn’t, and why. Ask to have access to shared files for previous campaigns and talk to key stakeholders, such as the design team and account managers, about the processes and results.
Understand the tools and technology
Marketing technology – also known as martech – has boomed in recent years, with Gartner predicting marketing technology budgets will exceed technology budgets this year. The suite of tools and channels on offer is growing by the day, and each company has preferences on what works best for them. Ask for immediate access to all tools in use and spend time researching how to use them most effectively. Ask about tools that have been used in the past, and why they were abandoned – as well as what team members think about other tools not yet in use.
Research industry training and development
Even if you’ve made a move within an industry you’ve worked in for years, it’s likely that you’ll be less familiar with your new product and service offering than you’d like to be. Make the most of your first few weeks on the job – when your workload will typically be lighter – by researching courses, webinars and events that can benefit both you and your team members. This is a great way to not only learn about your new market, but also network with industry contacts and show your enthusiasm for the new role.
Subscribe to industry publications
Ongoing education and industry learning are important in every industry, with 59% of millennials, 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of baby boomers saying it’s extremely important to have opportunities to learn and grow in a job. Your company will no doubt have training and development processes in place for you, but you can push your education further by reading around your industry. Subscribe to marketing newsletters, set up bookmarks and RSS feeds and follow key people on social media. The more time you spend developing this bank of information at the start of your new marketing role, the better equipped you’ll be down the line.
Hire the best
Once you’ve settled into your new marketing role, it’s time to take stock of your team and identify areas where you need fresh talent. If you’re looking to recruit the best marketers in the industry, we can help. Contact us here to start a conversation.