Success in marketing can mean different things to different people, from delivering brilliant campaigns and outstanding ROI through to progressing through the ranks and climbing the career ladder. And with UK marketing budgets increasing ,it’s clear to see that this is an industry that isn’t slowing down – and therefore requires ambitious and skilled people to grow into the future.

Marketing professionals will find plenty of opportunities, but to maintain successful growth in your career, you need to make the following habits a mainstay of your marketing operations:

Always ask why – and what’s the value?

Innovative thinkers are always asking ‘why’ and questioning the rationale behind doing things. Brilliant thinkers know that asking questions is the best way to gain a deeper understanding and insight of problems and processes, and in marketing it’s especially important to not accept what has always been done as gospel. Marketing’s daily activities are so varied – and can include everything from social media posting to campaign reporting and audience identification – that it can be easy for marketers to lose sight of the bigger picture and end goal. When you’re in this industry, you should always take a step back and ask why you’re doing something, and indeed what value it adds to your function, team and organisation.

Write your ideas down as they come to you

Successful marketers are always in ‘ideas mode’, knowing that inspiration can strike at any time. Make a habit of keeping a pen and paper (or digital device) on you at all times to jot down new ideas when creativity hits you. Writing improves the recall and attention given to information, allowing you to momentarily focus on your idea, commit it to memory and paper, move on and come back to it later. This will help you to train your brain to always be receptive to ideas, even if you’re not in the office or engaged in any marketing activities when the thought occurs.

Keep your finger on the pulse

The marketing industry is rapidly evolving, with the UK’s creative industries outgrowing the rest of the economy in recent years. In 2015, the creative industries’ Gross Value Added (GVA) rose by 7%, compared to the rest of the economy’s 2.3% increase in GVA during the same period. The marketing and advertising section is a huge part of this industry, and has experienced significant development. The rise of digital technologies and huge array of marketing channels and MarTech tools – which currently sits at 5,831 marketing technology solutions, representing a growth of 40% in just one year – means there’s more to keep up with in the industry than ever before. Keep up to date with tools, trends, and industry insights that can help you maintain a competitive edge. E-newsletters, industry magazines, conferences and blogs can all help to provide this information.

Love your tech

Regardless of your corner of the industry, digital marketing is becoming an essential part of many roles, with digital marketing jobs expected to grow 10% on an annual basis. Even if you’re not directly involved with digital, it’s inevitable that your work will involve technology at some point, which means you need to embrace technology. MarTech now represents one-third of the marketing budget, according to Gartner, and as AI, automation and VR continue to increase in scope, it seems almost certain that marketing will need to embrace technology more than ever. Improve your career prospects by learning about new tools and how they can help you achieve more.

Watch and learn

Ongoing training and development is an integral part of the modern workforce, particularly in an industry as ever-changing as marketing. In fact, millennials are more interested in their personal learning and development than they are financial reward, according to PwC. And while many organisations do offer structured progression and mentoring programmes, it’s up to you to drive learning gained from others in your organisation and industry. Ask colleagues how they approached particular clients or campaigns, why they went for particular suppliers and which marketing channels and tools they prefer. You could ask to shadow a fellow marketer for an afternoon, gain access to successful case studies to review or sit in on a client meeting – there are so many opportunities for observing and learning every day.

Stay organised

The average day for a marketer can involve juggling multiple projects, clients, team members, internal and external meetings and self-learning – and then there are all the last-minute requests and challenges that crop up to throw you off your game. Your creative brain will likely be in overdrive most days, so it’s important to balance this with a clear plan and exceptional organisational skills. Diaries, online calendars synched to your emails, electronic reminders, timers and good old fashioned lists can all help to ensure you stay on track.

Know your numbers

Data and analytics are one of the cornerstones of marketing. The impact of data is widespread across the industry – 54% of B2B marketers say that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation, and one of the top four priorities of CMOs is to ‘inject data-driven insights into every marketing decision’. While traditional marketing was all about the creative ideas and concepts, modern marketing has an increased focus on knowing your numbers and data that can back your ideas up. If you can blend your marketing ideas with sales data, that’s even better.

Network like crazy

No matter what stage you’re at in your marketing career, networking can be a powerful tool. Online networking – particularly on social media – can be a great way to not only stay up-to-date with the latest industry news, but also keep your finger on the pulse when looking for potential opportunities. With 73% of recruiters hiring a candidate through social media and 93% of hiring managers reviewing a candidate’s social media profile before making a hiring decision, according to Jobvite figures, the online sphere offers huge potential for career development. Face-to-face networking is also effective, both internally with product teams, sales teams and IT, and externally with tech, marketing and industry contacts and suppliers.

Keep in touch

One of the best ways to ensure your marketing career is long and successful is by staying in touch with contacts, including your recruiter. At BMS Performance, we’d love to help you find your next marketing role. Take a look at our latest vacancies here.