Marketers: Here Are 9 Things That Will Help You Get Your Next Promotion

It’s crazy being a marketer today.

First you have to master marketing technology (and there are over 7,000 products in that space alone).

Then you’ve got to figure out where your audience lives, and then how to reach them. Hard part is that people today spend time everywhere. So that means you have to understand everything from social media to blogging to video to podcasts to events to webinars to advertising.

I’m out of breath just listing them all out here.

Look, I get it — it’s easy to get lost in the weeds of managing your day-to-day. But the constant emails and tweets? They’re all just distractions that keep you from hitting the real milestones that get you closer to your career goals. Same goes for mastering the latest marketing tech tool — those skills are table stakes.

The best marketers — the ones already set up for their next promotion — know the formula for getting paid more and taking the next big steps in their career. And today, I’m going to share it with you.

Whether you’re an intern looking to move to full-time, or an experienced marketing manager that wants to make the jump to Director, VP and beyond,  these nine things can be used as a checklist to apply to any role at any level.

NOTE: these tips are taken directly from an internal checklist on the company Wiki that the Drift Marketing Team uses to talk about career progression and promotions. PS. We’re hiring. And we also talk a lot about hiring and marketing on our podcast, Seeking Wisdom.

1) Own a number

Marketing owns the pipeline number, and if our pipeline is full, the sky’s the limit as to how much we can sell and how fast we grow. So if you want to grow your career in marketing, you need to own a number. This can apply to every role on the team.

Do you own events? How do your events feed the plan?

Do you own webinars? What’s your commit? How will you grow that number 20% next month?

Do you own content? How does blog traffic drive website traffic? How many leads does the blog generate? What would it take to double that in 3 months?

Do you own SEO? How is organic traffic growing? What’s the number you own and can commit to?

2) Become an owner

And speaking of owning a number: we expect you to be an owner in your area of marketing.

We will not micromanage. The only way we will grow and build a world-class marketing team is if everyone acts like an owner, we have a flat organization, and everyone is fully autonomous.

But here’s the catch: ownership means you are fully accountable. You need to write the plan to hit your number. You need to take ownership if something breaks.

In order to take the next step in your career, it needs to be obvious that you are an owner in your area of marketing.

3) Plan and forecast

You will need a deep understanding of your area of marketing as well – this comes with ownership.

We are a building a sales and marketing machine at Drift, and that means that you will need to be able to plan and forecast in your role in order to take the next step.

What’s your goal for this month? Next month? How will you get there? If you had to write a 6-month plan for your role, could you do it? What if we’re off track? Can you adjust your forecast? How do you catch-up?

4) Raise the bar

We are building a once in a lifetime company at Drift, and that means we can’t settle for good enough.

Have you raised the bar for content? Have you raised the bar for design? Have you raised the bar for video? Have you raised the bar for events?

In order to take the next step in your career as a marketer at Drift, it needs to be obvious that you have raised the bar for quality and production in your role.

5) Master your craft

This is the follow-up to raising the bar: we expect you to be a master of your craft / your area on the marketing team.

This means that you treat your part of marketing as a craft – you’re always learning, always trying to get better. Whether that’s through books, podcasts, events, videos, mentors, or role models.

That’s part one. Part two of mastering your craft is then creating systems and checklists to train the next person or share your knowledge. Everything can scale if we have a checklist and a system for it.

6) Push the pace

Not only are you expected to do great work, but you are expected to do it fast.

Are you pushing the pace? Are you finding ways to be faster and more efficient? Speed is our advantage. You need to be someone that pushes the pace.

At most companies, a website redesign would take three months. At Drift, we need to find a way to do it in days.

Maybe you start with the homepage this week and then move on. There’s always a way to break things down into smaller chunks and move fast to show progress daily and push the pace.

Or maybe we’re behind on a number – are you pushing the pace in your area? Are you coming up with last minute ideas to get ahead? Can you move fast at the last minute?

7) Manage up

This one is also closely tied to ownership.

Do you manage your manager? Are you proactively sharing updates with them, making decisions easy for them, and running 1:1s as your meeting? Are you coming to them with two options – A & B? Or are you coming to them expecting them to make a decision? Can you make the majority of the decisions on your own without needing your manager? Can you ship something or make a decision now, and ask for forgiveness later versus always asking for permission? 

Managing up is key to taking the next step in your career, and at every stage of your progression, you need to be able to manage up in order to get ahead.

8) Be coachable

This is one of the most underrated skills.

Being coachable means you are open to taking feedback (and often times it’s hard, real, direct feedback). And it means you are constantly seeking out feedback (and even giving yourself hard feedback).

But just taking feedback is one thing – putting it into play and getting better is the definition of being coachable.

9) Develop your team

There are multiple tracks inside of marketing – you don’t have to manage people if you don’t want to. We will have an individual contributor track.

But if you do want to be a manager:

You need to prove that you can develop your team and make people successful before taking the next step.

And for everyone, this starts small: want to get on the path to becoming a manager? Start with an intern. Prove you can hire and get an intern successful. Then hire a full-time person. Then two, three, etc.

Making your team successful is key to you taking the next step.

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