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Sharing Marketing Wisdom – featuring Kelly Newcomb

Our Q&A with Kelly Newcomb, Digital Marketing Manager at Panaseer.

The purpose of article series ‘Sharing The Wisdom’ is to feature, showcase and share knowledge, expert views and wisdom. Local. Authentic. Insightful.

Charlotte @ ADLIB: Could you please introduce yourself as well as your background?

Firstly, thank you so much for the interview. I hope I can provide some advice and inspiration to marketers at any stage of their career.

I typically describe myself as a ‘highly experienced Digital Marketing Manager with a passion for all things website’.

That’s PPC, SEO, content writing, UX/ CX, landing page design and copywriting, sales funnel optimisation, lead generation, product marketing…I’d say those were my specialisms. I might seem like a long list but if you break them down there’s lots of overlapping skills; data and analytics, customer experience, written communication etc.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse portfolio of clients over the years, building up my skills in all these areas to get where I am today.

In my early career I mainly focused on social media and events, but shifted my focus towards website, SEO and PPC in line with my own interests and the growing market’s demand for a specialist with a broader digital marketing skill set.

In my career, I’ve worked in agencies, client side, B2C and B2B, predominantly in the tech space. I consider myself very lucky. I work in an industry I’m passionate about, doing a job I love.

But it hasn’t been plain sailing; marketing is a challenging industry for a lot of reasons, but the grind is worth it once you hit the three-year-in-industry mark…then it’s uphill from there as you can start to work in more senior roles.

Charlotte @ ADLIB: In an attempt to capture some of the Wisdom you’ve gained as a professional so far, what are 5 “stand-out things” you’ve learned that you’d like to pass on to your peers as well as the future generation of talent within your sector?

Find something your passionate about

Whether it’s an industry or a specialism in the digital marketing space, find something you’re passionate about and use this as your driving force to upskill.

While you might spend the first couple of years of your career working in any marketing role you can secure, you want to be thinking long term if you’re motivated by higher salaries, excited by defining strategies and enjoy the buzz of liaising with more senior and experienced staff.

Spend time learning more about an aspect of digital marketing that interests you and start to put yourself forward for projects that will allow you the opportunity to get hands-on experience. There are some really good online courses out there as well as comprehensive guides on almost any aspect of digital marketing.

Once you hit the three-year mark, you’ll be in a good position to shift to a more specialised or senior role and when you’re in year four and five of your career you can expect to be in high demand and taking home a bigger salary.

Learn every day

Whether you take 10 mins to read a guide on SEO, watch a video on PPC or catch up with industry news you need to commit yourself to learning something new and developing your skills.

Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving space and you need to keep up to date. If you’re not staying on top of the latest developments, you’re not doing a major part of your job.

Getting the best results, wowing your stakeholders and impressing your colleagues requires you to be in the know so you can innovate, adjust your strategy and deliver better results.

Continuous learning and upskilling are key to being good at marketing.

Stakeholder management is everything

At the core of all great marketing is good communication and understanding of the target audience – apply this same approach to creating and maintaining relationships with your stakeholders.

Marketing is often misunderstood and I will say that it takes a while to get used to people not understanding your role, the importance of marketing or how long things take. But you can ease the frustration with my tips below.

It helps to hone your rapport building skills through a combination of being good at what you do, staying well informed, delivering on time, understanding your stakeholders’ challenges and finding a balance between talking about business and people’s kids/pets/ partners.

Here are some other quick tips to keeping stakeholders happy:

  • Have the data to back up your claims
  • When presenting, focus on the impact not vanity metrics
  • When you don’t know, go away and do the research. Report your findings asap
  • Keep people updated, especially about any blockers or dependencies that are running behind schedule
  • Propose a timeline or estimate for any task that ‘urgently’ comes your way
  • Always make your stakeholders feel like a priority

Consider company culture

Once you’ve completed your first two years of working for any organisation that will hire you – people aren’t kidding when they say marketing is super-competitive – consider the type of company culture you feel you’d really thrive in. Marketing is a demanding industry with professionals susceptible to burn out when they don’t choose a company whose culture will keep them motivated.

This new era of working from home, flexible working hours and a shift towards keeping employees happy (from a salary and wellness perspective) should make company culture a key decision-making factor in any new role you go for.

The team at ADLIB always have insight into their clients’ culture so ask them to go over this when you speak to them about a new role.

Revamp your CV

Want to stand out in a sea of other marketing candidates? Revise you CV. Don’t be afraid to start over again with a new design and approach. The time you spend optimising it will help you secure better paid roles in more desirable organisations.

Your personal statement should be a roundup of your digital marketing and soft skills, industry experience and your motivation for finding a new role that focuses on your ambitions and career progression goals.

Here are some quick tips:

  • Use a CV template and don’t be afraid of a bit of colour
  • White space is your friend – information overload will force people to skim through your CV rather than reading it
  • Focus on your key achievements in a role and use actual data from your clients
  • Only list the responsibilities that reflect the highest level of your expertise
  • Don’t lie. Expect to be questioned on everything you add to your CV
  • Add a short one-liner about each company you’ve worked for to give an indication of the types of clients/ projects you have experience with
  • Add all this info to LinkedIn and keep it up to date

Charlotte @ ADLIB: What is your take on the importance of role models?

For anyone in marketing I think it’s important to find and follow thought leaders on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter and have a stream of reliable news going straight to your inbox. Get into the habit of commenting and sharing ideas with your own network too. Having a professional presence on social media and with some interesting content (even if no one likes or comments) is always a plus.

The news will make sure you’re on top of your game, while the thought leaders should prompt some deeper thinking around emerging trends, algorithm updates and laws. You don’t want to get caught out not knowing about the latest developments and it helps to be able to form your own commentary about the impact of them on your organisation.