Being a marketing professional entails more than just having a degree or working experience in the industry. Professionalism should be unmistakable in how marketers manage themselves in their professional lives while representing their personal brand among coworkers, suppliers, stakeholders, and consumers.
Because we are in a field where everything is continuously developing, evolving that professionalism becomes a critical requirement in any marketer’s career success. We recently spoke with Angela Eichler, Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) & Director at Brand Conspiracy, about her tips on elevating and exhibiting your professionalism to succeed in your marketing career.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Why do you think professional development is important for Marketers?
The world of marketing is constantly evolving, but qualifications can only reflect the thinking and expertise at a given moment in time. Committing to ongoing professional development throughout your career is an integral part of being a successful Marketer. It enables you to keep abreast of digital innovations and keep your skillset relevant. It can also add to your experience, your network and expose you to new ideas and insights.
As Marketers, we often have a visible or tangible outcome to our work. And stakeholders may scrutinise what they see against their own opinions, interpretations and preferences. The creative process is subjective by nature, and I have found that by pursuing continuous self-improvement, I am better armed with external ideas and industry insights to frame decision making and increase the rigour behind my recommendations.
How often do you personally undertake training courses?
I try to tackle some form of structured training at least 2-3 times per year. I prefer face to face training if possible and often seek out short courses or workshops where the subject matter is in an area that I have little knowledge or experience.
Throughout the year, I continuously read business books on a broad range of topics that include but are not limited to Marketing ideas and concepts.
What are the best options for continuous professional development for marketers?
Deciding to take responsibility for your own Professional Development can be daunting when you are in the early stages of your career. Still, I would encourage you to be brave and expose yourself to the danger of success. Marketers are typically strong Communicators by nature, and most are willing to share their insights if asked.
The workplace is a fantastic setting to explore professional development, though it may need to be self-driven. Adopting a mindset of curiosity can open doors that might previously be closed to you. If an internal project sparks your interest, why not get nosey – ask questions and offer to help outside hours for additional experience?
One of the few upsides to COVID-19 has been the influx of online training options now available, and the AMI has a great selection on offer. Exploring Industry Associations and their membership benefits is also a great way to meet new people and get involved in projects that can stretch your learning.
Beyond these, however, the most helpful advice I can give is to read – read business books and articles. Read widely and frequently. If physical books are too retro, download audiobooks and podcasts and incorporate them into your lifestyle. At its core, marketing is about understanding people and their motivations and creating solutions to meet their needs. Books are fantastic idea generators that prompt your thinking and challenge you to deepen your worldview.
How do you keep up with current trends and emerging / changing technologies?
While Social Media and the internet are crawling with ‘experts’ on technology and digital marketing, the pace of change in these industries means that no one can be abreast of it all. Many marketing software and services have blogs and subscriptions that regularly deliver updates and insights to your inbox for free – HubSpot; Hootsuite; Later; ZOHO; Monday; LinkedIn; Trello the list goes on. Even if you do not use their software, much of the information can be useful for raising your awareness around the kinds of tools and technologies you may use in the future.
Surrounding yourself with people who know more about technology than you do is also a great way to bolster your knowledge and gather insights you can incorporate into your work. Two of my favourite technology hacks came from clients who sung the praises of the software before I was even aware I needed it.
How do you establish and promote yourself as an expert in your field?
I’m not an ‘expert’ at anything, but I have more than 25 years of Marketing expertise. This expertise grows with every client I work with, with every book I read and with every challenge that comes my way, and the best way to ensure that continues is to keep being curious.
I have a passion for retail and working with small businesses, and Brand Conspiracy is positioned via its website and social media to attract those clients. But having a passion for something does not guarantee you will become an expert in it. I often find myself enjoying working outside those niches, too, as different clients stretch my understanding and experience and add to my overall expertise in the discipline of Marketing.
When it comes to self-promotion, I’m very much learning the ropes. I push myself to write articles and speak at events when asked. I have a small presence on a few digital platforms, and I have the best intentions of writing a regular blog. But I believe the best way to show who I am, what I have experienced and what I have to offer, is in person.
About Angela Eichler
While the first half of her career spanned roles inside family businesses, small businesses and large corporates, Angela Eichler found her groove working as an independent consultant more than twelve years ago.
As the Director of Brand Conspiracy, a boutique Strategic Marketing Agency in Melbourne, she enjoys supporting clients to set strategic foundations, upskill their internal capabilities and build marketing competency. Angela is an accredited CPM, a judge for this year’s AMI Marketing Excellence Awards and a Mentor in the 2021 Emerging Marketers program.