The world of digital marketing can often be a tough, action-packed, deadline-a-minute environment in which only the fittest thrive. But how can you tell if you are the fittest?
To get it straight from the horse’s mouth, I asked Moskito Design Marketing Manager Matteo Cucuzza for some insights about how you know if you’re fit to succeed in the marketing jungle.
You love spreadsheets
An artist has his canvas, a writer her blank page. But spreadsheets are where you work your magic. You know all the tricks to impose order on an unruly mass of facts and figures, and if you don’t, you know how to go find them. A spreadsheet is where you make sense of the world, and it’s your passion to make that clear to others.
Matteo: Excel is a super important tool for this job. In terms of organization, there’s no such thing as good planning without Excel. But it’s also a spreadsheet: you can’t analyze the performance of your campaign if you don’t know how to use Excel. And knowing how to use it well means going beyond the simple logical or calculation formulas. It means finding the right solution to finish the job with that spreadsheet, however impossible it seems.
You’ve got a head for numbers
Belief is for churchgoers. Hunches are for detectives. But as a marketer you want numbers, statistics and data, because only they can give you the concrete facts you need. You’ve got a good grounding in statistics that allows you to calculate what you want, where you’re at and what’s left to be done.
Matteo: Good marketing strategy involves intuition, but it’s intuition founded on insights you get from the campaigns you’ve just finished. Not only that: if you know how to handle the numbers you will be able to describe your campaign in even more detail.
You’ve got a mind for strategy
Whether it was playing Risk as a kid or fantasy-coaching the lineup for Sunday’s football match, you’ve always managed to see beyond the in-the-moment scrum to contemplate the next move, the next step, the next big push. And you’re not just the one with the big idea ― you see the campaign down its details to imagine what won’t work and what’ll work best.
Matteo: Strategy is everything in marketing. If you’re really lucky, an improvised campaign turns out to be a stroke of genius. But it’s more likely going to be a total disaster. You’ve got to keep your eye on your goals and the KPIs you want to analyze them with and you’ve got to have a strategy behind you to be able to do it.
You know that behind the scenes is the best seat in the house
It’s the client that deserves the spotlight, and you’re working for them. But you’re not just a passive spectator somewhere in the darkened house. When the curtain goes up on a new campaign you know they’re reading from your script. You watch to make sure every line has the impact it was meant to ― but if not you’re ready to write and rewrite the text until it’s perfect.
Matteo: The work you do behind the scenes is super important, because it’s what allows everything to run smoothly. Your clients and colleagues know how important it is and this is pretty gratifying.
You can keep it all together
Like a spider with its web, you know how to hold the many different strands of a campaign together. That means not just keeping track of deadlines and phases of the pre-launch process, but making sure the work’s getting done to the highest standards all along the way.
Matteo: You need organization and experience and you need to be methodical. You can’t leave anything to chance and you’ve got to try to think everything through beforehand.
You’re a head-on problem solver
When you’re in a sticky situation, you don’t put off, procrastinate, or run away. You tackle the problem head on, trying to manage the situation and deliver on your promise, even if it takes thinking on your feet and no small amount of sweat.
Matteo: There are always problems, but the important thing is not to panic ― you’ve got to think of every possible solution. Because there’s always a solution that can help you reach your predetermined objectives. And it’s important to store away every experience, because the next time you’ll definitely be much more ready and with time you’ll become a better problem solver.
You value clear communication ― and practice it yourself
Whether it was group work on a student project at university or planning that mid-summer BBQ, you made sure there was no confusion about jobs and places, times and dates, and quick to check that everybody was clear on everything. Just as clear communication is essential to reaching a consumer market, you’ve always know that it’s equally essential to managing every step of a successful party plan ― or business project.
Matteo: There might be dozens of people involved in one campaign, and every one of them ultimately fundamental to its success. If you lose track of some information you think isn’t important, somehow it always ends up being the one thing you need to get to the next step.
You’ve got ambitions of scale
When you saw an ad on TV or heard about the success of some big company abroad, you used to wonder How’d they do that? Now the question for you isn’t how, but when. You’re excited by marketing and its power to communicate; you want to leverage marketing tools to help make that happen on a big scale.
Matteo: When you work with high-level clients you learn tons. You’re constantly in touch with many people, every one of who has loads to teach you. Then, when a marketing email that you’re putting together is sent out to millions of people you’re forced to anticipate every single little issue, and try to prevent anything unforeseen from happening. It’s this that helps you grow professionally.
This might seem like a stretch because, well, marketing itself is at times notorious for being just the opposite: vain, arrogant and pushy. But whatever campaign you’re managing, you know that if you’re not working with your client, you’re working against them. That means taking criticism, unforeseen setbacks and last minute changes with grace.
Matteo: Being humble in your relations with the client means knowing how to adapt to their needs. It means being flexible and helpful in finding solutions that meet their needs. When you’re bombarded by lots of different requests all at the same time, it gets really difficult to stay calm, but every request is important and you’ve got to be able to keep everything organized so you can manage everything in the best way possible.
If that sounds like you, then maybe marketing is a job where you’ll not only make it, you’ll thrive.
[Image by Milo Angeloni.]