What is it really like to work in marketing

author-classic-flatlay-938971Often times when I tell people I work in marketing, I get a response like this “oh, you’re one of those people” or “oh, so college was easy for you then.” I’m not entirely sure when marketing got this stigma that it is an easy job to do or that you didn’t have to work hard for a marketing degree, but I don’t think it is fair to those of us who love what we do and take great pride in the work we put in. I don’t just sit at my desk all day scrolling through social media (though some days I do because it is important to keep up with social trends). People who make a career out of marketing are not looking for a quick way to the top. We work just as hard as everybody else to earn our spot in a company and the corporate space.

Now, I am not writing to stand up for marketers around the world, though I could spend at least one post defending our role. I am writing to discuss what it is really like to work in marketing, especially since I do not have a marketing degree.

Here is what my typical day looks like at work:

9:00am-10:00am

I am catching up on emails and making sure anything that needs an immediate response is taken care of first-thing in the morning. We work with a TON of international companies, so it is important that I try to touch base before their work day ends. If I have anything I need from our international deals, I will send them a note in the morning as well.

10:00am-11:00am

This is where I dive into most of my projects for the day. If we are sending an email campaign, I try to have it sent between 10-11 for the same reason I answer all emails first. I want our international customers to hopefully see the email before they leave work for the day. On Fridays, we do not send out email campaigns as many people leave work early or take Friday’s off for vacation, especially in the summer.

11:00am

Snack time! I quick pop into our lunch room and make myself some oatmeal to keep my energy up throughout the day. I also typically make a cup of herbal tea at this time.

11:15am-12:30pm

More working on projects and also checking the analytics on posts or emails campaigns that went out earlier in the day or in the afternoon of the previous day. Analytics is EXTREMELY important in marketing, and one of the things I still need to improve on. Having a degree in Communications and English does not teach analytics. Luckily, Pardot, what we use to send our email and social media campaigns, has easy-to-interpret analytics.

I also try to use this time, assuming I am not busy with a time-sensitive project, to do some research on marketing. Every day, I try to learn something new that can help my company and help me improve in my career. I think it is important to keep learning throughout your job, not just when you decide you want a promotion or want to leave. You can always learn more and add value within your current position. I won’t always read articles while at work. Sometimes I will print them and read them at home later, so I don’t feel rushed and I can make notes and really absorb the information I am reading.

12:30pm-1:15ish

Lunch! I pack my own lunch every day to stay on track with my fitness goals. I also try to make sure my 24oz water bottle is empty by lunch so I am on track with my water intake as well. Lunch can vary depending on when I have meetings, but usually I schedule meetings around lunch as I like to stay regimented with my eating.

1:15pm-3:30pm

Meetings and training! I usually have one meeting scheduled in the afternoon. I also try to keep a mostly open calendar in case people need to come talk to me or I need to get pulled into a meeting. For example, last Wednesday I got pulled into a Salesforce training meeting that was super helpful and led to me learning for about SF and Pardot than before AND I have a follow-up training scheduled for next week to continue learning how to best leverage these tools!

3:30pm

Pre-workout meal. Since I often don’t get home with the Hunky Engineer until after 8:00pm from the gym, it is insanely important that I eat a pre-workout meal. My body would not hold up against heavy weight if I had an empty stomach.

3:30pm-5:00pm

If I need any answers for projects, this is usually when I will send reminders out. I also begin to search Google and see if our company was mentioned in any news stories that I could pull together into a post for our news section of our website. Our CEO and other colleagues also send me stories throughout the day if there are any. I also try to wrap up anything small I might have on my to-do list before the end of the day because I LOVE to cross things off and have a shorter list the next day.

That is basically how my day works. Now, I know it doesn’t read like much, but it is a lot of work! Working in marketing is never consistent. Those few things I mentioned are what I try to accomplish daily, but I have projects thrown at me all the time from different directions. I work for a company with less than 50 employees, so many of us wear multiple hats and cover multiple departments. I am the only marketing person besides my boss, but he is VP of three different departments, so he constantly has his hands full when he isn’t traveling the world to promote and sell our products.

black-coffee-business-cellphone-860379Marketers should ALWAYS be busy. There are always things to do outside of your given projects. If you finish up early, great! Do some social media research on hashtags that you can use for social posts. Or search the web for training programs you might be interested in and actually pitch them to your boss! Companies set aside money for training so that their employees can bring the most value possible. I’m going to a digital marketing training in August for career development. Some of the things I learned in college as a Communications major, but they are talking about analytics and numbers associated with marketing – which I have limited knowledge of!

If you think you’re the bee’s knees and don’t need to do training – that’s fine. Work on building a content calendar or making sure your current one is up-to-date. Go back through your to-do lists from the past and make sure there aren’t any small organizational projects that slipped through the cracks that you could get done. You can always go back through old blog/news posts and see if there are any that need updating or you could write a follow-up story on.

If you are REALLY struggling to find something to do, go chat with your boss. They ALWAYS have other projects. Maybe they were just waiting to tell you until you finished the one you were currently on as to not overwhelm you. Whatever you do, don’t sit around and do nothing. Because if you are doing that, you’ll get slammed with 7 other projects at once and be incredibly overwhelmed.

I don’t typically have to go to my boss because everybody at the company keeps me pretty busy with projects. I always have news stories to post, website pages to edit, graphics to design, blogs to write, dealers to send materials to, schedules to maintain, social media to update, videos to compile, trade shows to coordinate, travels to plan, specification sheets to confirm, and all sorts of other projects that pop up on a daily basis.

background-close-up-desk-958173I love my job, and I love that I am able to wear many hats and learn so much in one place. I feel like I will really be able to grow here, and I can’t wait to see where my career takes me from here! I’ve been here for a year, and I really believe marketing is my true calling.

That’s all for now. Do you work in marketing? Feel free to leave any comments below on your marketing experience!

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One comment

  1. Healthcare marketer here, well, technically a Business Development Manager. I LOVE my job. No one really understands exactly what I do, and my family thinks I just wine and dine people and play on the computer for fun. I’ve been an executive director, but operations is not my bag; the marketing side and ability to wear so many hats within an 8 hour day is much more satisfying and appealing. I joke with colleagues that we do the brunt of the work and get the least amount of credit, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! Enjoy your career!

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