With businesses increasingly shifting their budgets into digital, I’ve seen time and again the consequences of their decisions on their employees.

There you are minding your own business and bam, you’re thrust into a new ‘marketing’ role because you’ve used Facebook once or twice or can work a CRM system. As good as you surely are, the new marketing roles that open up often give no structure, no guidance on how to actually do marketing. You just do it, don’t you?

And all this leaves you downright confused, baffled and ultimately wondering what the hell you’ve let yourself in for. So, if you’re just starting out in a marketing role, (or still finding your feet) then this post is for you to help bring some balance to your universe and make your marketing a success.


Marketing takes time and resource to learn. It’s a skill like anything else. If you’re new to the whole thing, then insist and demand a training budget from the powers that be. There’s areas of marketing you’ve probably never heard of (and neither has your boss) Take website migrations for example. So…

  • Read up about different tactics (a good starting point is this from Smart Insights)
  • Work out what’s a priority for you to learn
  • Find a relevant course, training day or book or video series
  • Pitch to win the time off and/or budget
  • Feast on the knowledge you find


This one isn’t complicated.


There’s an unfortunate number of times marketing folk are flooded with requests left, right and centre from everything and everyone. Inevitably this takes time away from the things which matter the most, and will actually ensure success.

The easiest solution?

Block time off in your calendar.

The physical act of setting up a meeting for yourself in Outlook has an oddly powerful effect at deterring people from giving you extra work. Then you can hold it up to show once and for all that you are in fact – genuinely busy.


Keep as much as you can of previous work. Failed ideas, old articles, data. You name it, save it.


  • It’s a valuable record of your experience to show how far you’ve come in future years.
  • You’d be surprised at the number of times you call on something that you finished 4 years ago. Old contacts details, images, stats etc that you can use for future work.

So, get saving. Dropbox works wonders for this sort of thing.


Invest in a good pair of quality headphones and buy a Spotify subscription because you’re going to need it.

You need to wear many hats when it comes to marketing. Maximum concentration for fiddly coding adjustments requires classical for me; something like Vaughan Williams. Copywriting however, needs spark and creativity. So, that means 1960’s soul – think Otis Redding and Dusty Springfield.

With open plan offices still all the rage, it’s the perfect way to block out those around you and focus on the task at hand; meaning better work, increased concentration and less disruption.


When it comes to marketing, digital or otherwise you end up having to speak to everyone in a business. Designers and developers – naturally, but also external printers, the IT guy, HR and legal types. And it pays to build rapport.

Keep mental notes (or physically write it down) what interests them, what they hate. Are they a GoT fan? Or maybe Dartmoor hikes are more of their thing?

Either way, find common ground and build up a friendly working relationship. Why?

  • Marketing has deadlines which can come out of the blue. You’ll need to call in favours.
  • It gets people on side with your ideas helping you achieve your goals.

This isn’t anything new. In fact Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ should be at the top of your reading list.

This isn’t anything new or revolutionary. Weirdly though, nobody ever gives you this sort of advice. If you’re a marketer who has ideas of what’s got them to where they are now then tweet me @danwht and we’ll add them in.

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