The mistakes that stop marketers reaching the top

It would be nice to have a foolproof manual for succeeding at work, wouldn’t it? A handy list of dos and don’ts to ensure you make it right to the board.

I spotted two separate articles last week identifying the mistakes and bad habits that may prevent you from succeeding.

Firstly, there was an article on entitled How young marketers can stand out to get on which contained good advice for anyone embarking on – or already enjoying – a career in marketing.

The section that caught my eye listed the mistakes that marketers claim prevent them from reaching the top of an organisation. They identified the five biggest as:

  1. Underselling marketing
  2. No curiosity about the rest of the business
  3. Not bringing diversity to teams and boards
  4. Not working on personal brand
  5. Risk-averse

If this is true – and I believe it is an accurate list – then it’s a good way of evaluating whether you are likely to be advancing or stalling your career by consistently making one or more these mistakes.

It’s also a handy anti-checklist for any young marketer who is approaching a new position or, indeed, looking to progress in a current one.

Later that same day, Twitter alerted me to an article on about the ‘work habits to avoid in order to get ahead’.

While many of them were fairly obvious, such as poor timekeeping and negativity, it was a good reminder of how important things like being flexible, tenacious and dressing professionally really are.

It’s easy to slip into bad habits but it can – sometimes – be just as easy to put things right.

While mistakes will be made and we will each discover what our individual strengths and weaknesses are along the way, it’s always comforting to have a couple of checklists in your back pocket to keep you moving in the right direction.


It’s National Hug Day… but does anyone care?

If you follow any brands on Facebook, or listen to the radio as you drive to work, it will be hard to avoid learning about the numerous ‘national days’ that now exist on our calendar.

Today, for example, is ‘National Hug Day’. Unbelievable, but true, and all of these brands are talking about it (click to enlarge the image)

Many people believe that these national days are the shameless creation of marketers who needed a new way to sell more products… but can they still be an effective marketing tool when they are perceived in such a negative way?

Content marketing is all about creating and sharing content that will help you attract new interest and, ultimately, new sales. If the level of engagement on the examples above is anything to go by, these days can certainly be used effectively on social channels. They can work well for PR, too, if you need a way of making your story more topical.

If you start your marketing planning with a content calendar each year, these days are a reliable ‘fillers’ when there’s not a lot going on in your own sector or it’s a quiet time of year generally. The frequency of content – and variety, too – is vitally important and something this lighthearted and fun can reveal your brand’s softer side when shared amongst those ‘product pushing’ posts.

So, the next time you see a brand hopping on the back of a ‘national day’, take a closer look at how they’re using it and whether they have managed to somehow make it their own. If you can find your own angle, it could just be the piece of content that hooks an elusive new customer for you.