The marketing and advertising industry is a competitive and fast-paced field. For those who have been in this industry for a long time, it's second nature to respond to the industry's changes and pivot into a new direction. For newcomers, however, reality can be quite different. Every second matters in the marketing world, and experience counts for a lot.
These nine experts from Ad Age Collective have been around the industry long enough to know what works, what doesn't and how to become successful. We asked them about the advice they would give newcomers to the advertising and marketing field and why that advice is so important. Here's what they told us.
1. Put your customer's needs first.
When first starting a career in marketing, one piece of advice that will never change is to think about your customer and make your customer’s needs your No. 1 priority. Whether it’s internal or external, your customer’s needs should be at the heart of every decision. Combine that with some good old-fashioned curiosity and fearlessness to elevate your career. - Cathy Oh, Samsung Ads
2. Be open to new things.
When starting your career, don't turn down an opportunity because it is not what you imagined. You could fall in love with a new discipline, learn a new facet of the business or find a path you never expected. Simply be open to learning and discovery, because years later, a pivot is not as easy. Take advantage of it now. - Maggie O'Neill, Peppercomm
3. Don't lose your humanity.
Marketing has been on a decade-long trajectory toward data. While this has made marketing more accountable, the push toward the field becoming tactics-driven has created an industry which is losing its humanity. The great irony? Marketers who implicitly understand humanity get the greatest results. If you're entering the field, hold on to your humanity. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
4. Be the interviewer.
Interview, interview, interview! This isn't intuitive. As a person breaking into the industry, often you're trying to land an interview with your future employer. Turn that around. Reach out to people on LinkedIn and request that you interview them for a social media post, blog piece or whatever else. Not only will you learn a lot, but you'll also often get a much higher response rate. - Rebecca Bamberger, BAM Communications
5. Have an experimental mindset.
The key to being a good marketer or advertiser and actually enjoying the process is to have an experimental mindset. These areas are not ones where formulas work consistently, and that's exciting. Keep an open mind and dive into your work with the intention of trying out new things. Enjoy the process and you'll soon learn to love the field and fit in it quickly. - Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
6. Connect outside your immediate marketing silo.
Get to know people in other marketing disciplines. You'd be surprised how many people are willing to share their daily experiences with eager learners. Once you understand how all the roles and departments work together, you can get a handle on marketing strategy and operational alignment that you wouldn't get if you stayed in your silo. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
7. Seek out mentors and learning opportunities.
Marketing is such a dynamic, multifaceted industry! Always seek out mentors and learning opportunities to absorb as much knowledge as you can. Even if the knowledge is not directly related to your role, it makes you a better marketer to understand the entire process. Plus, a strong professional network is an invaluable asset throughout your entire career. - Kelly Ehlers, Ideas That Evoke
8. Don't let the terminology intimidate you.
Every industry has its own language and it's easy to feel like an outsider if you assume everyone else knows what they're talking about and you are the novice. However, the core of marketing is all about connection and you probably know a great deal about that if you're in this industry. Keep that notion at the center and learn the lingo as you go. - Holly Fearing, Filene Research Institute
9. Don't be afraid of numbers and measurement.
Marketing and advertising are creative exercises at heart, but you need to be able to translate that creativity into measurable results. Doing so is the best way to ensure that you receive more resources to try new things and credit for your work to advance your career. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)