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I recently had a conversation with a former colleague who I've worked with for years, and she asked me about making transitions in your career and how it relates to what you do now. We had a great conversation, but it's something I had been thinking about on and off since that conversation. How can I tie together all I've learned to impact what I do now?
When I started working in marketing, the idea of marketing was very traditional—I was writing newsletters and, of all things, software manuals. At the time, the idea of marketing was blast everyone and anyone with your message and hope it sticks.
After that position, I made leap to a public relations agency, did some proposal writing in between for a bit, then went into corporate public relations. I learned so much--I realized marketing wasn't about blasting everyone and anyone with your message; it was about making the message stick and making it relevant. I was constantly on the phone and talking over email to reporters. In under two minutes I had sell the story. On the flipside, when I was working with market analysts, I had to build the relationship AND get them to talk to the client. Marketing was no longer “spray and pray”; you have to be more relevant and more personalized, and you had to get your point across in two minutes. Adding in social made it a tad more complex. In fact, I used social media to land a job
Which brings me to this exact moment. I made the transition to more of a traditional marketing role and my prior skills are more important than ever. As a demand generation marketer, I have to tie together what I’d consider traditional marketing –email and newsletter, webinars, case studies and much more— with some more digital ways such as online ads, web campaigns, social promotion and even PR. In a way, the two minutes to tell a story is now reduced to two seconds. The traditional newsletter is replaced by a blurb, and letters are now emails.
As marketers, we get bombarded with offers left and right do X, buy a list, do Y and reach your target customer. I can't even keep up some days with my Gmail inbox. My office email doesn't look any better. What always gets me in the end is something personalized to me. Sales people can stalk me on LinkedIn or Twitter all they want, but something related, personal and relevant to what I do will capture my attention every time.
I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't have a feeling about where I think marketing is heading. I attended two great B2B marketing events last year, and the key takeaways can be summed up in about four key areas: account-based and content marketing, personalization and nurturing leads.
Where my interest lies is personalization and the power it holds. Do I know what’s next? Nope…I can’t even remotely claim to know. But I do know there are some really kick-butt tools out there, such as Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud, that can make the power of personalization happen. By optimizing the customer journey, you make all the awesomeness of digital relevant and personal to each individual.
I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
Susan Koutalakis has more than a decade of marketing, public relations agency and corporate communications experience, specifically in building and executing public relations, analyst relations, social media, product launches, webinar, customer reference and online marketing programs. Previously, she’s worked for both emerging and established companies with a focus on areas such as application development, mobile, interactive and social media, SaaS, marketing, and eCommerce technologies.
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