My marketing colleagues and peers are losing their jobs — what can I do to keep mine?

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With unemployment still at record highs, many marketers don't feel entirely "safe" in their jobs. Here's some things you do to avoid the chopping block.

Instead of just "doing your job," think of your primary responsibility as "connecting with your customers." To reach as many customers as possible, you need to think of new ideas that go beyond traditional marketing, like social media campaigns, mobile promotions and new Web-based, cross-campaign measurement techniques. You have to convince your team that one or more of your ideas merits implementation, then take the responsibility to build, drive and manage the program. But don't launch any new program without confidence that you can measure results and report impact as you go.

Next, deliver proof that your programs are working. If you want to impress management with your fantastic marketing skills, you need to make sure you're using the most up-to-date tools to measure as much as you can — individual campaign effectiveness, buzz volume, site traffic referrals. Besides measuring site traffic and ad impressions, you can also use new Web tools to measure sentiment about your brands across blogs and social networks — and that type of metric is even more important in this economy, when customer engagement and retention is more valuable than ever.

If you really want to stick around at your marketing department, start thinking like an innovator. It's not easy to come up with entirely new ideas and strategies; it requires creative thinking about strategies, channels and tactics. The good news is there are many emerging opportunities in social, word of mouth and community-enabled marketing.

Most importantly, make sure every new program you run is driving real revenue in the short term or real, measurable customer value in the long term. Innovative marketing usually creates surprising new value for the customer first and foremost, which is why marketers who focus on new ways to drive customer engagement stay at the head of the class.

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