There are a lot of things that I wish I knew when I was younger.
In particular, I wish that I knew that there’s no such thing as a linear path, career or personal. Each career is made up of unique twists and turns; that’s what makes everyone’s story so interesting—no two stories are alike.
Recently, I was interviewed for a beautiful, informative blog, Happy and Heartworking, which highlights those fun twists and turns in the distinctive careers of several precocious women. The editor of the blog asked for advice that I would give my younger self. So I started to think about how most young, career-oriented adults—myself included—revel in good advice from others who are more experienced. So I’ve asked five of the industry’s most skilled marketers and analysts to share some of their words of wisdom for today’s aspiring, young marketers. Here’s what they had to say:
“What’s the advice that I would give to young marketers trying to break into the industry? Use the platforms—social, mobile, email, Web. Digital platforms. Be intimate with the marketing platforms from day one. Then go find a small company where you can be close to the business—maybe a small agency or even a small startup where you can be an effective member and an important member of a team.”—Mark Josephson, Bitly, CEO
“My advice isn’t just for marketers but for everyone looking to start a career. Follow industry trends. Really immerse yourself into the fabric of the industry. Because of my background I have an inclination to focus on digital. I think that if you want to find a job in this industry right now, the best way really to do that is to immerse yourself in the digital marketing world; because that’s really where the growth is very clearly. And I think if you want to break into this world you’ll get a great leg up if you reach out to companies that are in this space and offer some of your time. Network with those companies. A lot of innovation is happening at the ground level at places like us.”—Mark Yackanich, Genesis Media, CEO
“In 2015, you’re going to have to be digital, or you’re going to have to get out. Digital skills are imperative now. Traditional media is not going away. Traditional channels are not going away. But the overwhelming focus and importance is now digital, not traditional. So remember, digital-first strategies.”—Rebecca Lieb, Altimeter Group, analyst
“In the advertising industry, the technology is changing so rapidly and can be understandably daunting for newcomers. I always encourage people to stay well-informed by reading industry trend reports and opinion pieces. In today’s ad world we are making strides away from the Madison Avenue- and Mad Men-approach and stepping into a world much more grounded in technology. In addition, the technology is becoming increasingly interdependent, so it’s important to think about the role that a cross-channel strategy and robust data intelligence has in impacting or disrupting the purchase funnel.”—Mark Strecker, Amobee, CEO
“Focus on digital analytics. There’s such a demand for people with an ability to analyze data, both qualitatively and quantitatively. There’s so much change in the space of digital analytics; there’s so much opportunity to be creative and take advantage of a lot of new ways to measure, especially measuring across different channels—including physical channels. It’s a skill that you can start to use without a ton of experience and still have an impact then rapidly increase your value in the marketplace.”—Ken Allard, Huge, managing director, business strategy