Tell Me You Work In Marketing Without Telling Me You Work In Marketing

The most important role I’ve ever had was being a digital content specialist, turned digital marketing associate.

It was there that I honed in on my writing skills, learned marketing, marketing tools, Google Analytics reporting, and used those skills to create a blog, write on Medium, and position myself as a writer. However, it was in the same role that I went through severe burnout. Working in marketing is like working in an agency.

It’s as fast-paced as the job ads sell.

Marketing campaigns need a quick pace to run effectively and get accurate reports from the campaigns to use in the next campaign. Over time, I transitioned to other types of writing that are slow-paced, but I can’t help but keep up with marketing conversations on Twitter.

You Wear Many Hats

Most marketing job descriptions condense three roles into one role, then pay dismally for that role.

To run a successful marketing campaign, you need:

  • A digital marketing lead who spearheads campaigns.
  • A content writer.
  • A copywriter.
  • A graphic designer and video editor.
  • A paid ads manager.
  • An email campaigns manager.

Apart from the digital marketing lead role, most marketing job descriptions condense the other roles into one. This results in an overwhelmed scatterbrained digital marketing associate who is burning the candle at both ends.

Great copywriters are rarely great graphic designers or video editors. And great video editors don’t care about great copy. It’s therefore hard for a company to run successful marketing campaigns if one person is in charge of copy email marketing, paid ads, and content at the same time.

If you’re like me, you might resonate with these tweets:

While I understand that having a diverse set of skills serves an employer’s labor bottom line and enhances an employee’s job security, marketing departments need to do right by their employees.

You Are Underpaid

Not all people who work in marketing are underpaid, but most people are.

This goes back to #1, you can’t wear more than one hat and be well paid. Over time you get shortchanged,  especially if appraisals are 2%-5% salary increments. Most companies don’t pay well from the get-go. This causes content creators who are passionate about their job to rethink their jobs and sometimes, their careers. Digital content specialist salaries are low, not to mention the number of roles they have.

You Are a Magician

Marketers can’t help bad products.

A product is deemed viable when it makes the first sale, and the first customer should not be anyone related to the founder or the employees. The first customer should be someone entirely new to your business, to validate your product.

If your product depends solely on influencers, then you really don’t have a product.

Marketing can’t help a product whose owners never conducted market research on. Find the people first, know their needs, and create a product for them. It will be easier than creating a product first, conducting zero market research, and expecting it to fly.

Marketers are not magicians.

You Are Still Researching Best Attribution Practices

When I worked in marketing, the hardest part was attribution and finding a knowledge base that was local.

Most marketing sites such as Hubspot have great resources but the knowledge they offer is America-centric. Africans and Kenyans specifically have different spending and consuming habits, that rarely get factored into marketing resource creation.

When it comes to attribution, nailing down the specific channel is important for planning and growth. However, different marketing tools have different attribution techniques. For example, Klaviyo and Google Analytics have different sales attribution methods, so you have to nail down the conversion window and UTMs to be as accurate as you can.

Working in marketing can be very exciting, especially when you get to see actual results and revenue from your marketing efforts. If you’re like me, the passion to create content and use your knowledge to impact marketing can blind you to the industry’s flaws.

While I recommend learning all there is to learn about marketing and equipping your skills, I’d not advise you to take a job while you’re being shortchanged. If you feel like you’re being shortchanged, chances are you’re being shortchanged.

Hopefully, you’ll come up with a way and a plan to create a better working environment for you in the marketing industry.

This article first appeared in Better Marketing.

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