Even at a company as marketing-centric as HubSpot , we dedicated marketers still fall victim to the usual teasing that I'm sure our colleagues out there face as well. Fellow marketers, have you ever felt misunderstood about what it takes to do your difficult job? Do you go from a sales rep complaining about leads to an IT person ignoring your requests and then wish you could get a drink without someone spotting you and asking if you do work or just drink all day? While I'm sure much of the teasing is done in good fun, this image of what is a marketer is grossly misconceived, so I'm here to dispel these misconceptions about marketers here and now.
1.) Marketers Can't Do Math
You can't do marketing - at least, not well - if you're not measuring your campaigns, and where your traffic and leads are coming from. Web analytics , and the data crunching of those metrics, is absolutely central to making your marketing effective. At HubSpot, every single thing we do in marketing has a success metric to go along with it, and we frequently do awesome (yes, we geek out) data crunching of our email stats or lead conversion metrics or lead scoring algorithm. Marketers today MUST do math - understand it, do it, and communicate it. The whole shebang.
2.) Marketers Break Technology
It's true that many of the marketers on our team have broken some sort of technology - maybe more than once - during their tenure. I myself have gone through a number of laptops, while others may go through power adapters or cameras. But let's dig into this. It's not that we're irresponsible or can't handle technology. Rather, laptops have crumbled because they can't handle our large excel and video files. Power adapters die because they get wrapped and carried home day after day so that we can continue working and geeking out about marketing from our homes. Cameras don't die - we upgrade and get new and better ones as our video chops get better. Technology is key to marketing today, and we need powerful tools to keep up with us.
3.) Marketing: Two-Drink Minimum
We do love that saying, and yes, we have a fridge at HubSpot that's stocked with more beer than soda. The reality is that marketing is a creative and social process. You can't do marketing without interacting with people and building relationships. Social media and the web certainly makes it easier to build relationships with people remotely, but you can't replace the in-person relationship building. And what makes a networking event even more comfortable? A drink in your hand. I'm sure if we were to get rid of the beer fridge here at HubSpot, the whole company would be up in arms.
4.) Marketers Can't Do Any Other Job
One of the reasons I love marketing as much as I do is because it is the intersection of so many pieces of business. Who do I work with the most? Sometimes it's our product development team. Sometimes it's the sales team, or our founders. Marketing is the intersection of every part of the business - finance, sales, customer retention, product development, and executive strategy. I'm not saying we do any of these to its fullest, but the exposure to each is incredibly fun and makes for such an amazing learning experience that I would never trade. Marketing is not a last resort, it's my first choice.
5.) Anyone Can Do Marketing
I used to get in arguments with my science major friends, who always thought my silly Religious Studies classes (I was a Religious Studies major) were so easy. It's true that I would have absolutely struggled or even failed out of the insane science classes; that was always my worst subject in school. But in reality, my science major friends would not have found my Humanities classes so easy. Humanities - and, consequently, marketing - require a different skill set, consisting of written and verbal communication skills (so that you can write ranting posts such as this one!) plus additional research and analysis skills. The key is always to find a job that you enjoy where you can leverage your skills.
Are there any other misunderstood marketers out there? What other misconceptions are there? Dare any others try to defend some of these misconceptions?
Flickr photo by crosathorian