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What accelerates a marketing career, or any career, for that matter?

While the answer surely varies between individuals and organizations, there are real steps you can take at work to stand out positively and move your career forward faster, at any level.

As Salesforce’s Emma Chalwin has shared with The Marketing Academy, it’s important to build a reputation for work rooted in your core values, focused on people, and motivated by shared success. These elements all have a huge impact on how your organization’s teams, content, and strategies perform — and they’re key to career advancement in marketing.

Here are Emma’s 5 top tips for accelerating your marketing career:

 

1. Adhere to your core values

“The business of business is to make the world a better place.” — Marc Benioff

Building a career in marketing typically involves building your own personal brand. As you do this, make sure you stay authentic and value-driven every step of the way.

You may find it helpful to write a short list of the three things you value most in both your life and career. For some, those things might be Family, Authenticity, and Trust. For others, maybe they’re Creativity, Integrity, and Accountability. Share this list with your team members, stakeholders, and family to help them easily understand what’s important to you. Reflecting upon your key values will also give you clarity about what matters most as your navigate your marketing career.

 

2. Create pictures of success

Pictures of success are visualizations of what your team must do to succeed. Start with a quick list of your key stakeholders. Then add a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) those stakeholders will hold your team accountable for. By comparing these lists, you can clearly visualize what your team needs to do to be successful in the eyes of stakeholders.

This formula for pictures of success will stay the same whether you change teams, move regions or countries, acquire additional responsibilities, or transfer to an entirely different organization. Keeping goals and KPIs on a parallel track with what stakeholders want is essential to managing clear relationships in every business environment.

 

3. Coordinate sales and marketing teams

According to the Fourth Annual Salesforce State of Marketing report, companies with fully aligned marketing and sales teams have a 38% higher win rate. It's a foregone conclusion that a strong relationship between marketing and sales is crucial for success. Unfortunately,  in many organizations, this level of coordination is virtually nonexistent.

Think about your organization's marketing and sales teams, and how they relate to your role. If the marketing and sales teams in your organization aren’t coordinated, it may be beneficial for those teams to be restructured to complement each other. Each line of business should have a marketing lead and a corresponding sales lead, and working beneath those leads should be regionally mapped marketing and sales teams. This leads to better marketing plans, as well as the ability to identify opportunities and pain points more effectively — making it possible for your organization to go to market in a more cohesive way.


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4. Balance art and science in marketing

It’s important for marketers to strike the right balance between creative and data-driven decision-making. For most people, it’s not unusual to prioritize one kind of thinking over another. Marketers should try to work around this, retraining their brains to balance both the art and science of marketing.

Since almost all of the interactions consumers have with brands are now captured, all marketing decision-making should start with data. This helps marketers make informed creative decisions, develop targeted messaging, and foster personalized consumer connections. Creative spark and flair will always be key differentiators for brands, and today’s robust consumer data can help inspire creativity that engages consumers more effectively than ever.

 

5. Let Soul vs. Salary maps lead you

Soul vs. Salary maps can help marketers understand their teams, and themselves, better. So, how do you make one?

Start by understanding your soul. What makes you leap out of bed in the morning and dive into work? Your soul tasks are things you’d do happily, whether or not you were paid to. Then, think about things you wouldn’t likely do on your own, if you weren’t being paid to. These are your salary tasks — they’re part of your job, not part of your soul.

Knowing what your Soul vs. Salary map looks like can help you prioritize tasks and steer your marketing career towards the responsibilities that make up your soul. If everyone on your team creates a Soul vs Salary map, you’ll quickly find that one person’s soul isn’t necessarily another person’s soul, and one person’s salary isn’t necessarily another person’s salary.

It’s been shown that the highest-performing members of any team are those who spend 70-80% of their time on Soul tasks. For marketing managers, Soul vs. Salary maps can be indispensable tools for maximizing team performance, and they can even inform hiring decisions.

For more details about you can accelerate your marketing career, click here to listen to Salesforce’s Emma Chalwin discuss these 5 tips in greater depth.