Marketing is a service business in which the successful players super serve their clients. It requires a hierarchy of behaviors which sublimates your ego even for your dumbest client. It requires you to anticipate and proactively prepare for unseen events that can impact the client’s business and yours in a nanosecond.
Here’s a compilation of the best advice and direction I’ve been given over the years:
Read everything. Don’t just scan it. Read it. Be sure you understand it. Ask questions. Keep asking. Question it. Good ideas come from everyone. Your perspective will help keep us from being too insular.
Demand context. You’ll be asked to do a million things. Many are routine or intuitive. Some are not. If in doubt, ask what we are doing, why, to whom, and how your task fits into the whole scheme of things. Also insist on knowing about priorities – which matters/comes first, second, third.
Be a Hub. We will all be spinning in several directions. You are the hub of the wheel – steady, stable, constant, always in the same place. You’ll have to figure out how to do it.
Get involved. Surf the sites. Know our competitors. Read the paper with us and our clients in mind. Become an online shopper. Notice cool functionality, interesting details, marketing stuff and share it with the team.
Lay out your thinking. As you do more complex projects, don’t assume that everyone knows (or remembers) what you are doing. Lay out the assumptions and hypotheses. Document your approach so we know where you are coming from. The more transparent you are; the better.
Treat everyone like a client. Assume that everyone deserves maximum attentiveness and respect. You’ll never go wrong.
Assume urgency. We move at Internet speed. And deliver service and answers in a New York minute (50 seconds). Assume that every request made is to be done ASAP unless otherwise stated. If too many ASAPs pile up, ask for help in setting priorities.
God is in the details. Every great thing is nothing more than a web of details. Write everything down. Check and double check. Spell check. We are all juggling stuff. We expect you to be on top of things – entirely buttoned up. If we don’t share the details – demand them from us.
Know where we are. Figure out our personalities. Get all our phone, pager, PDA and home numbers in an easily accessible form. Know how and when to reach us throughout the working day. Figure out what you need from us to be productive and happy. Then tell us explicitly. Few of us read minds. All of us want to work in a fun, happy and productive place. Getting there is an individual and collective responsibility and goal.
Build a network. Every organization has a formal structure and table of organization that explains who’s who and what’s what. Every organization also has informal links of friendship and mutual cooperation between people. That really decides who’s who and what’s what. Getting into the informal loop and being a source of help and information to others will expedite your ability to get stuff done and accelerate your productivity and job satisfaction.