You’re being trusted to leave things better, not worse, than how you found them.
Wow ‘em. Your manager has a list of things they’ve been waiting for you to work on. You’re joining a production effort, remember, and there’s a lot of grunt work everyone needs to do, day in and day out. Don’t let that work define you.
You’ve been hired for your fresh skills, yes, but also for your big, beautiful brains. Take time to get to know the territory, understand the chain of command (without it, there is chaos and nobody who works at an asset management firm likes chaos), ask questions, take notes, think … and then dazzle your colleagues with one idea after another. They’re not all going to be gold, but one or two will land and away you go!
Mind the data. Understand this about your new industry: when it comes to investment performance data, there is zero tolerance for errors. Mistakes happen, and not just on digital properties. But digital properties are where those mistakes can be fixed fastest.
If someone alerts you to an error on the website, switch into high preparedness mode—and then wait. You may have the tools you need to fix something. Great, you’re a go-getter and you’re ready. Even so, wait for a greenlight from a designated authority. Don’t be that well meaning rookie who makes things worse.
Assimilate. You are always going to be in the minority where you work. People who know about investing, including those who manage money, build and sell investment products always will outnumber you and your marketing compatriots. Some of your peers will choose to cling together, but resist that if it means you secluding yourself. You will have ample opportunity to learn about the business you’re in, take full advantage!
Why shouldn’t today’s digital marketer be on a CMO or CEO path? Pay attention and all should be within reach.
Be serious. As a digital marketer, you’re going to interpret and report website, email, social, advertising data. Awesome, so interesting, and the key to continuous improvement. But, the curse of analytics as provided by third-party providers and sometimes combined with proprietary data is the implication that it’s precise, unimpeachable. That’s not the case with marketing data reliant on imperfect or flawed systems. Marketing data can wildly overstate success or, in the case of email response and social engagement data, just not compute.
Be transparent about what is reliable, and what is questionable. No one expects everything to be rock-solid, they expect you to keep them from going too far out on a ledge based on kooky findings.
Build a personal brand that people will have faith in. Your school educated you, but your job is where you’ll build your expertise. Serious marketers understand the importance of data in decision-making. Serious digital marketers understand the value of being transparent. Bogus clicks and bloated impressions don’t drive the business, you know better.
Get comfortable with ambiguity. We are imperfect humans producing imperfect work, in part because everything can’t be known, expectations can be unreasonable, and planning can be flawed. I can see the future and it involves you being asked to move forward with something that you know could be, should be, better. You’re not going to like it when your manager or your manager’s manager says, “I don’t care, just move it live.”
Oh, and then also, sometimes HOT HOT HOT projects that you prioritized over all else will suddenly grind to a halt, with nary a peep from the project manager. That can be hard for newcomers to take, too.
Unless you’re being asked to do something totally reprehensible that offends you to the core, try not to die on these hills. This is what happens at work, and at all jobs.
Never surrender your standards, no employer should ask you to do that. But, for your own peace and serenity, try to understand that business priorities shift. You’re never going to be able to change that. What you can control is your flexibility and your ability to roll with it. Work-life balance helps with this.