I have worked in marketing management roles for more than 10 years. my roles have been varied both in terms of job function and the companies I have worked for. I have to say that marketing managers fall into 2 clear categories, usually driven by the type of organsiation they work for.
Type 1 – The Program Manager
I was a Type 1 in my 1st job, working for a blue chip corporate. I had a large budget to manage, a capable team and great selection of agencies to manage. Type 1’s tend to be very organised, with a breadth of marketing knowledge across the entire mix, but also tend not to specialise in any particular area. They typically direct, running various programs through their teams and agencies.
Type 2 – The Hands-On Manager
I have been a Type 2 in my last 3 roles. A manager that likes to get involved in the nitty-gritty of campaign design and execution, one that understands how websites are developed and one that learns the tricks of the trade before passing their knowledge to their team to execute.
I have to say that I am still shocked by how many senior marketing professionals I work with, at large corporates who simply do not understand the basics. They have been programmed into a way of working that forces them almost into an administrative day job. I saw this happening to me 8 years ago and decided it wasn’t a path I wanted to take.
My advice to aspiring (and current) marketing professionals? Know the route you want to take and understand what that means. If you’re about managing large teams, large budgets and agencies then define yourself as a Type 1. If you want to be more hands-on, more creative and more involved in the day-to-day then become a Type 2. Neither is right or wrong, it’s personal preference, but you will inevitably become one or the other and I suggest you understand that sooner rather than later.
By defining your role, you also define your destiny. You will now be able to distinguish between a Type 1 role that is advertised and a Type 2 role. Next step, make it clear on your CV what ‘Type’ you are. If I am HR or Marketing Director for a large blue chip and am looking for someone to ‘manage programs’ Then I want a CV that shows me a Type 1 character. Alternatively, I also want to be able to spot a Type 2 superstar quickly.
Take a look at my CV and tell me what Type you think I am? Pretty clear huh?