“I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” Lord Goring (in Oscar Wilde’s ‘An Ideal Husband’) may have been on to something.
Marketing Magazine asked Mountainview Learning’s Rob Bayne for advice to those starting a career in marketing. Here’s what he had to say…
- Work for someone you admire
There’s little benefit in having a manager – find a mentor. At the start of my career I thought the fast track was based on the skills you have, but it’s based on the skills you develop. The smart move is to focus on learning from the people a few feet away, rather than trying to impress them. A brilliant mentor will put you on the fast track to the fast track.
- Find the right ladder to climb
I joined an advertising agency, but was better suited to brand marketing and moved. I’m thankful to an ex-Unilever marketer who hired and trained me. Adland experience has been invaluable in my marketing career, however. Some people find the right ladder first time – they’re missing out.
- Have a point of view
In my first year as a brand manager I stepped into an elevator with the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson. He asked what I was working on, and in a moment of brilliance I told him I was just catching up on emails after the weekend. You never know when you’ll get a moment in the spotlight, and there won’t be many of them – don’t let it be unexpected. Get into the discipline of having ideas and insights worth sharing.
- Be a one-hit wonder
It’s better than the alternative. Each year you’ll remember (and be remembered for) one or perhaps two achievements. In 2006, I worked the longest hours of my career, but had the least to show for it. Look for a few big ideas that can be noticed and will make a big impact.
- It’s a people business
At Coca-Cola I hired a brilliant creative director who I’d worked with 10 years earlier agency-side. At the start of my career the idea of ‘networking’ seemed contrived; later on, you find the doors that open tend to have familiar faces behind them – people you have listened to, learned from and laughed with.