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“It’s my first day in Marketing. I’m completely clueless. Where do I start?”
Most of us keep changing our roles and jobs. Your first day in marketing is always a bundle of nerves and excitement. Yes, you have tons of experience, you’ve cleared grueling interviews and have a fairly sharp idea of what needs to be done. Or you’ve just shifted from the business side or sales to marketing. Yet still, there remains a feeling of ‘Where do I start?’ or ‘What’s my first move?’
7 sure-shot strategies to begin your first day in Marketing
1. Schedule time with your boss
First things first, always set up an orientation meeting with your boss at the earliest. Ask him/her about marketing’s current priority, pain points, people who you could get along easily with etc. Also understand your boss’ way of functioning – when they are free, their preferred mode of communication within the team. Get a sense of their style of working.
2. Speak with your new Marketing Team
Rule No.1 – On your first day in Marketing and even afterwards: be social. Talk to your team members (work hard on memorizing names) and try to get as much information as possible regarding how things are done. Ask them about what works and doesn’t or what are the current priorities. If your team is on your side, they’ll give you a 101 on how things function within the marketing department.
If you have taken up a role and the previous manager has shifted to another role within the same organization, talk to them. You will get a good idea of exactly what is expected of you.
3. Get a list of Vendors whom marketing deals with
Once you have a list of vendors, printers, agencies – call them and introduce yourself. A short conversation with each of them might give you some insight regarding how people in the team deal with each agency, timelines, who can help with what.
4. Go through previous Marketing Communication
Spend time looking at all that has previously been done within the Marketing department. Collateral, Direct Mailers, Email, Social Media, Contests – these will give an idea of what type of marketing is done by the organization.
5. Ask for the Brand Manual and Style Guide
To be good at your new marketing job, definitely as for the brand manual. Understand brand guidelines, fonts, templates, image guidelines etc. The brand manual will also help display many of the common collateral which the organization frequently creates.
6. Understand the Company Hierarchy
Ask HR or your team to draw out the reporting lines. Get to know who is important and what does he/she handle. Be clear with who is Senior Management and who calls the shots.
7. Get your Infrastructure in place
Your first day in marketing is also about getting your laptop, company phone, email account configured, stationery, employee ID and work station. Spend time on resolving infrastructure issues during the day, in between your other duties.
At the end of the day, all these pieces put together should help give you a better picture of what your marketing department does and what you need to do. It’s always better to start with a thought through plan rather than being absolutely lost on day one.