What I Wish I Knew When I First Started In Marketing

April 27, 2022

Marketing is an ever-changing and constantly moving world that you learn to either sink or swim in. 

When I first started in marketing, I came straight from university, which was great for exposing me to various creative opportunities, but I lacked that real-world experience.

After six months of agency life, my view of marketing has completely transformed, and I now know so much more. Here’s what I wish I had known when I first started.

You can never know it all.

When you first start out in anything, you constantly compare yourself to others and feel you'll never know as much as everyone else. But before you know it, you realise there is so much to know, and knowing everything is an impossible task - there isn't anyone who knows absolutely everything about marketing.

Marketing is constantly moving; you learn that everyone is continually keeping up with new updates and changes. You realise that it's okay to not know every little detail of something and that the fact you want to learn and pick up as much as you can is actually the vital part of learning. 

It's okay to push back, you're the expert now.

This was one of the hardest things for me to grasp when I started out. I would doubt everything I did and say yes to every client's wishes without giving it a second thought. 

It took a long while to start believing in my abilities and trust my instincts. I'm at a stage now where I can confidently give advice and opinions on ideas and I feel that I know what is in clients' best interest. Im now confident enough to push back on ideas that I think won't be worth it, explain why, and offer advice and alternatives.

Amends are a good thing.

Getting feedback on your work can sometimes feel like someone is just highlighting everything wrong with what you've just spent hours working on. Throughout university and into my first few months of work, I struggled with understanding that actually feedback is beneficial for everyone involved. It helps you continue to learn and work from those comments. 

A piece of work will almost always have things that could be improved, whether you have just started in your profession or have been doing it for years. A fresh pair of eyes will always pick up new details, and there isn't anything wrong with that. It's how you take that feedback and help it improve your work from now on that's important. 

You can't just make things for yourself; you need to cater to the customer. 

Going from university, where you could make everything on your own terms and create designs and brands you liked personally, to go into an agency that works with many different clients, I learned you can't always create work in your style, you really have to think about the brand. 

It's very tempting to make things you like the look of because that makes the most sense in your head, but the tricky bit is putting yourself in the mindset of the intended consumer and creating content they want to engage with.

In another six months, I'm sure there will be even more that I learn and can look back at and smile about, but at the moment, I feel really optimistic about my progress and am proud of the marketer I have grown to be. 

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