By Caitlin Phillips, Account Manager
My passion for marketing can be traced back to a 6th-grade homework assignment: creating a print ad for a candy cane. From that small exercise, my fascination for marketing grew steadily over the next decade and resulted in completing a B.S. in Marketing from Xavier University. From there, I launched my professional career as an Account Manager, where I put my knowledge and skills to use growing brands like Frigidaire, Sears, and Chrysler.
Over the past seven years, I have supported various industries from manufacturing to healthcare and led numerous marketing initiatives, including new product launches, pricing strategies, and trade show events, as well as digital and print campaigns. The varying scope and complexity of these projects have provided me with an abundance of practical insight and led to countless valuable and rewarding relationships along the way.
There are many qualities and concepts critical to success in any profession. I’ve found that four stand out as being essential to me in marketing.
1. Habitual honesty.
Whether it is with clients, colleagues, or vendors, being habitually honest is paramount in building a successful relationship. If you want to be viewed as a trusted partner, you have to earn it through transparent and consistent communication.
Sometimes this can mean a difficult discussion needs to take place. But by always being honest and proactive with communication and providing possible solutions that overcome such adversities, trust is built. And that kind of trust is foundational in building productive partnerships.
2. Be adaptable.
We’ve all heard the adage ‘the only thing constant is change,’ but it’s inherently true in marketing. Companies will shift priorities, deadlines will get pushed, and things will not always go as planned. View these challenges as opportunities to remind your partners why they chose to work with you in the first place and to flex your creative problem-solving skills. Being adaptable and developing solutions for clients will elevate you from being an agency partner to becoming an extension of their marketing organization.
The same can be said of building rapport with coworkers. Communication styles and preferences differ between individuals. Some people desire emails loaded with detailed explanations, while others prefer a simple phone call to discuss things quickly in real-time. The ability to remain flexible within the group is a key component in ensuring project goals or client feedback is accurately articulated.
3. Set realistic expectations and plan to over-deliver.
Another cliché? You bet – and this one is my favorite. It was a motto I often heard in my years at Electrolux Major Appliances, and it’s been ingrained in my daily performance.
Setting realistic expectations with your clients is the name of the game. To achieve this, communicating their needs to the necessary internal departments is vital to create accurate timelines and budgets. Once those are relayed you can begin delivering on the agreed expectations while trying hard to make them even better.
4. Keep learning.
Evolve with the times or be left behind (ok, I promise that’s the last cliché). Continuous learning can come through formal education, training sessions, or simply reaching out to colleagues who possess the skills you wish to acquire. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve asked a coworker if they could teach me a new technique or show me how to use a new tool that could help me better support the team and improve how I serve clients.
Being open to learning new things and having the willingness to ask for help are both learned skills, and they don’t come easy to everyone, but I believe they are imperative for progress – both professionally and personally.
Joining the team.
All four of these lessons have contributed significantly throughout my marketing career, and most importantly, they helped lead me to join the Origo team.
From my initial conversations with Origo, it was clear they were the honest, adaptable, and client-centric organization I was looking for. Those qualities shine through from our incredible team and exceptional body of work. And when paired with my desire to keep learning and growing in my career, it made the decision to become part of the Origo family an easy one.