first day letter to demand marketers.pngAs with every profession, you learn a lot on the job that you weren’t ever told during school, the interview process or training. This is especially true regarding B2B marketing, where the pace of change is far too rapid for any undergraduate marketing curriculum to keep up.

While randomly musing with friends over what I’ve learned about the career I accidentally fell into, I began thinking about how knowing these things off that bat would’ve saved me from many arguments with colleagues, wasted efforts, headaches, drinking binges, etc.

To help future demand marketers, here’s a letter I intend to provide on the first day of their new career.

Dear newbie,

Here are 13 things you should know about the journey you’ve unwittingly embarked on:

1. Succumb to the fact that 50% of your work-day vocabulary will now comprise acronyms, trending catch phrases and hyperbolic statements followed by an absurd number of exclamation points.

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“First, we push the needle on ABM by bringing the analytics wow-factor. So much ROI!!! You got that, Jimmy?”
“I don’t work here, sir. Can I have my iPad back?”
Business photograph designed by Katemangostar –

2. Treat any “best practice” with a healthy dose of skepticism. In fact, mentally replace the term with the phrase “a tactic someone somewhere finds useful sometimes.”

3. Expect stats to be thrown at you from every angle, always – trust few of them, and verify as many as you can. Pseudo-statistics is a science of its on in this field.

4. Your beautiful prose may have garnered you much praise in your undergrad intro to creative writing class, but don’t think being “the creative type” alone will advance your marketing career, it won’t. Quit now and get a job teaching ceramics at a charter school.

5. If I’m wrong, and you’re a millennial tech savant, don’t be too proud of yourself – being “the analytical type” alone won’t get you much further. Demand marketing today is a continual left-brain, right-brain balancing act, requiring the imaginative abilities to make creative use of the numbers you crunch.

6. Understand that marketing has become the melting-pot discipline of varying personalities, backgrounds and skills. This is a good thing, but it comes with its challenges.

7. No matter what some of your marketing colleagues say, never underestimate the challenges and responsibilities your sales colleagues face. They may not be able to do your job, but I guarantee you’d struggle to do theirs.

dont berate sales.jpg

“Since you marketers think you’ve done a better job selling than me, I’ve prepared a 1-second slideshow highlighting your results.”
Business photograph designed by Katemangostar –

8. Understand that most content you’ll read will be mediocre at best. However, don’t be too quick to judge – you won’t have the time to write content that’s much better..

9. Turn off instant messenger for large blocks of time. It works wonders for your efficiency, mental state and relationships with coworkers, whom no matter how good of friends you are outside of work, you’ll likely want to kill if you keep IM on all the time.

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“Why is he responding already? I typed ellipses… ELLIPSES!!!”
Business photograph designed by Katemangostar –

10. Schedule your to-do list so that administrative, analytical and creative tasks are grouped in separate blocks. Jumping between these mindsets is nerve-racking and wastes time, which you’ll find you have less and less of as your career advances.

11. Remember that being a little competitive is productive and heathy – being very competitive just makes you look like a dick.

12. Help where you can, but don’t just help for the sake of putting your fingerprint on everything; too many cooks in the kitchen can be very destructive.

too many cooks.jpg

“I don’t remember sending a calendar invite to you, Carl from the warehouse.”
Business photograph designed by Katemangostar –

13. Check the use of slang in your content. You may think it’s engaging, but to others, it just reads as if you’re trying too hard to be hip. Remember that slang is a linguistic tool used to unite certain groups of people, which means you’re alienating – in often cringeworthy ways – anyone who isn’t in that group. If all your buyer personas use a certain slang term, fine, but that’s rarely the case.