For junior marketers and marketing executives, having access to a more senior marketer can be a great way to hone your marketing skills, understand the mechanics of a marketing strategy, and shortcut decisions around the most suitable marketing platforms and tools to implement into your business.
For senior marketers, mentorship, or being a marketing coach, can be a great way to share your knowledge and experience, help younger marketers from making the same mistakes that you’ve made, and encourage the next generation of marketers on their marketing journey.
There is also a strong case for marketing mentors to support marketers back into the workforce after a parental leave break, or career change. The past few decades have seen enormous changes in the marketing industry. The classic 4 P’s of marketing and above-the-line advertising campaigns have been superseded by a new generation of marketing:
- digital marketing: where social media is a key sales and engagement channel and optimisation and performance of your website and online content is everything;
- a focus on Xs: Customer Experience (CX), User Experience (UX), and Employee Experience (EX) ensures the end user is the focus of marketing strategies;
- all things design: from service design to co-design to design thinking, it can be difficult to get your design ducks in a row;
- next generation marketing: micro-influencers, Tik Tok or Snapchat, email automation flows, marketing funnel strategies. With new channels and opportunities emerging all the time, it can be time-consuming to keep up with all the moving parts.
Today’s marketing landscape is so broad, it can be difficult to understand what you need to know, and to laser focus on what’s important. Here at Virtual Marketers, we don’t think that one marketer is capable of effectively delivering a full marketing programme of work. We rely on specialists to help us deliver our marketing projects so that our team are working optimally in the marketing areas they love.
What does a marketing mentor do?
A marketing mentor can help you cut through all the latest buzz words and marketing trends, and focus on the simple, important building blocks of good marketing: marketing strategy, marketing planning and opportunities and tools for delivery of these marketing tasks.
Sometimes it will make sense to seek a marketing mentor in your industry. For other marketers, part of the appeal will be to learn from experienced marketers in other industries to grow your understanding and apply learnings from different or high growth sectors.
At the heart of a mentor relationship, there should be learning and sharing on both sides of the relationship. A mentee should learn lots of practical skills and soft skills to apply to their everyday role and a mentor should also take away learnings about current marketing challenges and what their (often) younger counterparts are experiencing and facing. Learning opportunities all round!
Five types of marketing mentors
There are a number of mentor relationships that can be facilitated. We outline the typical types here with a marketing lens so you can consider what you really want to get out of the relationship.
- Marketing Master
This is typically someone at the top of their game, an experienced practitioner who’s seen it all and can provide mentees with wisdom and insights that span a career. These types of mentors are particularly useful for big picture thinking - entering new verticals or emerging markets, new product development or career transitions. This kind of mentor should be considered an oracle, rather than providing day-to-day advice on marketing campaign implementation.
- Marketing Advocate
This mentor is typically internal to your organisation, values the work you do and the value you add to your company. They can advocate for you within a project, support your career development but also connect you to people outside your company too. This mentor has your back and your best interests at heart.
- Marketing Co-pilot
Providing practical, everyday advice, a co-pilot is your go-to for those silly marketing questions we all have. From asking “how to” or “why do it that way”, a Marketing Co-pilot is a great guide for those early days of your marketing career and you’ll often end up friends for life. Employee engagement and work quality will often increase for both mentor and mentee in these relationships.
- Marketing Anchor
This type of mentor is not likely to be working within your organisation, but someone you catch a coffee or lunch with occasionally to talk through the big picture. Whether it’s key strategy issues you’re struggling with, or where to next career discussions, your Marketing Anchor will guide and support throughout your career journey as they will have a firm understanding of your personal values and will help you to set priorities and career planning. Think of them like an older sibling, or trusted work friend with the added bonus of marketing experience.
- Marketing Reverse Mentor
In this scenario the mentee is the knowledge giver. A mentor can gain an understanding of their leadership style, and gain fresh perspective and understanding on challenges and pressures of their younger colleagues.
We provide marketing support and marketing mentors to our client’s junior marketers, including Summer of Tech.
Our experienced team are pros at stepping into a business and making their marketing work for them. We work with interns and junior marketers to add marketing structure and processes in order to execute their BAU marketing functions: social media, email marketing, blog creation, monthly reporting and more.
Part of our mentor role is to recommend and implement the right tools and platforms to reach a client’s marketing objectives. Often, our mentoring approach ensures we support the wider team when developing their business strategy, and finetuning their marketing strategy. At a practical level, we can provide daily support with regular check-ins, training, copy review and editing and general guidance. We essentially offer an on-call marketing service for junior marketers and their wider teams.
The heart of our marketing mentor service is that we establish working relationships where we are considered a trusted marketing partner: for both the mentorship of junior marketers and for strategic marketing advice when needed by senior leadership team members.
Check out our range of marketing services, including marketing mentoring today. We’ll have your team feeling supported, and start rolling out your marketing deliverables in no time.