A few weeks later, I had been making the rounds of introducing myself to VPs. This isn’t easy (even today), because I know they are busy. They don’t like interruptions — but as a part of social media and community development, I knew how important it was to keep them apprised of its business value if I expected it to be a strong pillar of this growing company. So,that was my agenda, but I also wanted to gain their trust along the way and understand what makes them tick and why they love this company.
So, the VP of Marketing called me into his office. I sat down. He had a grin on his face that was a bit intimidating. Previously, I only smiled, shook his hand, but still didn’t understand what his charter was.I was a bit naive—after all, he was a marketing executive in a marketing software company. He explained that he valued my skills and interests and in a roundabout way, explained that he wanted to have me on his team. The primary job duties would remain the same — I recently overhauled the company’s blog and counseled the leadership team on how social media and online community would take the company to the next level. Specifically when it came to customer engagement, trust, public relations and ultimately, lead generation.
I pondered the opportunity to join the team for a few moments. I didn’t consider myself a salesmen and [at the time] couldn’t sell a Bic pen to a published writer. How does this change my outlook on customer service and community? Does working in marketing influence my outlook on customer service? I live in very philosophical absolutes, so you could imagine how this might have impacted me.
- I still listened to customers.
- I still shared meaningful updates to customers.
- I still represented the company genuinely.
- I still stayed on top of trends and strategies around social.
- I still maintained editorial control of our blog.
- I discovered how much marketing influences the success narrative of the company.
It appears that marketing wasn’t so bad after all. No, this article isn’t a life lesson about being afraid of what you don’t know—although it applies. It’s about the value of marketing and its value to me. See, “marketers” get a bad rap for the worst in their industry. I soon discovered that good marketers care: they care about their customers; they care about their prospects and they care about facilitating great experiences for everyone.
Since then, I’ve worked alongside many amazing, talented individuals. Their work has resulted in tens of thousands of customer acquisitions. My desire to listen and satisfy people led me down the path of public relations and I found that I am innately good at it and love it. I’ve learned how to communicate through a variety of disasters and have amplified my debate skills.