So the next person to participate in this series of interviews is Jennifer Doctor, she is a product marketer who tirelessly gives time to volunteer for the community of marketers with participation in Product Camp ATL and Product Camp Minnesota.
Jennifer is also an active blogger and I’m thankful she took time out of her hectic schedule to participate. On to the answers….
What marketing roles have you had and in what markets?
Over the last nearly 20 years, I’ve worked in marketing, product marketing and product management. This includes everything from marketing communications and pr/media work, web development and marketing, and classic product marketing and product management. I’ve been in a variety of industries and technologies, including nonprofit agencies, hardware, b2b software for enterprise and small business – ASP (forerunner to SaaS,) ERP and desktop, and also services.
When you look at your career in marketing, what activities have you found most interesting/challenging?
I haven’t found the activities involved in marketing “hard;” rather, I believe what is hard is understanding and adapting to the different cultures I have entered and left. Each environment brings its own set of expectations and rules, mostly unwritten and tribal driven. This can make it challenging to drive to what is right and make a difference.
Based on your experience what activities do you think get the most return?
I believe that investing in any activity that brings about a greater understanding of the market is the where you are most likely to get the result. Tactics are driven better when you have that understanding of how your buyers, the potential market, will respond. Without this, no amount of marketing effort will succeed.
What do you feel is the most important component of a successful marketing gig?
The most important element of a successful marketing gig is to understand the buyer. I believe that you have to understand what the buyer is seeking, so they will invest in the sale. This understanding is important for any size product or sale. Without this knowledge, no amount of marketing of your solution will matter – regardless of how creative, flashy, interactive, or informative.
If you could design the perfect corporate environment for a marketer to be successful what would that be?
Wow. Not easy to answer. A perfect corporate environment is where the silos of the organization do not exist. Teams are formed which are more agile (not capital A agile as in development process,) and combine skills and talents from different focus areas to come together to solve the problem for the market – at that time. These teams need to have a single challenge to tackle, and be in alignment with the overall strategic vision. They also need to be empowered with the right resources – from talents to money to time – to make it happen. It all comes down to creating a collaborative atmosphere, which exists without the barriers.
How far is this from reality?
I have no idea how far my ideal is from reality. I know that when it is achieved – and I have seen it work in organizations – it can produce amazing results. Unfortunately, I believe that it takes leadership, leadership which embraces collaboration and empowerment.
So what’s next?
Next? I have seen great strides in recent years from marketing (including product marketing and management) coming closer together in alignment to execute. I also would like to see more organizational leaders break down the walls that still exist. It’s time more people start worrying about who is right, and focus on what is right. It’s business. It’s not personal. More environments need to embrace this.
Blog: Outside-In View
- ProductCamp coming to Vancouver February 12th
- Marketing is in the Middle: Jay Baer
- Marketing is in the Middle: Mike Troiano
- Get Insight from the Community of Marketers: ProductCamp Atlanta is on the schedule!
- Marketing is in the Middle: Marty Thompson
- 5 Realizations which will help moving forward in your marketing career