Everybody knows that the realm of marketing is large and in charge. The array of platforms, strategies and reports that go into taking a small idea and converting it into a successful marketing strategy, for both small large and large businesses, is extensive and deserving of applause. In marketing, diversity is key and all streams of creative thought can be incorporated which is what makes the whole field so attractive in the first place.
Marketing can be defined as the action of promoting a business, product or service, but when you think about all that goes into that promotion, all that is included under the umbrella of “marketing,” you’ll realise the term, “it takes a village,” resonates well beyond the paternal context. With some small businesses, it’s one person handling the marketing initiatives, but with larger, multi-billion dollar companies, there are marketing teams specific to every region in their demographic, making the execution more personalised and condensed for maximum ROI.
Speaking of multi-billion dollar companies, meet Nolan, a Marketing Program Manager and Reporting Specialist for Adrenaline Consulting, the company that just so happens to be the Preferred Vendor for none other than Microsoft. I nagged him enough to answer a few questions and spill some tips on being a remote marketing professional:
Position | Functional Role:
I am a team member of a marketing consulting group consisting of 12 established, seasoned professionals within the IT industry. The work we do is 100% Microsoft, and being a Preferred Vendor provides us with the distinction of high importance and value in the work that we provide compared to the many other Microsoft contractor agencies.
We work with the Worldwide Incentive Compensation group at Microsoft. We design, launch, and manage worldwide sales incentives for different field sales and product groups within Microsoft. The nature of our work is global and online, therefore our work is done 100% remotely.
Hours | Pay Scale | Benefits:
Our work hours are project based and very flexible, schedule wise. And each project has different deadlines. While the majority of our team works from 9 to 5 in the Pacific Time Zone, there are some of us that work earlier or later in the day, or even overnight. Like myself, most of our team travels consistently throughout the year, therefore, working remotely in different time zones. But everyone is based in the Pacific Northwest.
As far as pay goes, the majority of our team are paid hourly. Again, the Microsoft work we do is project based, therefore, a set amount of hours is allocated for each project. The pay scale for the level of experience and skill set required to perform this type of work starts at low six figures annually, or $50 per hour.
A few benefits are provided by our employer, but a majority of our benefits come out of our pockets, such as medical, dental, vision, insurance, etc. This is both a pro and a con. A con when it comes to current market medical premiums being so expensive when purchased on your own. A pro when it comes to insurance due to commercial competitiveness, which affords you the freedom to choose your preferred provider.
Attributes for Success:
To be successful working remotely as a Marketing professional requires self-discipline and focus, as well as support from the team of people you work with. There’s a lot of freedom and flexibility afforded to professionals who work remotely, so it is important to place a high priority on creating a daily work schedule and communicating that with your team.
Setting expectations for both yourself and your colleagues is key! As you can imagine, working remotely can lend itself to many distractions (regardless if you are working from home or from a café in Italy) such as watching your favorite TV show or visiting a historic landmark. That said, you must stick to the daily schedule you set for yourself so you can be productive, meeting your project deadlines.
As for support from your team…setting expectations with them as far as where you’ll be working from remotely, your daily schedule (time of day and time zone you’ll be working in) and your project status and deadlines keeps them informed and in turn, they keep you accountable.
My official degree is in graphic design, not marketing or business administration. However, my first professional gig was working in the sales and marketing department of a hotel resort. My job description included both graphic design and marketing administration. Eventually my focused shifted from doing graphic design to marketing and business development within the six years I worked there.
With my current work, it is necessary to be fluent with Windows OS, Microsoft Cloud and On-Premise software applications (Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Power BI, Outlook, etc.), as well as the many internal Microsoft sales and marketing tools.
Aside from the advice given above, I’ve compiled a short resource list that may be helpful while getting all your ducks in a row with taking your job remote, switching fields into marketing (or to another title), or finding a remote opportunity that can potentially give you the freedom to travel at your leisure.
Keep in mind that the world of marketing is ALWAYS evolving, so you not only need to know how to be “good at marketing,” but it’s also important to stay ahead or with the curve, always learning and always growing in your skill sets. Some of the most popular and effective online courses in marketing include:
Google Online Marketing Challenge – An introductory digital marketing course that immerses you in the world of Google AdWords, analytics, search, display, mobile and video advertising. It also prepares you for the Google Adwords Certification exams which is a real resume booster and will naturally come in handy with your next opportunity.
WordStream PPC University – This course offers three levels of PPC (pay-per-click) marketing courses full of priceless info regarding keywords, ad groups, ad extensions, A/B testing, geotargeting and PPC for B2B companies, and so much more. #FREE
Constant Contact’s Social Media Quickstarter – Email marketing company Constant Contact has so much beneficial info featured on their blog, including a free social media 101 course that dives into the beginnings of social media marketing. This is super helpful to get your feet wet and really build your understanding across multiple platforms for a solid foundation to grow. #FREE
Alison E-Business Diploma – This course is more geared toward new/small businesses that are trying to improve their online presence, however, it is still super beneficial for a new marketeer to see exactly how a business thinks when they are in need of a marketing plan, ho to promote effectively online and improving customer conversion rates. Sometimes seeing the other side gives you a better insight on how you can really help them with your skills sets. #FREE
Additional lists of both free and paid marketing courses can be found here and here (respectfully).
Job Board Sites:
LinkedIn – The most obvious resource where online connections can take you a long way. I’ve been intro’d to potential new clients via LinkedIn a handful of times, even if it’s just to start conversation for a future opportunity down the line
Indeed – Upload your resume and watch employers utilize the resume search feature to find YOU. Also, apply for jobs that interest you/you’re qualified for (duh)
Angel List – Specific for startups, which tend to be more open to the remote idea
Jobs.ac.uk – This site features mostly international marketing jobs
Built in (+ city) – Specific to the city you’re looking to work in, this site lists hundreds of jobs regularly. You can narrow your search down by listing which perks you’re looking for, size of company and what kind of funding they have. – Ex: Built in LA, Built in NYC & Built in Austin
Buffer – Schedules social posts and tracks performance
Dropbox – File storage
Asana – Project management tool (gotta stay organized!)
Trello – More organization
IFTT – Connects your most used services for easy sharing
Flipboard – takes your RSS content and displays in a cool flippable magazine view (to stay informed on all the new marketing gossip)
Canva – Graphic creator
TED – TED talks = motivation