one month in

Today, I was talking to a friend who’s still cutting his marketing teeth. He’s one month into a new job as a social media marketing manager, and tomorrow he’s meeting with his boss and the VP of Marketing. Understandably, he’s anxious.

In my attempt to better arm him for wild success, my constant goal in any mentoring relationship, I gave him the following advice, which may be of use to you, no matter where you’re at in your own career.

You’ve only been there a month. In the first month at most companies, you wouldn’t be expected to know more than how to find the bathroom. Having said that, you should over prepare and dazzle the VP with the amount of thought you’ve put into running the business.

This is the same thinking that we talked about when you were preparing for the interview.

What’s the biggest problem facing the company?

He thought the biggest problem facing the company was that there was no brand awareness of the company among end-users of their product since they almost exclusively sold through indirect channels. Since his job is to market the company and its products through word of mouth marketing vehicles, it’s understandable that he perceived a lack of consumer awareness to be the company’s biggest problem.

It says great things for you that you’re a junior marketer who’s only been there a month and you can already speak intelligently about the problems facing the company.

What are the top three reasons that’s the biggest problem?

If customers give our carriers credit for our product’s customer experience, all word of mouth marketing will be for our carriers instead of us. Also, what customers know about our brand can be tainted by the negative reputations of our carriers. We get none of the positive brand associations and lots of the negative.

Okay, what’s another reason it’s the biggest problem? Try to come up with a few. Round out your thinking.

What are the three best solutions you propose to address the problem?

You need to come prepared to answer the important questions. What? Why? So what? How? When? Where? Who?

What should the strategy be? How should it be tactically executed? How does this fit into the operations of the business? What would success look like? How will you measure it?

You won’t be able to figure all of this out before your meeting tomorrow, but going through the exercise of trying to wrap your head around these business questions will make you much more prepared for whatever the meeting brings.

During your thinking, you’re likely to generate more questions than answers. That’s great. Decide which questions seem most important. If you get a chance to ask good questions, you will do more than demonstrate your dedication to the success of the business. You’re also likely to add value by making the VP think about things that she may not have considered.

In any case, I know you’ll shine like a star in tomorrow’s meeting. You’ll blow their expectations for what someone should know by the first month out of the water.

Good luck!

How many months into your current role are you? Take a step back. What advice would you give yourself?

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