Insights from Three Decades of Marketing Journey: Navigating Change and Innovation

  • On : April 19, 2024

As I reflect on my three-decade-long journey in marketing, I’m struck by the myriad shifts and turns that my career has taken. From a junior writing script for my boss on a typewriter to a founder of groundbreaking marketing technology. The lessons learned along the way are both plentiful and invaluable. Some were easier to navigate, while others felt like turbulent waters to cross, which I believe is a common experience for most entrepreneurs.

I remember entering my mentor’s office – a man now in his 80’s but with a spirit of someone much younger – and feeling the weight of the world crashing down on me. Without any thought that someone might overhear, I cried and said “Everything is so heavy on my shoulders!”

My boss, a man with profound wisdom whose wealth exceeds a billion dollars, said to me “I feel that way sometimes.” I suddenly felt better, and this valuable lesson is the one I recall whenever a friend or employee approaches me with similar feelings.

Marketing can feel burdensome. The landscape is vast and ever-changing, making it impossible for professionals to stay fully informed in every aspect. These challenges persist, especially with the unrealistic expectation that marketers should be masters of all areas – SEO, advertising, social media, and more. However, unlike in other industries, time is often insufficient to meet the demands.

This is where new technologies like AI play an important role in shouldering the heavy workload for marketing professionals. Learning to effectively utilize AI is essential for career advancement, starting from university education and continuing throughout every stage of one’s professional journey.

My story is stereotypical but with one exception. I launched my agency when I was only 25, managing million-dollar accounts without experience or support.

I’m consistently challenged by youth as invaluable wisdom and foresight come with years of experience. I’m also concerned with the changing landscape in marketing. Being a social media micro influencer doesn’t mean you’re proficient in crafting marketing strategies or activating lead generation campaigns. Unfortunately, companies often fall victim to this story, leaving them with wasted budgets and disillusions with the marketing profession.

Beginning: The Analog Years

As I started my career in advertising, the digital era was even a thought. I spent my early days on typewriters writing scripts and ad copy. This tactile, hands-on process demanded precision by my boss’ zero error policy, leaving little room for mistakes. Little did I realize, this attention to detail would emerge as a cornerstone of my career, setting me apart from my peers in the early days of entrepreneurship. However, as my business expanded and responsibilities grew, the intensity of that attention inevitably drops. I had to rely on others who did not grow up sharing the same rules.

The Digital Resistance

Five years later, the marketing landscape underwent a transformation with the advent of email and the internet. Despite being a marketing manager in the tech sector, I found myself initially reluctant to adopt these new tools – an irony to who I am now. This resistance reflected the broader skepticism pervaded in the market at that time. However, it didn’t take long before the evident potential of digital communication to reveal itself, stimulating a substantial shift in my marketing approach.

Entrepreneurial Leap: Crafting My Own Path

At the age of 25, armed with solely grit and a vision, I bravely launched my own marketing agency. Without a rule book or business experience, each day became a journey of discovery. I found myself not only developing marketing strategies but also learning skills in team management, financial balancing, and navigating different challenges of entrepreneurship – all while being a young lady in her mid-twenties.

While the entrepreneurial journey was exciting, I resisted being labeled as such. I proudly identified as a marketer, dismissing the notion of being an entrepreneur as synonymous with being a salesperson. It wasn’t until a decade later that I came to accept the truth: In essence, we are all salespeople, and without sales, no business can flourish.

A Second Venture: Learning on the Fly

I started my second business at the age of 30 with a more refined approach, although I skill lacked all the answers. This venture coincided with the emergence of social media platforms like Facebook, which I initially dismissed as fleeting trends. This oversight proved to be a harsh lesson in the necessity of staying ahead of industry shifts, as I found my agency struggle to catch up.

It took some time for my second business, Marketing Eye, to take off, and several factors contributed to this delay. Firstly, at this time in my career, I’ve accustomed to a certain level of privilege. My age and network provided me a degree of protection. Growing up in Charters Towers served as a unique point of different, distancing me from being associated with my educational backgrounds, as this was how many people in personal life and business categorized people. I was thankful for this advantage because big cities can be harsh and by this time, I had moved from starting a business on the Gold Coast, to expanding to Sydney and then Melbourne.

Navigating Social Media: A Dual-Edged Tool

As I became an early adopter of Twitter, I quickly discovered that building a thriving online community demanded more that just presence. It needed active engagement, consistency, and a deep understanding of the platform’s nuances. However, this digital path also comes with a pitfall. I’ve learned a stark reminder of the inherent vulnerabilities in digital platforms as a security oversight resulted in a former employee deleting my significant Instagram following. Luckily, my self-esteem was not tied with the size of my following. However, the lost following impacted the number of office perks I received each day as an influencer before the term gained widespread recognition.

Road to Success: A Daily Commitment

My passion for marketing has always been fueled by an unwavering commitment to achieving excellence. This drive compels me to monitor our social media, website, and blog traffic every day, ensuring that we’re not simply participating in the digital world but leading it. This is a testament to the belief that in marketing, there are no day offs.

My most successful achievement was in sales and through following as I checked the data daily. This made me outperform the competitors easily at that point of time. In fact, at on point, a Google search for “marketing” prominently displayed Marketing Eye as the number one top result.

Understanding the daily marketing tasks is critical in outperforming your competitors. I’ve turned these lessons into the technological innovations.

Recognizing Our Boundaries: Leveraging Our Strengths

A critical realization in my career journey is the acceptance that marketers can’t excel at everything. This insight led to the development of Robotic Marketer, an innovative tool to amplify productivity and address individual weaknesses. Creating a comprehensive marketing strategy typically takes weeks. Robotic Marketer serves as a tool to streamline the process, ensuring that strategies are not only comprehensive but also promptly executed.

For instance, I’m great at writing when I’m on but I’m not good in consistent follow-through unless facing with adversity. As a perfectionist, I always strive for flawless work, yet I’ve come to realize that achieving 80% proficiency is ok.

Pioneering in AI: Overcoming Skepticism

Entering the AI with Robotic Marketer was undoubtedly one of my most formidable challenges. The initial skepticism was palpable, and persuading potential clients and investors of AI’s capabilities was a challenge that required perseverance and patience. However, the emerging technologies of AI like ChatGPT has shifted the tide, resulting in a wide acceptance of the use of AI in marketing. Robotic Marketer stands as a transformative technology, bridging skill gaps within my teams and enabling us to operate more efficiently. I recognize the value of this technology in reclaiming time for marketers and meeting the demand to scale marketing efforts with limited resources. With Robotic Marketer, we can achieve greater efficiencies, effectiveness, and leverage the power of predictive analysis to drive success.

Five Essential Lessons

  1. Embrace Innovation: While it’s natural to approach new trends with skepticism, ignoring them can be detrimental. Investing in emerging platforms and trends, even those that seem transient, is crucial for staying ahead in the competitive landscape.
  2. Cultivate Your Website: A dynamic website isn’t just built. It evolves over time to reflect changes in your busienss and market.
  3. Ongoing SEO Efforts: SEO is an ongoing endeavor, requiring continuous attention and adaptation to keep pace with evolving algorithms and marketing trends.
  4. Foster Internal Relationship: The motivation and satisfaction of your team members are essential. Recognize that your internal team is your first client.
  5. Strategy is Key: Success depends on heaving a clear strategy in place. Strategic planning provides direction, guiding your actions and ensuring a clear path to achieve your objectives.

Being a veteran is an advantage

Reflecting on my journey, I learn how every mistake, success, and seemingly insignificant decision has molded my path in unexpected ways. In the world of marketing, no one should stand still. As I continue to navigate this evolving landscape, the excitement of the challenge continues to drive me forward. Here’s to embrace another 3 decades of innovation, adaptation, and dedication to excellence in marketing – though I may hand over the baton long before then.