Top 43 Lessons Learned from my first year as Director of Marketing

Below is a slightly edited version of an article I wrote at the one-year anniversary of Director of Marketing at Ipswitch File Transfer, sharing the top 43 lessons (tongue in cheek) that I learned. Re-reading the list, most of it can be universally applied.

  1. It’s not a strategy if it hasn’t been written down
  2. It’s not a program if it hasn’t been communicated to sales
  3. The content  doesn’t exist if it’s not in the content inventory
  4. With an inventory number (which means it can be easily updated when it changes)
  5. When presenting to the executive team, don’t tell a long story and summarize it at the end
  6. Start with your conclusions or key takeaways, single slide
  7. Then have the story to back it up & go deeper, as necessary
  8. Make sure your vendors & agencies get this too
  9. There’s power in data and best practices
  10. And we have to leverage it
  11. “I thinks” typically get won by the most senior person
  12. So use data
  13. And third party, best practice insight
  14. Get the VP of Marketing involved early in the process
  15. Talk to Sales. A lot.
  16. And talk to our Customers. Even more.
  17. If you are asked a question, answer the question first.
  18. Then get into the details
  19. We deliver on our commitments
  20. And if a committed date is in jeopardy, we communicate it early
  21. So we can do something about it
  22. If the projected start date has passed and you haven’t started it, that’s probably an issue
  23. Every project need a project manager
  24. Project managers send out meeting agendas ahead of time
  25. And afterwards recap the meeting – what’s been resolved, what’s open, next steps
  26. As part of a project make sure you define how you are going to measure it
  27. And who needs to approve it
  28. Don’t schedule a review meeting if you aren’t ready for it
  29. That can get create a lot of stress 
  30. Stop the Madness
  31. That means we’ve got a lot we want to do, but we need to prioritize based on impact
  32. And first get done the things that will move the needle
  33. Fill your Boat
  34. That means don’t feel you need to solve the difficult problems on your own
  35. Give yourself enough time
  36. And assemble the right team together
  37. Empathy is a really important skill
  38. That helps you put yourself in the head of a prospect as they go through their buying process
  39. It also helps you know where your colleagues are coming from when they give you feedback
  40. Always ask “what about International?”
  41. And “what about Channels”?
  42. Our website is our most important marketing asset
  43. And last but not least:  We have assembled a killer, veteran team over the past year. We are gelling as a group every single day. We are starting to finish each other’s sentences. One of the reasons I took this job was to become part of an outstanding marketing team leading the way forward, and we have created that team. We are well suited to learn from each other, and leverage each other’s strengths in driving the growth of our company and brand. I look forward to a lot of good times ahead together.