The Marketing Girl vs. the marketing girl
WHICH ARE YOU?
After walking around the Offshore Technology Conference for my 10th year, I felt ready to tackle happy hour and not for the sole excuse of being on my feet all day (at a trade show, nonetheless). It’s because I had never felt so utterly offended on behalf of the female population in my industry. EVER. For every professional I stopped to speak with, most uttered, “Our marketing girl handles that…” Some people didn’t even have the decency to call their Marketing or Communications Director that, but opted instead to simply say, “our girl isn’t here right now.” Um, excuse me, but I’m insanely offended. I’M A MARKETING GIRL. And that’s the worst description of me — or my professional colleagues — you could ever provide.
Over the last 12 years, I have played a role in crisis communication programs for some of the largest companies in the energy sector. I’ve supported marketing communication efforts for $6 billion in acquisitions, IPOs, strategic visions, numerous product rebrands; facilitated media training, media tours and customer events for more than 1,500 people, all with the goal of ensuring company messages were disseminated properly and effectively. I’ve been on test rigs, onshore rigs in east and west Texas and have traveled the world on behalf of my former employers and present day clients that valued me enough to serve as their brand ambassador and implement communication strategies. I actively work with the marketing team, HR, the commercial director, the CEO and sometimes the Board. I see and work with all aspects of a company; something most other departments don’t do. I have to understand the commercial and technical side of things because I’m essential in delivering key messages to key audiences. I AM THE MARKETING GIRL, but I am also so much MORE than that; I’M YOUR BIGGEST ALLY.
So treat me like it.The challenge marketing/communication pros face is that our colleagues don’t really get what we do. #marcomm #PaigePR_ #bosslady Click To Tweet
The biggest challenge that us marketing and communication professionals face is that most of our colleagues really don’t understand what we do and the benefit to including us in the business strategy. And unfortunately, we’ve failed to communicate our own unique value proposition internally. Rather than break barriers and force change in the way MARKETING GIRLS are viewed, we often slip into the role of the marketing girl, where we’re happy to manage menial tasks like ordering promotional items and filling out sponsorship forms because that’s what the sales team asks us for. We are happy to update and create a new brochure or powerpoint when asked, but we’re not being given opportunities to help the sales team effectively identify and deliver messages because we’ve put ourselves in the position as the marketing girl and now we can’t escape it. I know as communication professionals we’re always happy to pitch in on any task given, but I encourage anyone feeling as though they’re being restricted to stop allowing themselves to be viewed as the marketing girl. It’s a dead-end road that leaves your company in a position without a communications leader and a professional stuck on the bridge to nowhere as a career path.
So which are you? THE MARKETING GIRL or the marketing girl? I know most of the professionals I work with are some of the most knowledgeable and capable professionals in the industry. I just wish the the rhetoric would change. Which is why I’ve decided to rebrand myself as #bosslady.
Sound off below on your positive experiences as THE MARKETING GIRL or bad experiences as the marketing girl. What did you learn and what wisdom can you share with your colleagues?