There is no doubt that you would make the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend. The problem is your crush doesn’t know this. You have a great personality, you’re always faithful, and you’re a fantastic cuddler. None of these matters though unless you are able to attract the right person by marketing yourself as the solution to their lack of laughter, accountability, and snuggles.
Relationships and marketing have a great deal in common. Both have a product that they know can help others, and both have the challenge of convincing the right people that this product is the solution that they have been looking for. You may have a great personality, and Bit Pay may be a great transaction system. Each is useless though unless they are marketed in such a way that creates discovery, understanding, and trust.
Recently I had the opportunity to interview James Walpole, startup marketer at Bit Pay, writer, and perpetual apprentice. During this interview James shared with me his insights to succeed in the marketing world, many of which we both agreed would make great dating advice.
Here are the following notes on our discussion.
What made you choose to pursue this role?
“It was an opportunity to work with a company that I was really interested in.”
At that age of 18, James participated in a program called Praxis which landed him an internship in marketing with Bit Pay. This was a start-up company that he was interested in and was therefore willing to fill any role they needed.
With his experience in writing and communication, marketing was the perfect fit.
What skills and training are required to fill this role?
“Clear communication skills, empathy, and basic creativity. These are the mega skills in Marketing.”
There are many different roles within marketing but in each position, there are three main skills needed.
Clear communication. With the vast amount of distraction we encounter on a daily basis it is imperative that miscommunication does not occur within a companies message. Marketers are tasked with the job of clear communication between a company their potential customers.
Empathy. In order to understand what people want and how they want it, one must be able to put themselves in there customer’s shoes. Once you can relate to your customer you will be able to talk to them in an appealing manner, assuring them that they can trust you.
Creativity. To come up with multiple different ways to communicate with your customers, a marketer must have persistent creativity. If at first, you don’t succeed (which is often the case), try, try again. There will always be room for improvement and a chance to try new marketing techniques.
What is your greatest challenge?
“Building a relatable brand that also meets people’s needs and wants in a world that moves so fast and people are constantly changing.”
Communicating with your audience in a way that interests them and demonstrates your ability to solve their dilemma is a difficult task. You must be able to tell them what they want to hear and show them what they want to see, which requires you to know what they want in the first place.
This is accomplished by creating a brand that your customers can relate to and trust. Once you know what problem needs to be solved and you’ve created that solution, then it becomes a task of convincing your audience to take a chance on your product.
What is your greatest gain?
“A level of confidence.”
Nothing builds confidence like having to create something from scratch. This is the very job description of marketing. Whether you are creating a new ad, updating data for targeting or writing a blog to educate customers on your product, you will be required to create new content that results in customer attraction.
This form of creativity is used to motivate people’s actions, be persuasive, and invoke emotions, all of which are aspects of leadership. Marketing is, in fact, the guiding of the masses toward a comment goal. If you have a mission and know how to market it then you have the ability to recruit people to join your cause.
What do your day to day tasks look like?
“If you box yourself into a mindset of this is how things have to be done then you’ll lose your ability to look at the situation and see how best to serve your customer. The only right way to run a marketing team is the way that creates products that people actually want.”
There are many different roles within marketing and countless ways of going about advertising and running a brand.
- Responding to emails and customers – Making sure that the brand is bring advertised appropriately.
- Cleaning data for targeting- Making sure the data is targeting the right people and not wasting money.
- Creating adds – The visual side of marketing from hats, pen, shirts, and logos.
- Graphic design – Website, gifs, video content, audio content, pictures, etc.
- Information education- Writing or creating videos and audio content to educate company employees and customers.
- Measuring the performance of ads – Determining whether an ad is successful or not by measuring its numbers.
- Events organization – Finding creative ways to involve customers.
In a marketing role, one could be assigned to any number of these tasks on a daily basis. The key is to not focus on the role but on the end goal of attracting customers to your product.
What is the significants of Marketing as a whole?
“Marketing helps people understand how a product will solve their problems and help them get closer to the kind of life they want to live. If you don’t have this within your company then you go from having a solution to having a tool.”
Tools can be helpful but they only become solutions once someone knows that they can solve their problem. Some people will pick up a tool and try it to discover that it solves their dilemma. To reach the most people though, you will need to show them how your tool is helpful before they will pick it up.
“Discovery, Understanding and Trust.” These are what marketers strive to accomplish and what would be lost if the marketing was taken out of a company.
What hard skills are necessary for this role?
“Marketing is anything that will persuade your customers to have discovery, understanding, and trust. This involves any range of skills, many of which no marketer has yet conceived.”
Tools are the means by which one creates a project while skills are the means by which they use these tools. The skills required to accomplish the task of discovery, understanding, and trust are exhaustive. A few of these tools that can be useful though are as follows.
- Writing – One of the core hard skills in marketing.
- Graphic design – Creating visual content.
- Video and audio skills
- Data management
- Add platform understanding
- SCO – Creating content that attracts customers.
What does it take to succeed in this role?
“Empathy is the most important thing. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of other people.”
A great way to gain this skill is by reading and putting yourself into the main character’s potion. The more you are able to see a situation from the eyes of another person the more able you will be to understand the problems they face.
Creative curiosity is another key to success in this role. Finding the perfect means of attracting your audience requires experimenting in endless different ways before you find something that works. It takes persistence to try and try again.
The last key to success is communication. Marketing to your customers alone is not enough. You must be able to market to your boss, coworkers and different companies that you work with. Every idea you present or project you need help on requires you to market it.
Coming into a situation thinking that you are hot stuff just because you are in marketing will get you nowhere. You must first show that you and your ideas can bring value before anyone will join you.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young person considering this role, what would it be?
“If you can do marketing in a start-up, especially one that doesn’t have a marketing department yet or not much of one, you should do so over going to a big company where your job will be specialized.”
There is a value that comes with being able to wear all the different hats in a role, especially if you want to be an entrepreneur. This will allow you to see and get to know each aspect of marketing so that you will better understand what your company will need if you start your own. It will also help you know what kind of role you would rather specialize in for the future.
In the end though, “Take on the hardest challenges you can.” The only way you can learn and improve yourself is to embrace the challenges that allow you to grow.
Whether you are convincing someone to buy your product, join your mission, or go out on a date, the same key skills are required.
Empathy, Creativity, and Communication. With these three skills, you will be able to achieve the desired outcome of Discovery, Understanding, and Trust.
So get out there and show your great personality, faithfulness, and fantastic cuddling skills. You have something to offer this world, all you have to do is market them.