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The marketing industry, as a whole, is completely new to me; having previously worked in the private education sector, I wanted to make a career change, and marketing felt like the place where exciting things were happening. I have had to learn everything from editing a webpage to scheduling posts, and I undoubtably have more to learn, but the first two weeks have been a fulfilling breath of fresh air. This is an article about what I learned, and the advice I would give to anyone else coming in to marketing as I have.
Understanding the business
The first, and most important, thing to do is to learn about the company so that you know your role and how it contributes to overall business goals. ThinkinCircles helps recruitment businesses by working as their in-house team to market and promote the recruiter’s services. Whether it is creating social media posts, designing promotional emails, copy writing, or executing an online magazine, the team does it all with utmost love and enthusiasm. My role is primarily to do what my colleagues do for other businesses, but in-house for ThinkinCircles; this entails numerous things, but my favourites so far have been composing social media posts, and creating videos for YouTube and the ThinkinCircles website.
Understanding the business’ strategy
Understanding the business strategy and aims of ThinkinCircles has also been a key element in my journey towards understanding my role within the company. ThinkinCircles’ focus is on understanding and fulfilling their clients’ goals in order for their businesses to grow, the team puts a lot of emphasis on ensuring that they break the stereotype of marketing being a black hole for investment. One of the main reasons why clients adore ThinkinCircles is because the ROI is very obvious, businesses grow as a result of the ThinkinCircles’ team’s marketing efforts.
For most people, success is achieving an end goal. In my two weeks of working at ThinkinCircles, my understanding of success has been completely adjusted — there is short-term success, which mostly looks like setting an objective and achieving it, but then there is long-term (or true) success, which is simply sustaining growth. Of course, there is success in completing a well-received campaign for a client, or launching an online magazine with loyal readership for a recruitment business, however, whether we’re talking about the attract, delight, or engage stages, all the roads lead to Rome — the one true aim that is, once again, growth.
Understanding the client
In the creative process of marketing, I have also learned that it is your job to understand your client, and to ensure that all their visions are brought to light. Working in-house, means that my client is the founder of ThinkinCircles, James Whitelock. I will admit that it sounds intimidating at first, because with every task I am trying to impress an expert (which is almost impossible for a newbie like myself), but it doesn’t hurt to try, and I have not had terrible feedback yet — which is encouraging!
You can work for half a day to produce something that you believe is fantastic, but that your client will turn out to hate, the moral of this is that at the end of the day it does not matter what you want or what you think is best, the only essential thing is that the client is happy. I have concluded that the phrase, ‘the client is always right’ has never been truer than in the case of marketing.
Studying the services and having conversations
I will say that I still have to get to grips with the full extent of what each of the ThinkinCircles services does, and how the three marketing packages that ThinkinCircles offers work when in practice. However, after speaking to all of the team members, a clearer picture is beginning to form.
This brings me onto the next thing I learned, which is that you should talk to, communicate with, and seek to learn from your peers. I have the pleasure of working with three distinguished ladies and a gentleman (Fiona, Kat, Megan, and Richard) that are experts and at a senior level in their careers, which means that I have multiple fountains of recruitment marketing knowledge and experience. Listening is a key tip that I would give you, along with asking questions if you happen to be completely new to the industry, the company, or both.
I have not only learned from my colleagues, but also from HubSpot Academy, which is a learning platform with great resources. Inbound, email, and video marketing are all things that I learned about. Client profiles, and the flywheel concept were all notions that I had no idea existed. What truly surprised me was that I had seen all of these ideas in practice in the real world, but I was not aware that they were actively being used with intent to produce certain results. To me, recruitment marketing is just as much about the technical and measurable, as it is the psychological — now that I have learned the theory.
Listening, learning, and asking questions is all well and good, but you must also put things into practice — start with small tasks, and work your way up. I started with assisting on client calls, learning the ThinkinCircles programs, and designing social media posts. I am slowly getting introduced so bigger assignments, and I can feel my confidence growing as I successfully deliver one task, then another, then another. My advice is that you push yourself, but not over promise and under deliver.
The highlight of my first two weeks in recruitment marketing has been getting to sit in on a consultation carried out by James with a potential client, getting to see the interaction between ThinkinCircles and its prospects, as well as the process of negotiation, was one of the most interesting experiences of my job so far. It served to show me the quality of the service that ThinkinCircles provides, and the honesty with which they advise and consult their clients.
In conclusion, I feel that I am in safe hands as I take the first of many baby steps into my new career of recruitment marketing. As I learn more, I realise how little I know, but I am certain that I have the ability to succeed as a member of the ThinkinCircles team because of its close-knit, supportive family environment. My recommendation is that you approach each task one at a time, and seek support if you are ever stuck; this is what I always tell myself.