Working in partnerships (or any business development role) means you need to be a bit of a Swiss Army Knife—and that includes having some marketing chops.
But according to our 2020 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report (get the 2022 version here), only 15% of partner professionals have a marketing background. For our second Crossbeam Happy Hour, we invited marketing leader Jay Acunzo to offer a bit of a crash course for better marketing campaigns. Here are three quick highlight lessons from our conversation.
(Crossbeam Happy Hour is our video interview show that offers conference-worthy career advice for free. You can see all Happy Hour insights on our YouTube channel.)
Lesson #1: MARKETING IS MORE THAN TELLING PEOPLE YOU EXIST.
“From a young age in school, we’re taught there are correct answers,” says Jay. But in marketing, there too many variables for there to be one single correct way of doing things. Don’t stop at the superficial, tactical level and focus on what matters: and that’s the community that you are building. Building a community is defensible (and more enjoyable).
Lesson #2: HOW TO DRIVE CHANGE (EVEN WHEN YOUR LEADERS AREN’T ON BOARD)
The people who execute campaigns are often brought on late in the process. As a partner manager, you will have trouble producing better marketing campaigns unless you make sure you’re involved early. “You have to be a strategic partner early on” to drive change, says Jay.
Lesson #3: Partner Managers: You’re an investigator, not an expert
“Experts have absolutes… The exceptions are always human based,” says Jay. So be a human. Stop acting like you know (or even can) know the “best” way to do something. It’s messy, but it’s where you need to start.
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