The guide to marketing and marketing jobs: Everything I wish I had known when I started

The job market is tough right now, and as marketing is still an industry where anyone can enter without qualifications, there are a bunch of things I’m getting asked regularly about the marketing profession by new entrants into our industry.  There is a bunch more I’m not getting asked which I wish I would have […]
everything i wish i had known about marketing when i started

The job market is tough right now, and as marketing is still an industry where anyone can enter without qualifications, there are a bunch of things I’m getting asked regularly about the marketing profession by new entrants into our industry. 

There is a bunch more I’m not getting asked which I wish I would have known on day one. 

So, I thought I’d collate some FAQs for folks entering the marketing industry – covering off some of the basics and a few not-so-basics of things I wish I had known on day one. Broadly, I’ve categorised these as ‘marketing theory’, ‘jobs’ and ‘other stuff’ – which mainly focuses on resources you can continue your learning journey on.

Table of Contents

Marketing Theory

What’s a useful definition of marketing?

There are many.

The CIM define marketing as: “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” While this definition makes sense in a business context, it doesn’t fully capture the power of marketing as a tool. We can initiate movements and spread ideas unrelated to money, using everything we know as marketers. That being said – most of us will spend our time in corporate contexts using our marketing techniques and skills, so this is fair enough.

At a talk I attended by Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy (a big agency), he defined it as ‘the eyes of the customer in an organisation’. Here, Rory suggests that anything the customer touches – marketing should have involvement as we are the folks in an organisation who should be taking the time to understand the customers we serve as a business. Rory is amazing, and this is accurate but unfortunately unlikely to come true in most organisations.

My old boss said marketing was ‘meeting the needs of the customer’. Again – I found this very useful indeed, but it is a bit limited in terms of direction with what you’re supposed to do with it.

Personally, I’ve always been motivated by this simple marketing equation: “Customer need + our solution + communication = marketing”. The output of that equation is an improved human life. It’s also largely inaccurate as an equation but keeps me motivated. 

All this means to say there isn’t a single definition of marketing – but lots of different views that essentially point to the same thing: marketing is a series of actions associated with understanding the ‘market’ (a bunch of people), creating a consistent strategy (your brand, who you want to help, and some goals) to meet the demands of your chosen market, and then communicating those chosen things in order to create change or exchange value (financial or otherwise).

What’s the difference between marketing and advertising?

In my opinion, advertising is a function of marketing. A marketing strategy will dictate the messages that advertising should be displaying. Marketing is the engine – advertising is the shiny outside of a car.

What are the different types of marketing (e.g., digital, traditional, content, etc.)?

Some folks will point to a difference between digital and traditional marketing. While this definition would have been useful when digital was first becoming a thing – today it’s all just ‘marketing’. 

Content marketing is often associated with an idea called ‘inbound’ marketing. Inbound marketing is the idea that by creating content such as social media posts, blog posts, podcasts etc for folks to digest – they’ll find out about our products and services and eventually purchase. ‘Outbound’ by contrast is where we go out to the customers and tell them about our products and services – an example being ‘cold calling’ and ‘cold emailing’.

Folks will also point to the difference between Business to Customer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) marketing. In business to customer, your marketing efforts are directed specifically at customers to buy directly from you (for example a clothing brand), in business to business – you will be selling to another business, for example, a Software Subscription. Neither is better or worse. 

Mark Ritson (a famous marketing professor) points to the differences between B2B and B2C being the same as the difference between chimpanzees and humans – we both share 98% of the same DNA. This means to say by focusing on the fundamentals, you’re well on your way. There are absolutely differences – but focusing on those instead of the basics when starting out feels intuitively less useful.

However, some stereotypical (and now always true) differences you’re likely to encounter between B2B and B2C are: 

To varying degrees these differences are true. I recently wrote a B2B marketing guide that explores this in greater detail if you’re interested in exploring this more.

So what are these fundamentals?

Well, I’ve already spoken about definitions. So let’s speak a framework for marketing. 

The most useful framework I’ve found is Ritson’s ‘Diagnosis, Strategy, and Tactics’ framework. It’s useful because it gives a foundation for you to build the rest of your marketing activity from. This article is an essential guide to the diagnosis, strategy, tactics framework

Read the article for the full information, but the three-sentence version is: 

  • Diagnosis: To be able to choose where to commit your marketing efforts, you need to know what the ‘market’ looks like. At the diagnosis stage, we’ll understand what the market is made up of in terms of who is in it, how valuable they are (often expressed in financial terms), and what they want/need.
  • Strategy: Now we know what the marketplace looks like, we can choose who we would like to reach with our message, what that message is going to be, and what we would like to achieve (expressed as a goal)
  • Tactics: The ‘end bit’ everyone sees. At the tactics stage, we’re consistently sharing the message we decided we want to share, with the people we want to share it with, to achieve our goals. Here we use the 4 Ps (Product, Place, Promotion and Price). While all ‘should’ fall under the remit of marketing, the one you’re most likely to be involved with at the beginning of your career is ‘promotion’. Examples of promotional marketing tactics are things such as social media, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), email marketing and much more.

For more visual learners, the below (sweary) talk is also one of my most recommended talks for any marketer to watch. 

The interesting thing about all this is that at the beginning of your marketing career – you’re likely to be brought in to work on an element of tactical execution. That’s okay – it’s how most of us start – but being able to act with an awareness of what the broader ‘strategy’ is gives you purpose to your actions rather than just churning out another Reel for the sake of it.

There are more advanced theories that you should spend time getting to know. But I don’t want to overwhelm in this article. Therefore, here is some further reading: 

I also recently shared my own view on how to create a bare minimum marketing strategy here: 

How do companies know if their marketing is working?

There are many metrics folks may use when looking into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Ultimately ‘profit’ will be the final indicator of success, but that is not just down to marketing activity alone. 

One level down, therefore, the main question we need to be asking therefore is ‘why are we doing what we are doing?’. The above answer to what are the fundamentals? will give us an ultimate marketing goal, but, you may also look to track smaller goals along the way. 

So therefore taking another step down into more micro-goals, you may choose to look at something called ‘the funnel’ or the ‘buyer journey’. 

The funnel doesn’t really exist – humans are way too complicated to expect people to follow a linear path through your activity. But, it’s a way for marketers to express how each of their different tactics will eventually lead to a sale. It looks a bit like this:

The stages expressed here should be changed to match your company eventually, but this basic funnel shows stages of: 

  • Awareness: someone becoming aware your company exists
  • Consideration: having come aware of your existence and feeling the problem you solve
  • Purchase: Making it super easy for folks buying your thing
  • Retention: Keeping the customers you have
  • Advocacy: Helping your best customers share your company with other marketers

At each of these stages, there are likely to be goals associated with them. For example, at the awareness stage, you just want people to know you exist. Intuitively, getting people to your website would therefore feel important, so you may judge success by the growth of your website traffic. 

At the retention stage, however, you’re interested in keeping the customers you have, so a retention goal might be to move current customer satisfaction from a 5 to an 8 out of 10.

The funnel is important because instead of saying ‘we’re going to do some social media today’. You can give purpose and goals to your actions by saying ‘we’re going to do social media today for reasons of awareness, and we’re going to judge success by the number of clicks to our website’. It gives you purpose and goals to your action.

Solving the need for the right people, not all the people.

One of the most liberating things is realising you’re not trying to help everyone. This is about FOCUS. The first half of Seth Godin’s This is Marketing speaks about this superbly. Adele Revella took it a step further in her webinar the other day. Solve a problem for the people you care about helping, and don’t worry about the rest. One of the times this comes into action is when people don’t like your stuff. There is immense power in saying ‘that’s okay because it’s not actually built for you’.

The language of business is finance

The most regularly asked question we have at TMM is ‘how do I get my boss to understand marketing?. My opinion is that it’s not their job to understand marketing – it’s yours to help them understand the impact of your work. Shoe on the other foot: I don’t really care what my accountant does so long as I stay out of prison.

With this knowledge, the language you have use here is one of finance and how your impact will eventually lead to a sale. As Martin George said ‘finance is the language of business’ so cultivating skill in these conversations is vital.

I get not every conversation can be justified on that basis. As Rory Sutherland says, ‘there is room for magic in marketing’. In that case, I argue the impact of marketing in the following ways…

  • First, argue the numbers
  • If you can’t argue the numbers, argue the example of other successful campaigns (including competitors)
  • If you can’t argue the example, argue the logic of the action – “I want to try this based on this assumption”
  • And if you can’t argue the logic, argue the magic – “I don’t know, it just feels right!”
  • On the final of these, one way to approach this is to have an ‘experiment budget’ each year which you don’t mind losing but hope to learn a lot from!

Communicate in stories.

The other half to the conversation around finance is that the numbers are telling a story of your efforts. But, the narrative is yours to form to give context to your activity. The same goes for anything: pitches, plans, quarterly reviews and more. Jeremy Waite shared some wonderful structures for your stories in his recent webinar, my favourite being you need to know…

  • An outline – Let your audience know what to expect
  • A headline – A ten-word statement that encapsulates your story
  • A front line – The most important point in the story should come first
  • A sideline – A quote or a poem
  • A bottom line – Your call-to-action

Understand to your customers!

As mentioned at the diagnosis point… actually speaking to my customers is the one thing I wish I did more, earlier. It’s too easy to hide behind our keyboards – to take the praise (or the silence!) and not speak to the people who pay the bills. When I started my career, if I’m being honest I was scared to pick up the phone. Today I recognise it for what it is: an integral part of our role and something that cannot be ignored. Do not hide behind your personas!

Curiosity is important, but you will say no more than you do yes when thinking tactically. Marketing as a concept moves slowly, in fact – it’s largely unchanging. The tactics, however, shift regularly and boy is ‘shiny object syndrome’ relevant. This is more true when you’re not really sure what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for. On this point: always be sure to stay on top of the latest things that you think could help you communicate the solution to your customer’s problem better: but don’t lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing. I wish I could make this point 100x over!


How do I get a job in marketing?

The marketing industry is a tough place right now – you’re far more likely to read stories of people being laid off than you are of folks hiring. That being said, of course there are opportunities!

I’m part of a WhatsApp group of marketers and a similar question was asked about getting new clients.


I thought the answers were interesting, and also representative of my own experience. Unfortunately, I’d say more often than not, the old advice of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ still counts. 

That’s not to say marketing is an industry that is snobbish – it just means to say to stand out, getting yourself out there on Linkedin and events will certainly stand you in good stead. 

There are plenty of resources available to those starting on LinkedIn – but here is one we did earlier and for the mega keen, a guide for how to post on Linkedin:

Beyond getting to know folks, you can apply the traditional way. We run our own marketing job board, but there are plenty of opportunities. 

Getting your CV right is really important, which is why I recently spoke to the MD of Brand Recruitment about the top things you can do to get your CV to stand out. The video for that is found here:

Do I need a degree to work in marketing?


A great degree probably won’t teach you how to do the job day to day, but it may help you understand some of the fundamental theories expressed above. Speaking from personal experience, the knowledge of these theories (which I didn’t have when I started my career) will save you time in the long run as the framework for approaching marketing makes executing it much easier.

However, there is a debate going on in the industry between those who believe marketing training should be a greater thing in our industry, vs. those who are self-taught.

Ultimately, whether you have letters after your name or not – staying on top of your learning is really important, and having a framework for viewing the marketing world through… thoroughly useful. 

So no, you do not need a degree, but having a framework to see the marketing world through is useful, and proving that you’re investing in your learning will really stand you in good stead. Later in this article, I’ll point you to some useful resources to keep on top of your learning 🙂

What’s the difference between a marketing agency, freelancing and ‘in-house?’

Working at a marketing agency typically means you’ll handle multiple clients, often from different industries, giving you a broad range of experience. It’s usually fast-paced and you may specialise in one aspect of marketing. Our friends at Impression is an example of an agency.

On the flip side, in-house marketing means you’re part of a company’s internal team, focusing on that one brand – for example, working at Ted Baker or The Body Shop. You get to go deep, understanding the product and audience, and you often work closely with other departments like sales and product development. 

A third career path is freelancing, where you are in effect operating as a lone individual, offering your services as an individual rather than part of a company.

Each has its own vibe: agencies and freelancing offer variety and quick learning, while in-house roles offer depth and long-term brand building. Neither is better. They’re all just different.

What are the roles and responsibilities of different positions within a marketing team?

Marketing roles are too varied to provide a conclusive list of every job role. Broadly speaking, however, some things that can be expected within marketing roles are: 

  • Strategy: Overarching plans and long-term goals.
  • Execution: Implementation of marketing campaigns and tactics.
  • Analysis: Evaluating market trends, consumer behaviour, and campaign effectiveness.
  • Relationship Building: Networking, partnerships, and customer engagement.
  • Leadership: Managing teams, budgets, and overseeing multiple marketing functions.

Every organisation is different, but a breakdown of seniority is typically as below. Some broad and largely inaccurate characterisations of their roles include: 

  • (Junior) Marketing Executive/Marketing Assistant (or equivalent specialist role): Often more tactical than strategic
  • (Manager) Marketing Manager/Senior Marketing Manager (or equivalent specialist role): Elements of both strategy and tactics
  • (Senior) Head of/Chief Marketing Officer (or equivalent specialist role): More strategic than tactical – often in contact with the company board

It’s also important to say that in a lot of organisations, you might be the only marketer (that’s how I got started!). In these cases, you’ll be wearing many hats and trying to do elements of all of these things. That’s okay, normal, and happens everywhere. Not every company has a large marketing team. Be prepared for that!

Can you show me some examples of folks speaking about their roles, and the skills they need day to day?

Sure. Here are eight marketers from the community speaking about what they do, and the skills they need to make it happen day to day: 

Big thank you to: 

For your contributions! Be sure to say hello to them all 🙂

Resources and advice

What are the primary tools and software used in the marketing industry?

There are too many to mention. Seriously! At last count, Scott Brinker counted 11,038 different marketing technology tools that you could use in your job. 

The broad principle at play here when starting to search for a piece of tech, therefore, is being able to concisely answer the question: what do I need to do, and can this tool help me do that?

What is some advice you would give someone looking to get into the industry?

Jon Evans, the Uncensored CMO, recently shared the things he wishes he would have known when he was getting into the industry and on his journey to CMO.

But, I also asked the community, and this was their advice: 

  • “Top piece of advice would be prepare for the unexpected, and allow more time than you need. Also know your audience to the nth degree. Get in their heads and think from their perspective, transforms your content!” – Jemimah Pester
  • “My top piece of advice would be to get experience. Write a blog, showcase your social media skills on your own profile, complete the free courses online, utilise what’s around” – Jessica St.Pierre
  • “The best piece of advice I was given, “you have two ears and one mouth, use the ratio and you’ll learn more and earn more” – Ryan Gardiner
  • “My top piece of advice would be to not let not having a relevant degree in marketing to stop you from exploring the industry. I got into marketing after two career changes and built my own experience by starting off as a freelancer before going in-house. Once you get in, get involved in as much projects as you can. Give yourself grace if you make mistakes (you’re going to because there will be a lot to juggle but it’s so fun), learn to be accountable for them and adopt a growth mindset.” – Justine Lou
  • “1) Many people more senior than you, maybe including your manager, may not necessarily know more about marketing than you, even on your first day. So when they say “please do blah blah blah” politely ask “who are you tryiung to reach? What do you want them to do/say/think/know? Would you be open to some suggestions on other ways to achieve this” 2) Strategy before tactics. If you catch yourself jumping straight to tactics then go home and watch every single sweary Mark Ritson video on youtube back to back until you have remembered.” – Oliver Lythgoe
  • “When you first land a marketing job, there’s just so much to learn, it’s like drinking from a fire hose. I find it takes three months to get back to being just as smart as you were on the first day. What separates the best marketers from the rest is the ability to use their instincts. And yet, for most new marketers, the first thing you lose is those same natural instincts. The job is overwhelming at first. With so many new facts in your head, when pressed, you reach for a new data point instead of your instincts. When trying to make a decision, you are caught like a-deer-in-the-headlights, trying to impress your boss, maintain composure, and deliver, even when you aren’t sure how. You spend so much time covering up your weaknesses, that you forget to allow your incredible strengths to shine through.  They call it gut instincts, but in those first few months, everything is preventing you from finding them. My advice for you; first, know this is normal. Second, while we think our natural instincts are right on the surface, that’s a myth. At every level, every year, those pesky instincts have a way of hiding. You will spend your entire career looking for them. Keep looking. They are there. Use them. Best of luck.” – Graham Robertson 📕
  • “Always be curious and learn. 2nd piece of advice is it is never done. Used to be we could deliver the ads to the publications and sit back and call the campaign delivered. Now it’s an ongoing data analysis twiddle dials. Love it or leave it.” – Kristine Clark
  • “Top piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Unapologetically put yourself out there, know your worth and embrace rejection. This will help you find the right fit and place for you to grow.  When you’re interviewing, remember you’re also interviewing them. Do they provide you with everything you’re looking for and need to thrive? Do they offer training? How does your manager actually manage etc?  Just because you get offered a role, doesn’t mean you need to take it.  Learn to love human psychology and understand why we buy or take actions. Even if you have a little of this and top it up with some CRO knowledge, you’ll be further ahead than others trying to find their first role. 🧡” – Jade Halstead
  • “Top piece of advice…”Never stop learning, the world of marketing never sits still” 9 years since graduating with a marketing degree I still learn something new every day, and talking of that degree, a lot of things I learnt at uni are now outdated so if you want to succeed in this industry you have to keep improving and expanding your knowledge :)” – Chelsie Brown
  • “Make like a sponge. Learning from others is vital, find somewhere and someone you can shadow for a bit, in an office – doing what they do best. Watch, listen and absorb (very hard in this WFH climate, I know).” – Helen Banyard 🙋🏻‍♀️
  • “ My advice is be curious. Marketing is a really broad discipline and trying a few different things early on is a good way to discover what you really like and what suits your skillset. This doesn’t mean job hopping – but taking an active interest in those working in adjacent roles or departments and being intentional about what you want to do next, whether that’s a potential pivot in role type or perhaps a different sector. In my experience, being curious is really important for your long-term career happiness.” – Josie Shepherd
  • “My advice would be: Explore a variety of industries. When people think of ‘marketing’ certain industries come to mind first but I think the more unique the industry is, the more unique the role is!” – Aidoia Puig-Delfin
  • “#2 There is no DSM for marketing, literally everyone is just making their best guess at what will work (more experienced = better guesses). Start with a bare minimum marketing strategy, stay connected to the industry (communities and LinkedIn are so valuable), and back up decision making with receipts (data/research) and you’re well on your way.” – Victoria Lyle
  • “I would say start building your networks early and never burn your bridges. The industry is smaller than it first appears and these two things can both help and hinder your progress!” – Sue Keogh
  • “Some specific digital marketing advice – there is free training for all the big platforms available online, so get that Google Ads certificate. Test and learn is incredibly important for digital campaigns, so apply this to your job search and get hands on experience on your CV. This could be helping a charity with their digital fundraising or it could be helping a small business or local community or sports organisation with their social media. If you can show that you have achieved real commercial results at whatever scale that will set you up much better than purely academic results.” – Barney Durrant
  • “My top piece of advice – get some proper training. I don’t really care what training, but proper training whether it’s starting your career as an apprentice and having proper theory taught alongside learning on the job. Doing a CIM qualification. Taking properly quality assured short courses – and look for an employer that will support you to learn and develop.  Second piece of advice – stay curious. LinkedIn can be a treasure trove of good advice (also terrible advice and absolute scumbags pedalling nonsense) but be curious. Ask colleagues questions, learn from their experience. Read blogs and articles. Sign up and attend conferences. Join the odd webinar. There is gold out there that will help you become a better marketer. Just my two cents. And I wish I’d applied part 1 earlier in my career!” – Shaun Hughes
  • “Celebrate the little things, especially when you’re starting out or starting over. While they may be vanity metrics to well-established brands with big marketing teams, smaller brands with a single manager of marketing efforts should celebrate each like, share, quoted post, comment, and more. They all add up to brand recognition and authority over time.” – Mallie Hart
  • “Be proactive with learning! Take a course, attend a webinar, learn something new about an area of marketing you don’t know a lot about.” – Karis Gorst
  • “My top advice is: Ask questions. 💭 Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know something – this is the best way to learn. Also, when you ask other people for help, it makes them feel valued and respected.” – Olha Havrina

What are some marketing resources or people I should be following?

People & Marketing Influencers

🎓 General marketing (Strategy and education)

👉 Positioning & messaging (How to do it!)

✍️ Some incredible copywriters…

📹 My number one video person 🙂

🧠 Behavioural science and brain things

🎩 Linkedin tips

🤖 AI & Tech

🧍🏾Youtube and influencers

📺 Content

❤️ Social Media

🫶 Generally inspirational and thoughtful folks who will make your feed better

Some of my favourite marketing books:

  • How brands grow: What Marketers don’t know This book provides evidence-based answers to the key questions asked by marketers every day. Tackling issues such as how brands grow, how advertising really works, what price promotions really do and how loyalty programs really affect loyalty, How Brands Grow presents decades of research in a style that is written for marketing professionals to grow their brands. It is the first book to present these laws in context and to explore their meaning and application.
  • The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy If you’re in the business of influencing decisions, you need to understand what drives them. The Choice Factory is an essential read for anyone who wants to learn. Taking us through a typical day of decisions, from trivial food choices to life-changing career moves, The Choice Factory explores how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcuts. The focus throughout is the marketing potential of knowing what makes us tick. Shotton draws not only on academia, but also on analysis of ad campaigns and his own original research, supporting his discussion with insights from some of the smartest thinkers in advertising.
  • Lemon. How the advertising brain turned sour. Using a unique mix of neuroscience, cultural history and advertising research, the study shows how an increase in abstract, left-brain thinking has spread across business and popular culture and how this is undermining creativity and making advertising less effective. Crucially, it also provides practical advice to reverse this decline. According to the 130-page publication, the reasons underlying the crisis relate to the way the brain attends to the world: the same instincts that lie behind short-termism and narrow focus are resulting in work that is flat, abstract, dislocated and devitalised – advertising that doesn’t move people. An attentional shift has occurred in business and society; a change in thinking style that has left its mark not just on advertising, but also on popular culture.
  • This is Marketing Seth Godin’s gift is clarity. Much of the stuff in this book is dedicated to the very fundamentals of marketing, yet I challenge anyone to not gain a renewed focus by reading it. The thing I gained the most from it was how truly defining your target market really is the starting point for so much, and that it takes bravery to say ‘this thing I’m building, it’s specifically for this small group of people’.
  • Shoe Dog: The story of Nike The story of how Nike got started and was catapulted to success, leveraging a ridiculous amount of risk and money they didn’t have along the way. I didn’t find the book overly profound, but just generally very interesting and captivating from a marketer’s point of view. Nike is a company that has impacted most of us throughout our lives, so it’s interesting to hear the backstory.
  • Small Giants Recommended by Mark Littlewood of Business of Software. Small Giants is a classic which shifts the focus from being the biggest at stuff to being the best. While some of the examples are a little outdated, this remains a great reminder that there are many ways to achieve greatness and fulfilment in life – not just by being the biggest.
  • Obviously Awesome You know your product is awesome—but does anybody else? Forget everything you thought you knew about positioning. Successfully connecting your product with consumers isn’t a matter of following trends, comparing yourself to the competition or trying to attract the widest customer base. So what is it? April Dunford, positioning guru and tech exec, will enlighten you.
  • When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing We spend a lot of time questioning ‘what’ things. ‘What’ should I do to increase my traffic? ‘What’ is causing us to be really successful this year?  Yet rarely we consider ‘when’.  When can I work best? When is the best time to work on something creative? When is the best time to launch a new product? When should I exercise? This book will change how you structure your days and marketing for the better.
  • 10 rules of writing First… do not buy the kindle version of this book! Very short, you’ll finish this in 15 minutes, but this book is a sound reminder of some basic and important writing principles from a master of their craft. Get the hardcover, read it, leave it on your desk, and leaf through every time you’re struggling just a little with your writing.
  • Beloved Brands Professionally, Graham has led some of the world’s most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, Coke, General Mills, and Pfizer, rising up to VP Marketing. He’s won numerous awards including Marketing Magazine’s “Marketer of the Year”, BusinessWeek’s best new product award and 4 Effie advertising awards. His book, Beloved Brands, is the playbook for how to build a brand that consumers will love. Might I say with it sat on my desk with tea stains very happily on it, that it’s one of the most practical marketing/business books I have ever read.
  • Watertight Marketing Are you tired of wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t deliver? Do you wish there was a proven, fool-proof process that can reliably powerup your profits? Well there is, and this book holds the answer. Page by page you’ll unlock the Watertight Marketing method, a powerful toolkit that will equip you with the mindset, skills and processes you need to find customers you love, repeatedly increase sales results and positively transform profits.
  • To sell is human Are you tired of wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t deliver? Do you wish there was a proven, fool-proof process that can reliably powerup your profits? Well there is, and this book holds the answer. Page by page you’ll unlock the Watertight Marketing method, a powerful toolkit that will equip you with the mindset, skills and processes you need to find customers you love, repeatedly increase sales results and positively transform profits.
  • InfluenceIn this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion—explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations.
  • Alchemy: The surprising power of ideas that don’t make sense We think we are rational creatures. Economics and business rely on the assumption that we make logical decisions based on evidence.
  • But we aren’t, and we don’t. In many crucial areas of our lives, reason plays a vanishingly small part. Instead we are driven by unconscious desires, which is why placebos are so powerful. We are drawn to the beautiful, the extravagant and the absurd – from lavish wedding invitations to tiny bottles of the latest fragrance. So if you want to influence people’s choices you have to bypass reason. The best ideas don’t make rational sense: they make you feel more than they make you think.
  • Lost and Founder: A painfully honest field guide to the startup world Everyone knows how a startup story is supposed to go: a young, brilliant entrepreneur has an cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions and becomes the envy of the technology world. This is not that story.
  • Content DNA: Using consistency and congruence to be the same shape everywhere How can we compete in today’s fast-moving market? There are more platforms, more users and more content than ever before. How do we stand out? What can we do to make ourselves noticed, remembered and preferred? Content DNA provides the answers. By focusing on two key elements – consistency and congruence – you’ll learn how to define a recognisable “shape” for your business.You’ll discover the building blocks of your brand and get clarity on expressing your value through a short, memorable tagline. Finally, you’ll understand how to create content that builds authority and establishes trust.

And here’s how I would approach courses.

If I had an unlimited budget as a marketer looking to level up, I’d start with the Mini MBA in marketing or similar to gain a baseline knowledge of marketing theory. 

I’d then move to take the Marketing Leadership Masterclass to supplement the marketing theory with practical ‘here’s how to make it happen in the real world’. 

The lessons in both courses are timeless, but directed in different ways. 

Finally, I’d look to communities like ours to keep you on top of the latest developments and current challenges. I’d also look at Google Garage, Ahrefs, and Hubspot Academy

Rounding off

There is a bunch I wish I had known 9 years ago when I started marketing, and listed above are the essentials. This is a living document, so as I find out more, I’ll continue to share it – so if you think of anything else, do let me know on my Linkedin.

Additionally, if you’ll allow it, I’ll give one final plug for The Marketing Meetup. TMM is the community I wish I had at every stage of my career. Each week we dedicate time to learning, understanding and getting better at marketing – no matter the stage of your career. Whether it’s in person or online – you’d be very welcome to join us 🙂