Achieving more of what business owners want to be successful  
Marketing Specialists of the Year 2019 - Hampshire. (SME News) 
 
 
Does your business employ a single marketing person, perhaps at executive level, or are you considering hiring one? A mentor for your marketing colleague can improve their productivity and contribution to your business.  
 
Many SME businesses will employ one person to execute operational marketing activity. That person might early on in their career, and they may have a line manager whose expertise is not in marketing. A Mentor can be a bridge, so a business gets the best from their marketing hire. 
How a little mentoring can go a long way 
Does your business employ a single marketing person, perhaps at executive level, or are you considering hiring one? 
A mentor for your marketing professional can improve their productivity and contribution to your business. 
Many SME businesses will employ one person to execute operational marketing activity. That person might early on in their career, and they may have a line manager whose expertise is in sales or finance, but not marketing. 
 
It can be tough for a junior marketer 
It’s not uncommon for a marketing executive to be asked to write a marketing plan by their line manager. They may not have the experience to properly undertake the task. Not wanting to appear foolish, the executive chooses not to disclose any inexperience, and in doing so the line manager assumes there are no issues. 
This can be the start of a mismatch of expectations. The executive produces the best plan (s)he can, and the line manager is unimpressed. This may lead to conflict, unhappiness and dissatisfaction for both the employer and employee, perhaps resulting in the executive choosing to leave. 
 
What follows next is time and money being spent finding a replacement, with no insight into what went wrong first time around. 
 
Let’s re-wind to the beginning – get the recruitment right initially 
If you don’t know much about the marketing recruitment space, sound out someone who does. They will help to: 
• Provide an honest appraisal of the seniority required to deliver the desired results. 
• Draft a job specification. One that is accurate and engaging – designed to sell both the role and the business. 
• Sift through applications using intuition and marketing savvy skills. An experienced marketer will know what to look for in a resume. 
• Interview; someone who knows the marketing questions to ask to enable the candidate to showcase their talent and experience. 
 
These steps will help make the most suitable appointment. 
 
Onboarding 
The experience of joining a business is likely to be a mixture of excitement and apprehension for the new marketing hire. Part of the nervousness might be about being the only person in the business doing marketing. Here are some benefits that a marketing mentor can offer to help ensure a positive onboarding experience during any probation period: 
• A ‘safe place’ where the new starter can ask someone not directly involved any ‘dumb’ marketing questions. 
• A go between who can ‘check-in’ on both sides and make sure everything is positive. Early intervention can help solve any issues before they become bigger problems. 
 
Beyond probation 
Your new marketing starter is no longer the new kid on the block. They have successfully passed probation and are becoming a valuable member of the team. A weekly or fortnightly engagement with a mentor, in addition to catch-ups with a line manager delivers real advantages including: 
• Sharing with the role holder some strategic insight into the work that they are doing and helping them to understand the bigger picture. 
• Helping enrich and develop the role so that the job holder grows in confidence and competence. 
• Suggesting ideas to the role holder to increase their marketing skill set and thus their value to the business. 
• Filling in any gaps in the role holders marketing knowledge, especially if they are early on in their career. 
• Listening and advising when any conflict situations arise; to provide a context and perspective and suggest suitable next steps. 
• Advising on regular 
reporting metrics to show the business owner(s) the contribution that the marketing function is making. 
 
Sixth Sense Marketing provides recruitment consultancy advice and a mentoring service to businesses who employ one marketing professional as part of their team. The mentoring can take be done through a combination of regular meetings (face-to-face and/or via Zoom). To discuss how this service can benefit your business call 01252 213131
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