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4 marketing takeaways from 2022 to help you conquer 2023

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4 marketing takeaways from 2022 to help you conquer 2023

‘Tis the season! The season for all things. For retailers, it’s absolute chaos. No time for strategizing. From here through the New Year, it’s execution all the time.

There is no “try” there is only “do,” as Yoda says. Launch things. Make money. Hit your year-end goals. 

As an email strategist, I got bored after the 15th of November, when my team locked down its holiday campaigns to the end of the year. My job was done. I did things to fill my time, but in the last six weeks of the year, nobody called on me for strategic thinking. Everybody was in execution mode.

Today, my agency’s retail clients are all heads down, launching campaigns. Our teams are helping them get things done. Everybody is in a mad push for the end of the year.

Teams in other verticals fall into one of two groups: 

  • The ones for whom December is just the end of the year. You want to finish strong, and that’s great. 
  • The ones, especially B2B marketers, who are crushing it to close deals by December 31. 

Whatever vertical you find yourself in, take a few minutes to walk with me and look back over what we’ve done in the last 12 months.

4 marketing lessons learned in 2022

I suspect many of you are grabbing time to read this while you’re on your way to something else — your daily stand-up, a team meeting, commuting to or from work (don’t read and drive) or just kicking back and looking for something to do because you don’t feel like doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Wherever you are in your daily life, thanks for joining me to review the year, look for things we can pat ourselves on the back for and remind ourselves that we made it through another challenging year.  

1. The advice I shared in 2022 can guide you through 2023

When I look back at all the columns I wrote this year for MarTech, one thing stands out: Most of them are designed to help you level up your email program. I frequently advise marketers to stop what they’re doing, clear their minds, look at their efforts and think of how to improve them.

That has been my goal with my MarTech columns since I began writing them — to help marketers do better.

I share real-world advice pulled from my own experiences because I have been where you are now:

  • The person pushing the “Send” button.
  • The one getting screamed at to “send another email.” 
  • The marketer who had to figure out how to fight for every scrap of budget to make the email program achieve its potential.

If you’re thinking about what to do in 2023 but not sure where to start, visit my article directory on MarTech and search for ideas. How to do email audits, review your tech stack and move to a new ESP. How to brag a little about your team and your results and help your company understand the power of email and why it deserves investment.

You’ll find a year’s worth — and more! — of strategic and tactical approaches that can make a real difference in your email program. Find one or two improvements that you could make happen, along with a reserve list of five or six, and then follow my guidance for how to make them happen.

No, you don’t have to do it right now. Post a note on your cubicle wall or tape it to your computer monitor, and come back to it after the holidays. 

2. Brands are beginning to invest extra in email again

I’m noticing an encouraging trend — an increase in spend. We’ve seen significant investment in email by our clients in 2022. When I ask business owners why, they say they learned their lessons during the pandemic. They needed to invest in better platforms to take advantage of everything email could do for them.

We also saw people put their investments on hold to see what would happen in the economy and the labor force. But overwhelmingly, spending increases outpaced cutbacks or holds.

We also talked with front-line marketers. They told us they won their increases because they had effectively communicated the power, the upside and the opportunity of email in their organizations. 

They made a case for email. They educated their executives and pointed out where email could excel. They also highlighted instances outside of marketing where email could solve company problems that cropped up because of COVID-19.  

That’s the advice I shared a year ago in my forecast for 2022. Boast about your program a little. Talk about your email program with your executive team and point out what you’re doing and how you’re contributing to the company with email.

This has been one of my consistent themes this year because I can see the increase in business, and I want other marketers to share that mentality if they can put together solid business and communication plans.

In other words, if you want the funding, you have to think like a business owner. Because you own a business unit within your company. Treat your marketing program like a business, an asset, and communicate that asset to your executives.

This approach results in increased spending at companies that value email. That comes from people who own it.

Dig deeper: 5 email marketing lessons learned in the pandemic

3. RFPs and ESP migrations are off the charts

This is another long-term result of changes forced under the pandemic. Many companies found their platforms weren’t good enough. They weren’t fast enough. They couldn’t handle the fast pivots and new demands from extreme digital transformation.

That left many marketers wondering, “Am I the problem? Or is it my platform?”

In my 20 years of working with RFPs, migrating to new platforms and onboarding new clients, I saw people running RFPs because they didn’t understand what their present platforms could do. They hadn’t tried everything or taken ownership of the process to learn all the ins and outs.

Today, we are getting inquiries from people who have done that work and know that their platforms can’t take them where they want to go. They don’t have time to cope with sluggish systems, downtimes, workarounds or extra processes. These companies are driven to change and need platforms that can keep up with them.

You don’t have to be beholden to the platform — whether email, marketing automation, CRM or what have you — that you have been using. 

Digital transformation in its broadest sense can mean moving to a new platform that enables cross-channel and omnichannel marketing, that gets you to the Valhalla of real-time dynamic content, that draws a closer relationship between customer intent and product demand.

This rush to RFPs will continue in 2023. The frustration I hear from clients is tangible. This is a challenge to the existing ESP industry to do better. You can’t just say you “do email.” People want more than a pipe. They want functionality that goes beyond email and pushes email to do more.

Is an RFP in your future? Maybe. But before you start putting one together, be sure you’re using everything your current platforms offer. Audit your platform use to be sure you can accomplish everything you need to do now. 

Dig deeper: 5 tips for successfully switching email service providers

4. Finding balance is a need, not just a want

COVID drove home the idea that people want balance between their work and home lives. As I wrote last year (“Marketers: Where will you be a year from now?“), finding that elusive work-life balance would become a priority in 2022. Burnout was real, and we could feel its effects as 2021 ticked over into 2022.

I wish Elon Musk had followed my advice.

After he acquired Twitter a couple of months back, he sent out a now-infamous memo telling people they had to work harder — nights and weekends — or quit. 

My reaction: Somebody wasn’t reading the room.

Whether Musk appreciates it or not, we have moved beyond demands like that. We have moved beyond the corporate dictate that work is the be-all and end-all. 

Yes, some employees signed up for that 24/7 workday. That’s fine. That’s in their DNA. But many others looked at the choice between more work and more life and chose to have a life.

I hope this trend continues into 2023. Manage your work so you can take time for yourself. If you’re in ruins, so is your work.

In my 2021 column, I also advised marketers to keep their resumes updated and to take any interviews that come along. You could be happy as hell in the job you’re in, but keep an eye out for the next great opportunities.

Finally, continue to boast about your email program. Help others discover all the good work you do and get the respect you deserve. As some of my clients showed, it can pay off. 

Going into the new year prepared

As we go into 2023, let’s remember this — as hard as it was to work through the upheavals that COVID wrought in 2020 and 2021, we got to the other side. No, COVID is not over. We’re facing another winter with the triple threat of COVID, the flu and RSV, the respiratory virus that’s so dangerous for young children and the elderly.

And let’s not forget about the twin challenges of inflation and recession and whatever crisis is waiting for us. Can we meet it? Yes. Can we conquer it? Yes!

Over the 20+ years I have been in this business, email marketers have always impressed me with their spirit, their grit and their ideation. 

We are a talented industry, and we need to take pride in what we do.

Over the next few days, disregard Elon Musk’s advice and take time for yourself. Watch SpongeBob SquarePants. Put your phone down. Turn off your notifications. 

Put some distance between yourself and your work to start 2023 with a fresh perspective. Give yourself the gift of balance because you deserve to take breaks. 

Know that I think everybody reading my words is an amazing person. 

Have a wonderful holiday, and I’ll see you on the other side. 


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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.



About the author

Ryan PhelanRyan Phelan

As the co-founder of RPEOrigin.com, Ryan Phelan’s two decades of global marketing leadership has resulted in innovative strategies for high-growth SaaS and Fortune 250 companies. His experience and history in digital marketing have shaped his perspective on creating innovative orchestrations of data, technology and customer activation for Adestra, Acxiom, Responsys, Sears & Kmart, BlueHornet and infoUSA. Working with peers to advance digital marketing and mentoring young marketers and entrepreneurs are two of Ryan’s passions. Ryan is the Chairman Emeritus of the Email Experience Council Advisory Board and a member of numerous business community groups. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker and thought leader on digital marketing.

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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]

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Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree at any age, it makes sense to think about the value of that degree. Is the qualification needed for the career you want? Are there alternative paths to that career? Can you develop better skills by gaining experience in work? 

All of these are perfectly valid questions. After all, getting a degree requires a pretty large investment of both time and money. You want to know that you’ll get enough return on that investment to make it worthwhile.

Why marketing?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of entry-level jobs list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternate ways to get into marketing but having a relevant degree certainly makes your resume more competitive. 

Growth industry

Marketing skills are in demand in the current jobs market. According to a recent report from LinkedIn, marketing job posts grew 63% in just six months last year. Half of those jobs were in the digital and media sectors, meaning digital and content marketing skills are highly valued

Personal Development & Career Path

The reason for this increased demand for marketers is tied to the rise in digital marketing. New methods of marketing have continued to develop out of the digital sector. This means that marketers capable of creating engaging content or managing social media accounts are needed.

This leaves a lot of room for personal development. Young graduates who are well-versed in social media and community management can hit the ground running in digital marketing. Getting on this path early can lead to content strategist and marketing management positions.    

What are the Types of Marketing Degrees?

When we say marketing degree, the term is a bit too general. There are a lot of degree paths that focus on marketing in major or minor ways. The level of degree available will depend on your current education history, but the specific course will be down to your personal choice. 

Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s?

Recent statistics suggest that 74% of US marketing professionals hold a bachelor’s degree. 9% have an associate degree and 8% have a master’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of the differences. 

Associate degrees – 2-year courses that cover marketing and business in a more basic way than bachelor’s qualifications. They’re designed to give students the basic skills needed to apply for entry-level marketing jobs.   

Bachelor’s degrees – 3/4-year courses that cover business and economics. There is a range of bachelor’s courses with marketing at their core, but you’ll also cover wider business topics like management, communication, and administration. 

Master’s degrees – 2-year courses, usually only available if you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree. MA or MBA courses are designed to develop a deep understanding of complex business topics. They are highly specific, covering areas like strategic marketing or marketing analytics. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

Marketing Specific or Business General? 

This is down to personal choice. There are general business degrees that will cover marketing as a module as well as marketing-specific degrees. There are also multiple universities and colleges, both offline and online, offering different course platforms

If you’re looking at a specific job role or career path, then research which type of degree is most relevant. Remember that you will need to add to your marketing skills if you intend to progress to management roles in the future. 

Check the Modules & Curriculum

This is important, and not only because it lets you see which courses align with your career goals. Marketing has changed significantly over the last decade, even more so if you go back to before the digital age. Many business courses are still behind on current marketing trends. 

What Jobs Look for a Marketing Degree?

Once you’ve got your marketing qualification, what jobs should you be looking for? Here are some job titles and areas you should watch out for, and what qualifications you’ll need for them.

Entry level

If you’re starting with a degree and no experience, or work experience but no degree, take a look at these roles. 

  • Sales/customer service roles – These are adjacent roles to marketing where most companies do not ask for prior qualifications. If you don’t have a degree, this is a good place to start.
  • Marketing or public relations intern – Another possibility if you don’t have a degree, or you’re still in education. 
  • Digital/content marketing associate – These roles will almost always require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A good grasp of new digital and social marketing techniques will be required to succeed. 
  • Copywriter/Bid writer – This is a good route into marketing for those with journalism or literature qualifications. These roles combine aspects of marketing, creative writing, and persuasive writing. 
  • SEO specialist – A more focused form of marketing centered on SEO content optimization. If you know how to optimize a blog post for search engine rankings, this role is for you. Bachelor’s or associate qualifications will be a minimum requirement. 
  • Social media/community manager – Since these are relatively new roles, we tend to see a mix of degree-qualified marketers and people who’ve had success fostering communities or online brands but don’t have on-paper credentials.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

Career Progression

If you have an MA or MBA, or significant experience in one of the above roles, then you can look at these more advanced roles for your career progression.

  • Digital Marketing Manager – A role for experienced marketers that involves running campaigns and coordinating marketing associates. 
  • Senior Marketing Coordinator – A department management level role. Responsible for overall marketing strategy and departmental performance.  
  • Content Strategist – A specialist role that focuses on content strategy. Designing content plans based on demographic and keyword research are a core aspect of this role. 
  • Marketing Analyst – This role involves analyzing customer behaviors and market trends. If you want to move into analysis from a more direct marketing role, you’ll likely need specific data analysis qualifications. 
  • Public Relations Specialist – The public voice of a large organization’s PR team. Managing a brand’s public perception and setting brand-level communication policies like tone of voice.   
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist – This area of marketing is focused on optimizing the customer experience. Experiential specialists have a deep understanding of customer psychology and behaviors. 
  • Corporate Communications Manager – Communications managers are responsible for company-wide communications policies. This is an executive-level role that a marketing coordinator or public relations manager might move up to. 

Average marketing salaries

Across all the roles we’ve discussed above, salaries vary widely. For those entry-level roles, you could be looking at anything from $25 – $40K depending on the role and your experience. 

When it comes to median earnings for marketers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we can get a bit more specific. Recent statistics from Zippia show us that $69,993 p/a is the average for bachelor’s degree holders and $80,365 p/a for master’s degree marketers. 

Image sourced from Zippia.com

Marketing Degree Pros and Cons

So, the question we asked above was “Is a marketing degree worth it?” Yet, in truth, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. The question you need to ask is “Is a marketing degree right for me?” Here’s a summary of the pros and cons that might give you some answers.  

Pros

  • Degree holders have better job prospects and higher earnings potential in marketing
  • You can study highly specific skills with the right courses
  • Gain soft skills like communication and collaboration

Cons

  • High time and money investment required 
  • Diminishing salary returns at higher levels
  • Can be a restrictive environment for self-starters and entrepreneurs

What are Marketing Degree Alternatives?

If you want to stick with education but don’t want to invest four years into a degree, then accredited online courses can provide an alternative. This can be your best choice if you wish to upskill in a specific area like running conference calls from Canada

If higher education really isn’t your thing, the other option is gaining experience. Some businesses prefer internships and training programs for entry-level roles. This allows them to train marketers “their way” rather than re-training someone with more experience.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to Decide if a Marketing Degree is Right for You

Ultimately, choosing to do a marketing degree depends on your goals, your preferences, and your talents. Consider all three factors before making your choice. 

Career Goals

Do you want a management position that needs marketing knowledge? What areas of marketing interest you? What skills do you already possess? Answering these three questions will help you define your career path. That will narrow down your course choices. 

If you want to get better at selling small business phone systems in Vancouver, you don’t need a four-year course for that. If you want to develop into high-level marketing roles, then you want that degree. 

Personality

You don’t need a specific personality type to work in marketing. Your personality and interests might determine what area of marketing would suit you best though. For example, if you’re outgoing and creative then public relations or social media management might be for you.    

Investment & Return

Money isn’t everything. But, if you’re going to put the resources into getting a degree, you want to know that you’ll get some return on your investment. From the figures we quoted above, it seems the “optimal” qualification in terms of salary return vs. time and money investment is a bachelor’s degree. 

Average earnings for marketers with a master’s qualification were only $10k higher. This suggests that you’re not really getting a significant financial return for the additional investment. Of course, if that master’s leads to your dream job, you might see it differently.  

Final Thoughts: Forge Your Own Path

Is a marketing degree worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes. Whether that means a marketing degree is right for you, we can’t tell you. Hopefully, though, this guide has given you the information you need to make that choice. 



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