We recently partnered with B2B Marketing Magazine to produce a ‘career acceleration guide’ for B2B marketers. 

In the survey that underpins this report we captured the experiences of over 70 B2B marketers who’ve made it to the heady heights of head of marketing, VP marketing or CMO. What’s the secret of their success?

Well, it wasn’t an accident, with 71% actively planning their career. And this plan seems to revolve around four pillars. 

Firstly, they invest in knowledge. Most of those at senior levels possess a university degree and the majority feel this has been an important contributor to their success. The subject of this degree doesn’t seem to matter though, with the majority studying a topic other than marketing, whether that’s fine art, philosophy, engineering or law. However, vocational qualifications do play an important role, with 53% obtaining a professional marketing qualification once in the workplace.

Secondly, they seek out diverse experiences. Most senior marketers (68%) have been in the profession for more than 15 years, and during that time have typically worked in five companies. Furthermore, they seem to carefully pick their workplace, looking for a positive culture, supportive line manager and inspiring boss. This provides numerous learning experiences and an environment where their skills are nurtured.

Thirdly, they develop some core skills which are essential to success. They seek to become expert communicators (81% say this has been very important to their success) with strong emotional intelligence (70%), an adaptable mindset (76%) and outstanding problem-solving skills (73%).

And finally, they develop a personal brand and actively promote this so new opportunities open up. Almost all senior marketers (99%) use LinkedIn to promote their professional profile and half (49%) also use Twitter to the same end. 

Good luck on your journey!

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About Andrew

Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.

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