6 Ways on How to Become a Successful Marketing Expert in Kenya
Coming out of a recession is one thing. Coming out of Covid-19 pandemic is something else entirely. As a marketing professional in Kenya who supports a startup, small business of large company, you need certain attributes to be successful.
These are 6 ways on how to become a successful marketing professional in Kenya;
1. Initiative and measured risk-taking
You really can’t be a successful marketer if you are not willing to take measured risks. Be willing to be a risk-taker in your career. Not wild risks, not risks that you can’t understand or are afraid of. But you can’t calculate risk based on your level of fear. Instead, it’s important to assess the actual level of risk by examining the facts. Create a list of the pros and cons and the potential risks versus benefits.
When you’re excited about an opportunity and know you’re likely to overlook the risks, ask a trusted adviser, “What are the potential drawbacks?” Talking about the downsides can help you perhaps see the potential risk and reward from different angles. Not sure? Then start by taking just small risks and learn.
2. Understand how the product/service works
If you want to be a mediocre marketer, then stick to the superficial marketing tactics without really understanding the product or service. You can spot these types by their jargon-packed copy and flashy websites. Top marketers, on the other hand, seek to understand products more deeply, especially from the customer’s perspective, so they can more clearly communicate the benefit.
The curious ones also look to use their understanding of the product or service to differentiate their brands or products from the competition. You never know where that competitive advantage might be found.
3. Actually likes accountability of sales
In your marketing career, adopt a mentality that every marketing dollar and campaign has to be evaluated by a return on investment (ROI). It should be normal to justify and track the spend and return of a marketing dollar.
As important as qualities like creativity and people skills are to the marketing professional, at the end of the day, it is all about business. In marketing, sales eventually are everything. You can talk strategy and branding all day but unless you move revenue, ultimately, you will get fired. Want to challenge yourself? For a period of time, move into a business development or consultative sales role; being accountable for revenue, each quarter, will give you a complete understanding that you really cannot have marketing without sales.
The most successful marketers in Kenya seem borderline arrogant but they are really confident and that makes them determined. No matter their confidence, as important as making initial plans are at the beginning of a project, the ability to listen and adapt to issues and solve problems throughout a marketing campaign is often even more valuable. Every single marketing campaign will have things that could go wrong. This is when a marketing professional must be open-minded and rely on creative thinking and problem-solving skills to come up with a solution which will save time and money.
5. Creative problem solver
There is not a day in the life of a marketing person, where problems arise on possibly everything. It’s not about being brilliantly creative, it’s about your ability to solve problems, and whether that’s you or the team you work with. If you want to be a better problem solver, then learn how to use problem solving tools combined with a brainstorming framework of agreeing on the problem, utilizing a diverse group of people to get different perspectives, limiting the meeting time and using a problem solving tool.
6. High degree of curiosity
Curiosity can fuel your career and life. You need to be constantly curious of what was going on, what might happen in the future and think with a more strategic mindset. Every time you see something new in either retail or technology, investigate it and try to understand the future impact. As a marketing expert in Kenya, you should be inspired to research an aspect of the market that is outside the norm of your normal experience. That type of curiosity will yield a shift in your perspective.
Your company or clients are paying you to create or predict future results.