Learning from the pros

Learning from the pros

Five tips for a successful mentoring relationship.

Mentoring is an excellent tool to boost marketing expertise; by finding someone in your own company – either through an official programme or on your own – and asking them for long-term guidance and training, you can boost your understanding of any aspect of business.

What’s more, mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship. Research shows that teaching others is one of the best ways to learn.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of it:

  1. There’s no such thing as too senior or too experienced. Even executives in their fifties and sixties sometimes need younger mentors to help them get on top of the latest tech trends, despite their expertise in other areas.
  2. Throw your net wide when looking for a mentor. If you find people from outside your area of expertise, instead of sticking to people from the marketing silo, it’s possible to gain experience and knowledge from different departments that will help in the long run. You can even look for a mentor from another company, giving you access to ideas and methods from another successful organisation.
  3. Make it formal, but not too formal. Taking notes, setting goals and establishing times to meet up will make the exchange more fruitful, but this should ultimately be a personal as well as a business relationship, based on trust and mutual respect. It is sometimes more comfortable if your mentor is not your immediate boss as you can be more open about discussing things like career choices.
  4. Move on if necessary. If you feel the mentorship isn’t working after a few weeks because of a personality clash, don’t be afraid to thank your mentor for their time, then move on to build a more fruitful relationship with someone else.
  5. Return the favour. By mentoring other people from across the business, you will help to spread understanding about the challenges and possibilities inherent in marketing – which will make your job easier when it comes to getting colleagues on board with a proposed campaign.
Sammy Todd Former Marketing Manager CIM
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