Finding learning in unexpected places: Part four
- 20 July 2020
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Committing to learning has never been more important for the modern marketer. For Remi Pedro, who featured in Catalyst magazine’s marketing leaders of the future roundtable earlier this year, understanding her own learning needs has helped her to establish long-term behaviours that ensure her continued progression
Keeping up to date is a familiar challenge for marketers. However, as the global outlook continues to spell trouble for businesses of all sizes, it perhaps has never been more important than it is now.
This year, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) announced significant changes to our Chartered Marketer status that will allow more marketers than ever before to gain recognition by investing in continuing professional development (CPD). In this article series, hear from marketers at varying stages of their career on why learning is a priority – and how it can often be found in unexpected places. If you missed the first three parts of this series, featuring marketing leaders such as TSB’s Pete Markey, catch up here.
Remi Pedro, marketing manager, Green Flag (part of Direct Line Group)
Remi Pedro self-confessedly “stumbled” into marketing, which came with its own unique set of challenges when approaching learning and development. “There was a sense of inadequacy in terms of what I thought I ought to know versus what I did know.” She confesses that her learning pattern, as a result, was often focused on what she felt she ought to know, rather than based on passion points. This meant that she was sometimes found herself preoccupied with the latest trends and fads: “For example, ‘What’s the best TV spot time in this region?’ rather than: ‘What makes TV such a great medium within an integrated marketing mix?’"
Expanding her understanding of what learning constitutes has helped Pedro to establish learning behaviours that work for her. She now prioritises learning in areas that she particularly enjoys or has a natural curiosity for, which has helped to establish her as a forward-thinking marketer. “As I progressed on, it started to become apparent that what really makes you stand out is when you start to cultivate passion points and have an opinion on something, or are just naturally curious about a given subject matter which you are able to transpose into your day to day work.” For marketers, where an aptitude for a wide spectrum of business functions is critical to success, taking a broad approach to learning can help professionals to be “less insular”, Pedro shares.
She believes that having access to learning materials in the workplace is crucial to developing these passion points. This might also help developing marketers to overcome feelings of inadequacy that she herself experienced. Pedro shares that own her imposter syndrome has not left waned, but mentors and coaching have helped her to recognise and address it: “Having a support network at the start of your career is important to obtain feedback and know what you need to work on.”
If I had recognised my imposter syndrome early on – especially when I was agency-side – I may have progressed that little bit faster. Equally, if there is access to learning materials at work and elsewhere, it definitely helps to build confidence at work as you have reference points in order to substantiate ideas and opinions.”
Pedro is currently studying for a master’s degree in Digital Media, Technology & Cultural Form from the University of Goldsmiths, but the majority of her day-to-day development comes from consuming content: “My daily learning is reading, such as trade articles or even generic newspapers, or listening to podcasts. Squiggly Careers [hosted by fellow interviewee Sarah Ellis] is my go-to podcast in terms of how to navigate my career.”
Managing a balance between working, studying and switching off is a challenge and Pedro is frank about her own capacity to prioritise: “I’d be a liar if I said I’d nailed what that looks like! At the start of the week, I try to be very deliberate in terms of time that I want to carve out. For me, visualization of what the week will look like can be a very powerful tool, so carving out time to work, time to learn, time to do neither.
“Lots of people say to me, I would love to be able to do a master’s, I just don’t have the time. But you really begin to appreciate how much time you do have. It’s just about how you organise it. If you want to study, but you feel like the time and dedication will challenge you, I’d just say that it’s about more than the certification. There’s learning in that process of studying that you might not even appreciate at the time; it changes how you think, how you manage yourself.”
Pedro admits being a true “convert” to learning, and looking to leadership is her next major development goal: “Learning in the capacity of how you can be a better leader or person is so important, sometimes even more so important than subject specific skills. People are fundamentally what keep any business going.”
And this has particular relevance for marketers, Pedro believes: “Marketing is about people – people and products if you wanted to really distil it down. If you are not self-aware of how you influence people, regardless of what level you’re at or how people feel about you, that gives you barriers to how you can develop the best marketing plan or use marketing to solve a business objective.”
Whether you're a learning lover or not, it’s easier than you think to start your journey to becoming a Chartered Marketer via CIM’s CPD platform. Find out how you could gain this prestigious title.
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