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Career Ideas: Elevate Your Standing at Your Company

April 15, 2014

Today’s post is courtesy of Benjamin Sawa, Corporate Development Manager at GEI Consultants and Vice President of SMPS Boston. Check out the previous entries in his Career Ideas series for Outlook.

Many rising marketing professionals ask themselves: How do I elevate myself and the Marketing function within my company?

To achieve this goal, begin with the realization that marketing and technical staff are actually not that different from each other. Architects, Construction Managers, Engineers and Marketers all provide services to their clients; it just so happens that a Marketer’s clients are internal rather than external to the firm.

The most successful consultants develop close relationships with their clients. Great consultants understand how clients work and think, what they like, and how they behave, and anticipate their needs and concerns in advance. Your firm will often get selected for a particular project not solely because of expertise or experience, but rather because of a relationship that exists between the client and your technical staff; a relationship that your sales and technical teams have built over time.

A Marketer should do the same thing. Foster strong relationships with the people you work with, and it will surely pay dividends. People want to work with people that they like, trust and respect. It’s up to you to be that person within your firm!

Equate Marketing to Strategy

How do you go beyond being just a proposal machine? Successful marketers understand the importance of marketing in determining and realizing business strategy. At the end of the day, the senior leaders at your firm want and need to work with people that can help them create a better company. Think about how you can do that. How can you add value beyond just proposal delivery?

The fact is, you have a lot that you can offer to your firm. Here are just a few areas in which Marketers can provide information, ideas and knowledge to help drive business decisions.

  • Market Research. What markets, clients, and geographies can your firm expand in? Bring real data back to your organization to help develop a growth strategy.
  • Teaming Arrangements. Expand your network through SMPS to find potential teaming partners for your firm that will strengthen your project teams and help win more work.
  • Marketing/Business/Client Capture Plans. Help your firm create a more structured approach to market and business strategy.
  • Business Development (BD) strategy meetings. Be the point person in your company that organizes and facilitates BD meetings. Don’t just wait for them to happen, make them happen!
  • Opportunity Management. If your firm does not have a CRM, lead the effort to create one. Be the “owner” of the company’s opportunity and client management system. Use this system to provide real-time intelligence on your firm’s opportunity pipeline, revenue projections, win-rates, and more!

Questions for Ben? He can be reached at

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