What is the Secret To A Successful Career in Marketing?

By Andrew Dalglish

Circle Research, the B2B market research company, recently delved into the experiences of over 70 B2B marketers who have reached the heights of Head of Marketing, VP Marketing or CMO, to discover what the secret of their success is.

What is clear is that a successful career in marketing doesn’t happen by accident with 71% of marketing leaders planning their career. Furthermore, successful individuals’ career plans revolve around five pillars: knowledge, diverse experience, core skills, their own brand and value on their personal life.


70% of marketing leaders feel that knowledge and a university education has been an important factor in the success of their career. However, the subject of the degree appears less important with marketers securing qualifications in subjects as wide ranging as fine art, philosophy engineering and law. Additionally, 50% of marketing leaders went on to achieve a vocational qualification related to marketing once they were in the workplace.

Diverse Experience

68% of senior marketing leaders have worked in their profession for more than 15 years and during this time held positions in five different companies. As part of this experience, successful marketers seem to seek out busineses with a positive culture, supportive line-manager and an inspiring boss as these environments provide plenty of opportunity to learn and develop skills that enable progression.

Core Skills

83% state that an important part of their success was becoming expert communicators, followed by strong emotional intelligence (71%), an adaptable mind-set (78%) and outstanding problem solving skills (74%).

Your Own Brand

Marketing leaders invest time and energy into developing ‘brand me’ and actively promote themselves so that new opportunities open up. Almost all senior marketers use LinkedIn to promote their professional profile and half also use Twitter to the same end. Creating a strong sense of personal brand enables these successful individuals to attract the most suitable opportunities.

Value on Personal Life

Successful marketers put value on their personal life during the quest for success. On average, senior marketers work 47 hours a week with 65% believing that working longer than contracted hours has no bearing on whether a market makes it to the top or not.

By Andrew Dalglish, Managing Director at Circle Research

For more information on Circle Research, visit  www.circle-research.com