Your first 90 days in marketing

Ken Dec, MD at OVATION, Inc, shares three pieces of advice for those just getting started in the world of marketing

Welcome to the wonderful world of marketing. It’s filled with fascinating, creative people full of amazing energy and passion. It’s being surrounded by those kinds of people every day that has me doing this for more than 30 years.

Here are my three pieces of advice for those just getting started. Things I wish someone had told me when I first started.

1. “How can I help?” “How can I serve?”

This isn’t specific to the marketing profession. If you consistently think in terms of ‘service’ – to your colleagues, your clients, your partners, you’ll do well by consistently doing the right thing -which is to look at what you do as helping and serving others.

2. You are a storyteller now – learn from storytellers – outside of marketing too

Ultimately marketing is about storytelling – the truth well-told. Never forget it. And study, study, study storytelling from outside advertising and marketing. Learn from filmmakers, novelists, poets, visual artists, political campaigns. Observe and use how they tell stories. Learn how they bring people to their cause. How they connect emotionally with consumers of their content. Here’s a list of what I think are the best storytelling books – Robert McKee’s STORY is the best place to start (yes, its about screenwriting but remember I told you study outside of marketing). I also highly recommend three others: Wired for Story; Trust me, I’m Lying, and The Story Factor are all great.

3. No ‘one’ is as smart as everyone

Marketing is a team sport and no matter how smart you think you are there is always something you can learn from others. I’ve found that the most successful people in this business are the best collaborators. Be a good teammate; your work will be better and you’ll be happier.

Follow #First90Days on Twitter for more great tips. This blog was written as part of Avention’s 'My First 90 Days in Marketing' blog series, which can also be viewed at