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Recently, I started a new job at DotNetNuke, a leading web content management platform. As a product marketer, part of my role is to help tell the story of the great products we sell – and, in a broader way, the great company we are.
As a result, I wanted to meet everyone in the organization, from Sales to Legal, from Engineering to Finance and from HR to Customer Support.
Here are the ten things marketers should do when starting a new job.
1) Introduce yourself to everyone.
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Depending on the size of your organization, it may be challenging to meet “everyone.” I’m based at headquarters, with about 40 other team members. I was taken “on the rounds” to meet everyone. If you don’t have the benefit of being taken around, be sure to introduce yourself to everyone you come across.
2) Ask for an org chart.
I was provided an org chart on my first day, which helps on a number of levels. First, it gives me a list of everyone in the organization. Next, as I meet people, I’m able to look them up on the chart to confirm their role. And finally, it gives me an early sense of whom I’ll be working closely with (e.g. account managers, account execs, etc.).
3) Engage with Sales right away.
Sales and Marketing alignment begins with a “hello.” Introduce yourself to as many sales reps as you can. The first week is primarily an “existence proof,” so Sales knows your name and begins to recognize your face. It’s the beginning of a long-standing (and important) relationship.
4) Focus on completing the “logistics.”
Filling out the W-2, reading the employee handbook and enrolling in benefits are important and necessary steps. Spend the time early on to complete these steps. If you can get them done on Day 1 or 2, the rest of your first week (and beyond) is set up for success.
5) Schedule video conferences with remote teams.
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Since our Engineering and Support teams reside in a different location, I was scheduled on orientation briefings with the leaders of those teams. We used a Polycom video conferencing system, which allowed us to see each other. If you don’t have such a system in your organization, go with Skype or Google+ Hangouts.
6) Attend as many internal meetings as you can.
Ask for permission to attend as many internal meetings as your schedule permits. Because you’re new, you’re guaranteed to learn something in each meeting. I attended a daily scrum meeting and got to hear details around the current product release. It also gave me a feel for how the Engineering team works.
7) Tell Sales what you plan to do for them (informally).
I boiled it down to this: I want to enable Sales to sell more. Define your objective up front and communicate it. That helps shape everything else you do. Communicate the “what,” then work to define the “how.” Sales will be sure to help you with the “when.”
8) Ask for the fire hose to be turned on.
Ask your peers to send you as much information as they can: email threads, project plans, existing marketing content, etc. It’s better to have the fire hose be turned on than to be lacking in water. You’ll need to prioritize what you consume and review – but as a marketer, you’re skilled in working with (and prioritizing) massive amounts of content.
9) Attend sales calls as a silent observer.
It’s good to see product demos from peers, but it’s priceless to observe a sales call (and demo) with prospects and customers. You get to learn a lot about your products. And importantly, you get to see how Sales is positioning and selling the products. During your first week or two, you may not be ready to have a speaking role on these calls. So let Sales know up front that you’ll focus on listening.
10) Develop a short-term plan.
Your boss will probably provide you with a short-term plan. Take that plan and compress it down to an even shorter timeframe (e.g. your first 1-2 weeks). This helps you prioritize at a more tactical level, to ensure your first 1-2 weeks are as effective as possible.