iMedia Connection

How to get a promotion this year

David Zaleski

Promotion tip 1: Share knowledge across your network

General Mills' director of interactive marketing says that your chances for a promotion will hinge on whether you are viewed as a thought leader, change agent, and teacher within your network. You will also need to be able to clearly communicate how technology affects your brand and what works best.

Jim Cuene joined General Mills in 2006. Prior to that, he was vice president for interactive strategy at Ameriprise Financial, which was spun off from American Express. At Ameriprise, he led the planning for consumer retention, digital channel optimization strategy, and data and metrics strategy. He joined American Express in 2004, from Ciceron Interactive, where he was president. Cuene graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Entrepreneurship. He has an M.A. from Purdue University.

Promotion tip 2: Be open to positions you might not usually consider

Are you too focused on that ideal position you want? According to Kate Alini from BMW, you have to be open to a promotion within your company that you might not have considered. Many companies want their brightest employees to learn the business holistically. If you are offered a position that's different from what you had in mind, it might be a sign that your company wants to prepare you for bigger things.

Kate Alini joined the BMW USA marketing team in January of 2012 and is responsible for the brand's social media and mobile strategies, as well as app development and emerging technologies and platforms. In this newly created role, Kate is charged with building and expanding BMW's social media presence and engaging and activating the brand's passionate fan base with relevant content and programs.

Promotion tip 3: Manage projects cradle to grave

Julie Bernard, Macy's GVP of customer centricity, marketing, and advertising, says that in addition to hard work, your value will be judged on how well you can bring a project from inception to completion. She also says that you should never lose sight of the fact that delivering real results is the key to showing actual value at your company. Let your accomplishments be a bridge to the next project. You need to continuously improve at your job to get that promotion.

Julie M. Bernard was appointed group vice president, customer centricity and database marketing in February 2009. She joined Macy's Marketing in December 2007 as group vice president, media and customer analytics after spending two years at XRoads Solutions Group, a boutique consultancy based in New York. Previously, she was senior vice president, business process design, retail systems and vendor relations at Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises in New York.

Promotion tip 4: Become everyone's favorite partner

According to Capital One's VP of digital brand strategy, if you can become the person that other people think of when they have a big idea to tackle, you've got that promotion in the bag. Patrick McLean says you've got to be an incredibly well-connected individual to become everyone's favorite partner.

Patrick McLean is currently vice president, digital brand strategy at Capital One where he is responsible for driving enterprise social media and digital marketing communication strategy for this unique brand in financial services. Patrick was recently named Chair of the Digital Innovation Committee for the Direct Marketing Association and is a member of Microsoft Advertising’s Customer Advisory Board.

Promotion tip 5: Don't hog the credit

It's tempting to assume that you will be recognized by how much you personally accomplish, but Bob Thacker, veteran marketer and former CMO of OfficeMax, Target, and Sears, says you will crash and burn if you try to hog all the credit. He says that building alliances, creating partnerships, and forming synergies are more important to a company than personal achievements. You will only succeed if you don't obsess over (or be maniacal about) your personal ambitions.

Bob Thacker is executive director of Adopt-A-Classroom, a non-profit organization focused on raising monies to provide much needed supplies for our nation's classrooms. Prior to joining Adopt-A-Classroom, Bob was Sr. vice president, marketing at OfficeMax. Joining OfficeMax in late 2005, he brought a strong background in marketing and brand development. In his leadership role, Bob led the company's brand positioning and all customer marketing interactions.

Promotion tip 6: Learn to say "no" to bad projects

Should you jump at every bold opportunity that comes your way? Some would say "yes," but HookLogic's VP of search media, Steve Elson, says that you should be cautious when confronted with a new project that might not have the backing to support success. If you are presented with a project that is not getting the right budget, resources, or attention, your willingness to say "no" might be your greatest asset.

Steve Elson is the vice president of search media at HookLogic. HookLogic powers e-commerce media, a revolutionary way for brands and shoppers to connect in and around the e-commerce environment. For retailers, HookLogic drives a new, high-profit, media-based revenue stream. For marketers, HookLogic creates unprecedented opportunities to influence in-market shoppers at key decision points.

Promotion tip 7: Embrace social, local, and mobile

In this one-two punch of great advice, Cordell Lawrence of Jack Daniel's and Tom Troja of Social Symphony lay down the rules of what will drive (or put the brakes on) your promotion this year. Networking, clear communication, and your ability to embrace SoLoMo in 2013 will all heavily influence your upward mobility in your company.

Cordell Lawrence is the global community manger for Jack Daniel's Family of Brands (Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, Gentleman Jack, and Jack Daniel's Single Barrel). In this role he has led the explosive growth of Jack Daniel's into the top brand page on Facebook in the Spirits/Wine category. Lawrence joined Brown-Forman from Doe-Anderson, where he was an account manager, responsible for guiding communications initiatives as well as managing marketing, advertising, and brand campaigns.

Tom Troja is the founder of the Social Symphony where he developed SOCIAL ARCHETYPING™ to create meaningful conversations with people. Tom is leading this effort at Jack Daniel's where he helps manage the day-to-day conversation with Jack Daniel's friends in facebook.

Promotion tip 8: Be innovative and produce solid ROI

Mark Mitchell, executive director of SPEED/FOX Sports Media Group, has this simple yet powerful piece of advice: Be innovative and produce solid ROI. If you can demonstrate your chops in those two realms, there's no doubt you'll be a rising star in digital marketing.

As executive director of SPEED Digital Media, Mark Mitchell develops partnerships and oversees digital marketing and advertising for SPEEDtv.com and its interactive properties. Mitchell has played an integral role in the development of the award-winning SPEED.com, spearheading the monetization strategies for the site and making it a sought after channel for brands to reach the male, automotive enthusiast demographic.

Promotion tip 9: Repeatable, reliable results

Real results lead to real rewards. Rocket Fuel CMO Eric Porres says it's really that simple. According to him, if you can demonstrate repeatable and reliable results, you will prove to your company that you are a dependable project manager and deserve to be handed bigger undertakings within the company. If you can prove again and again that you can be thrown in the deep end and swim to success, your promotion is inevitable.

Eric Porres provides oversight for marketing operations and heads up Rocket Fuel's research center of excellence for digital consumer insight. Prior to joining Rocket Fuel, Eric co-founded Underscore Marketing, a full-service digital marketing and strategy agency, and helped expand the company internationally. He also co-founded Pericles Consulting, a "pop-up" strategic political marketing firm that developed and executed digital-marketing programs for presidential and senatorial campaigns.

Promotion tip 10: Always think ahead

In order to get promoted, you need to be constantly thinking ahead. TicketMob's Jaime Sarachit says we shouldn't solve only the problems of today. Instead, we should help to position our companies for one to five years from now. Always pay attention to your CEO's key objectives, she says.

Jaime Sarachit holds more than 10 years of expertise in brand marketing, communications, and social media, spearheading results-driven PR campaigns for a multitude of global consumer brands. She's publicized everything from The GRAMMYs and Red Bull to Barbie and Nokia.