It is impossible for career professionals to achieve great success without devoting significant amounts of time and energy toward the accomplishment of their aims. And as a result of the ever-increasing prevalence of technology, both ideas and concepts are constantly shifting, necessitating continuous education and training for those involved.
The trends that are currently prevalent in the global job market indicate that a career in technology of any kind is likely to be lucrative. An increase in pay is a fantastic motivator; however, people are also drawn to the field of technology because it has a low barrier to entry and an unlimited supply of free educational resources that make it possible for them to educate themselves.
You may have noticed that the people we've featured on Expert and African have had unconventional career trajectories that practically scream, "anything is possible if you put in the work." This is because we want to show that anything is possible if you put in the effort.
Because of this, my favorite part of working on this series is listening to technology experts share fascinating tales about how their formative experiences have prepared them for the work they do now.
In this episode, I investigate the career trajectories of three professionals who are, by all accounts, doing quite well in the field of growth and marketing. Everest Nwagwu, Product Marketing Manager at Canary Point Corporate Services, a company that specializes in financial services; Victor Ekwealor, a creator-cum-growth expert. Saze Ibraheem, Head of Marketing at ART X Collective, a cultural management company with over ten years of experience. Saze Ibraheem is the Head of Marketing at ART X Collective, a cultural management company with over ten years of experience.
We will draw from their experiences in order to highlight the qualities you need in order to have before contemplating a career in growth and marketing.
These three individuals' lives could not have started out in any way that is more diametrically opposed to one another, nor could their interests have been more dissimilar.
Saze's upbringing in a privileged family and early access to knowledge played a significant role in her propensity to engage in risky behavior on a regular basis. She had a hard time identifying what she was good at and giving it a name for a while, but once she met someone who worked in the professional world, everything started to fall into place for her.
" I have an exceptional ability to comprehend user behavior and the manner in which customers want your product to address their issue. In retrospect, I realize that nobody shared with me the knowledge that "marketing is how you use creativity to solve business problems," despite the fact that I now understand this to be true.
Because she has an interest in business, she might have pursued a career as a financial analyst, a business consultant, or one of the other similar positions that are relevant to the economics degree she has.
When Saze finally realized what she excelled at, the next logical step for her was to obtain a postgraduate degree in integrated marketing communication from New York University.
Everest, on the other hand, was confident in his ability to persuade people to carry out any action he desired when he was an undergraduate. He initially planned to earn a degree in physiology, but after realizing early on that his singular abilities would be most effectively utilized in the field of marketing, he changed his plans.
The first five years of Victor's career as a journalist and content creator opened many doors of opportunity for growth, allowing him to confidently enter the field. And because he had gained experience early on in his career, the transition was simple for him to make.
According to Statista, the total value of the global market for marketing services is approximately $475 billion. These services include content marketing, digital marketing, and influencer marketing.
It goes without saying that the career path is here to stay, and because practitioners can be found in virtually all companies and fields, there is an increasing amount of competition in the space.
Growth and marketing roles require an understanding of the products that a company offers in addition to the ability to excite both the team and the company's customers. Their key performance indicators include increasing the number of users and expanding their reach through brand awareness, creative marketing campaigns both online and offline, and the identification of business opportunities across a variety of channels. This indicates that skills in research and analysis, in addition to more intangible abilities such as storytelling, are required.
When Everest was first getting started, his command of communication gave him the confidence he needed to succeed. If you are considering a career path that is analogous to this one, one of the first things you should work on improving is your communication skills.
" I've always had an interest in business in general, as well as communication and marketing specifically. When I was growing up in a family that places a high value on business and hard work, I often found myself wondering how else I could incorporate these things into my life. It was marketing that came the closest to winning because media and communication are essential tools for marketing. 'And both of those things are second nature to me,' he explained while we were having our conversation.Everest Nwagwu. Product marketing manager, Canary Point Corporate Services
Another one is the ability to be creative and adaptable. During the early stages of his career, Victor spent his time crafting narratives by telling the stories of African technology businesses while working as a journalist in the media technology industry. He explained that he couldn't have achieved the level of success he had at the time if he hadn't honed his ability to comprehend the bigger picture. On the other hand, Saze possesses an artistic side that is continually finding new ways to express itself. This provided her with the creative capacity to generate ideas and put them into action.
This brings us to the topic of project management, which is another requirement to take into account when contemplating a career in marketing.
Everest's third job was at a company that manufactures fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). In this position, he was responsible for "market activation," "market storm," "market survey," "coming up with a go-to-market plan," "partnerships," and "signing brand ambassadors and influencers" on a daily basis.
Victor is a growth consultant who assists businesses in expanding their customer base while Saze's responsibilities include the introduction of new products, the formation of new partnerships, and the management of marketing efforts for large-scale events.
As a result of the significant amount of multitasking that marketing and growth experts engage in, they have developed skills in project management that come in handy when trying to keep track of the various tasks that they are juggling at the same time. In addition, proper task scheduling and supportive teams contribute to their successes.
The importance of having strong leadership skills also can't be emphasized enough.
Saze is at her absolute best when she is able to recognize exceptional team members and provide them with opportunities to flourish, which is something that Victor actively encourages.
Saze entered the field of digital marketing at a time when it was relatively unpopular, and it took a great deal of persuasion to get any group to consider it important enough to warrant an investment. As a result, she launched her own company with the intention of convincing other businesses of the importance of investing money in digital marketing.
" If I'm being completely honest, I fell into the world of business by accident. Because no one else was doing what I wanted to do, I decided to become one. At the time, most people didn't really understand digital marketing, so I just tried to model my approach after Nike's. I'm an extrovert; I like people, I like being in a team, I like brainstorming, and I like community. Saze elucidated, "That is where I thrive, and I'm very happy that I now have the opportunity to do that."Saze Ibraheem, Head of Marketing, ART X Collective
In addition, Everest desired to put himself to the test by transitioning from the marketing of physical products to the marketing of digital products. And as a first step, he joined a health technology startup where he will be responsible for community partnerships. Even though it was overwhelming, he was able to learn valuable lessons that he has since applied in the fields of edtech, media tech, and fintech.
Saze, Victor, and Everest's career trajectories have all been thoughtfully planned out, and all three of them have had a hand in more than one industry for a variety of reasons.
Saze is attempting to quench her insatiable hunger for knowledge with the help of her story.
" I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I have a lot of questions because I am genuinely interested in the topic at hand, and I am thrilled to gain even more knowledge and comprehension. When I enter new fields, I believe that my passion for reading, for expanding my knowledge, and for doing research has helped me. I have an exceptional ability to comprehend user behavior and the manner in which customers want your product to address their issue. That's my secret ingredient in my sauce."
During the course of our conversation, she gave some thought to the places she had worked before allowing her creative side to take control and guide her to her current position. During her time at these places, she gained experience in the fields of automobile manufacturing, finance, online retail and customer service, as well as media.
Everest spent an average of one year at each of the seven companies it worked for over the course of the nine years it was in business. These sectors include the production and marketing of mobile phones, as well as consumer goods, health technology, educational technology, the media, and financial technology. He was always motivated by the desire to achieve victory in some endeavor.
" Transitioning is not easy, but I'm an adventurous person, and I'm curious about finding out what else there is to discover in this world. Because I am solution-driven and project-focused, if a place of employment does not provide me with a sufficient number of challenging problems or projects to work on, I will reach a point where I feel like I need to leave and look for something else," he disclosed.
The passage of time is a significant factor in Victor's story, just as it is in the majority of other success tales. It took him five years before he was ready to take on growth because he needed to perfect his skills in content creation, product development, and product strategy.Victor Ekwealor. Tech entrepreneur and growth expert
Last but not least, Everest is motivated by a "need to go and look for something else," much like the popular Disney cartoon character Pocahontas, who once said, "To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing what's around the river bend." Everest is driven by this same desire.
Be like Everest; be driven.