A marketing department is a team of professionals educated and experienced in fields such as marketing, public relations, advertising, and mass communications. In the most effective organizations, this team serves as a strategic business partner to top executives and operational managers.

Marketing itself, however, is everyone’s job. Here’s five reasons why:

  • If you’re alive, it means you’re “known for something,” and that “something” is your brand.
  • Since you always have a brand, it’s best to be deliberate about ensuring it’s as high quality a brand as possible.
  • Everything you do and say communicates value, uncertainty, or lack of value concerning your brand,
  • Therefore, all of your actions are, at their core, marketing actions.
  • Just as we evolve as people across time, our brands need to evolve to stay relevant with our values and the needs of those we are seeking to serve as professionals.

One of the best thought leaders you’ll find on marketing in general, and how it’s everyone’s job, is Seth Godin. Here’s the link to his blog and to his latest book, This is Marketing.

Meanwhile, here’s three first steps to take if you’re just now starting to think of yourself as a brand that is marketing itself to the world:

  1. Check out of the work grind for a few hours or even a full day, and write down your thoughts and observations about what you want your brand to be, and what your brand is right now.
  2. Develop a few key actions you can take to “close the gap” between current brand and desired brand. In particular, make an honest assessment of current strengths you need to continue to develop, and current weaknesses that need to be mitigated in some manner.
  3. From there, create a timeline with milestones related to your key actions, and communicate your brand goals and tactics to a few people whom you respect and who will always give you honest feedback.

Another effective step could be to find a mentor with years of experience and success in marketing; someone who shares the worldview that marketing is everyone’s responsibility, not just those who happen to have the job title. An executive coach is also a professional who can help you to become clearer on the personal brand you want to market and steps you need to take.