3 lessons from my first 3 months at a B2B marketing agency

B2B marketing is a lot more than lattes and loud meetings: It’s rewarding and challenging work By Kevin Goodger Jan 30, 2020

When I first walked into the airy open office of Motum B2B, I was immediately welcomed by the classic “marketing agency” stereotypes I’ve heard so much about: a boardroom equipped with a mini-fridge and giant wall-mounted TV. Slipper-clad office workers typing away at standing desks. And, of course, an adorable office dog parading around the hardwood floors.

After 3 months on the job as a digital marketing copywriter, I’ve learned that working in a B2B agency is so much more than all of that. It’s fast-paced and creative, and it can be tiring, but most importantly it’s never boring. There’s always a new assignment to work on, a fire to put out and something new to learn.

Here are the best lessons I learned in my first three months at a B2B marketing agency.

Get to know your clients

One of the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of #marketinglife is the diversity of clients working across a range of industries. That’s especially true in B2B, where industries can be quite complex and niche. In my first three months alone, I’ve written about chemical manufacturers, mine safety equipment and environmental consulting, just to name a few. With each client, you need to quickly become an expert in their product or service, their strengths and their marketing goals.

Every B2B client has its own unique brand and tone. Some businesses are more serious and, uh, businessy — let’s call it “professional” — while others will have a more informal and personable tone. I’ve learned to check out the client’s brand and marketing guidelines, comb through their website and explore how they’ve positioned themselves in the past. From there, I can create content in an appropriate tone for the channels used by their audience.

Organization (and prioritization) is everything

Every day is different in a marketing agency. With so much going on, it’s easy for tasks to fall to the back of your mind — or for new ones to pop up without warning. I keep a personal and detailed list to help me organize tasks in my mind.

Slack, Outlook and Asana quickly became my new best friends. I use them to organize my thoughts, plan daily goals and communicate what I’m working on with teammates.

I’m also learning to prioritize. Multi-tasking may be a great skill to put on a resume, but it’s not good for productivity or your brain. It might make you actually worse than doing a single task at a time, according to Forbes.

Instead of trying to tackle multiple projects at once, I find it much more effective to focus on one task at a time and put my full energy into getting it done. Before I start work in the morning, I ask myself, “What needs to get done right away, and what can wait until later?” Then I can get in the zone and put in quality work.

Enjoy it!

A great thing about working in an agency is having the freedom to work in whichever way you feel comfortable. Want to wear a t-shirt and moccasins? Go for it! Coding with a dog on your lap? Why not! Headphones and your favourite Spotify playlist? Practically encouraged! The laid-back atmosphere helps create a positive work environment and keep people happy.

At the end of the day, probably the most rewarding thing about working in a marketing agency is that it’s never repetitive. Every day has something new, and it’s rare to find myself with nothing to do. Later, when I see the finished product of my work and get positive feedback from a client, it makes all the hecticness worth it.