A Guide to Starting a Career in B2B Marketing—5 Tips for Beginners


A Guide to Starting a Career in B2B Marketing—5 Tips for Beginners

September 8, 2021

By Xiao Hui Chin, Digital Campaign Specialist

Although I studied advertising, I didn’t dive straight into marketing upon graduating. In fact, my career took an unusual trajectory—I went to New Zealand on a working holiday before returning to join a local airlines company as a cabin crew.

However, when the pandemic hit, I had to reevaluate my career path. I was ready to give marketing another try and I had a clear goal of what I wanted: an open work environment, a collaborative culture, and an energetic team. I found all these things here in 2X.

I had a lot of worries when I first started. It was an entirely new working style from what I was used to and I had a steep learning curve ahead of me. What really helped was having the right mindset as I approached every challenge that came my way.

If you’re someone who’s just starting on their B2B marketing career (or thinking about it), here are five things I’ve learned from my own journey that could help you accelerate your growth towards becoming a high-impact marketer.

Start with… Saying Yes to Learning Opportunities

As someone who’s starting from the ground up, I knew I had a lot to learn. In my first few months, I supported web operations for a business software giant in the States and got acquainted with the backend processes involved in creating webpages, landing pages, and display ads.

Once I had a better grip on how things worked, my Client Success Director (CSD) offered me the opportunity to work on email marketing campaigns with a different client. I leapt at the chance because it was something new and I was ready to explore the other facets of marketing. I learned how to setup email campaigns, understand different personas, and analyze campaign results.

Not long after that, an amazing opportunity came my way. A new client had just come onboard and I was asked if I would like to be part of the new team. I agreed and had the chance to experience firsthand what it was like to set up a demand generation program from scratch and optimize campaign performance.

What I realized from this is there could be a lot of learning opportunities around you if you’re open to it. In 2X especially, we’re growing at such a fast rate and constantly testing different ways of doing things that there are many opportunities for you to say yes to, should you want it.

When You Run Into Challenges… Practice the 5-Minute Rule

So at this point, I was already exposed to different marketing functions and had experience working in both larger and smaller teams. Naturally, I encountered a host of challenges along the way.

In 2X, we have what we call the “5-minute rule.” When you come across a problem, you’re encouraged to try to find the solution yourself first. That being said, if it’s past the five-minute mark and you’re still struggling, the best course of action is to ask someone for help.

Undeniably, there’s a sense of satisfaction when you figure things out on your own but when you ask for help, it could potentially lead to a more holistic learning process. You’ll get to learn much faster and understand how other people approached and solved the same problem.

If You Make a Mistake… Take a Deep Breath and Do Better Next Time

First of all, making mistakes is perfectly normal. When I first started presenting marketing insights to our clients in weekly meetings, I was all nerves. Despite carefully preparing my talking points and practicing countless times beforehand, I fumbled my way through the presentation. And to think that I was the person in charge of preparing the slides in the first place!

I thought that my CSD, Michael Kesuma, would not give me the chance to lead presentations again after that incident. In fact, he was very encouraging and continued to put me in governance meetings with the clients and helped create a relaxed atmosphere during these calls so I can ease into the presentation. I still have much to improve in terms of calming down my nerves and delivering an engaging presentation but compared to the first time, I’ve definitely come a long way.

It’s impossible not to make mistakes. Thankfully in 2X, there are safety nets in place and seniors that can act as a sounding board when you’re unsure. What matters more is what you do in the aftermath and what steps you take to learn from the mistake and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Always Pause… And Think About Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing

When things get busy, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of doing. The downside to this is when you’re too focused on the execution, you forget another crucial part: the thinking. As you progress, your work will become more complicated and require strategic thinking.

You’ll need to start shifting your mentality from the what to the why. Let’s say you’re running a display advertising campaign based off a set of keywords. It’s not a rinse and repeat activity where you just keep running the campaign—that will get you nowhere.

After you’ve gotten some results, you have to think about optimizing the campaign: which keywords performed better, which keywords didn’t, why? This line of thinking will guide you towards what to do next in order to run a more efficient and effective campaign, as well as becoming a well-rounded marketer.

Finally… Share Your Knowledge With Others

Eventually, you’re going to be proficient enough and might’ve even learned a better way to do things on your own. The learning doesn’t stop there! I’ve found that in helping my newer teammates ramp up, I’ve discovered questions I’ve never thought of before.

2X is a very growth-minded workplace and we’ve created a platform to promote knowledge sharing within the company, so that marketing best practices aren’t siloed within your own team (or any one person).

And you don’t have to be an “expert” to share your knowledge. I started creating tutorials on pay-per-click landing pages and target lists for ABM campaigns during my early months because I was already knowledgeable enough to confidently share it with everyone.

This culture of knowledge sharing and learning really drives what we do here in 2X and is part of the reason why I’ve grown so much over the past year. Where once I was a dot in the process (working on the execution part for a specific marketing function), I’m now a marketer who’s capable of connecting the dots and seeing the bigger picture of how marketing drives revenue growth.

Where once I was an associate who knew nothing about B2B marketing, I’m now a Digital Campaign Specialist who’s able to guide other marketers on how to run impactful and measurable campaigns. My advice for those new to the industry: regardless of your background, you can still try something totally different as long as you have the willingness to learn and embrace the opportunities you’re given.

Check out our open positions and apply