This is the fourth post in our “Off-Mic with Masterful Marketers” series. We sat down with some of the most inspiring, influential speakers from marketing events around the world to discuss productivity, making work meaningful, and managing teams to do great work. The previous post featured advice on time management, team management, and self-care from Mari Smith.
“The only way to make it happen is by cutting out the dead space and forcing yourself into the mindset of maximizing your time. We all have the same 24 hours.” - Carlos Gil
Sometimes, marketing can seem like one giant game of catch-up. Even the most forward-looking marketer can get caught chasing the tail end of a trend. It’s a fast-paced industry that demands constant learning and improvement, all while keeping up with the day-to-day.
The fast pace and continuous opportunities for improvement are both challenges and rewards for marketers. There are three key areas we can improve to fully realize our potential.
See our free download, "3 Ways to Execute Marketing Projects Smarter, Faster, and Better," for tips on keeping up with the fast-paced world of marketing.
The first is innovation, the ability to think ahead of the curve and spot new opportunities. Second, collaboration with our team, colleagues, and industry experts can make us more efficient and knowledgeable.
Finally, there’s hustle, the ability to get more done in less time. This last one is frequently mistaken with “being more busy” or “moving faster.” What hustle really means is being more productive in the same amount of time.
It’s not about the level of activity or the speed you go through tasks—it’s about smart time management to maximize your productivity.
One smart marketer who has mastered all three of these concepts is Carlos Gil. Carlos is the head of global media for BMC Software, a sought-after public speaker, Snapchat expert, and creator of the Hustle Diaries, a video series with nearly 5,000 subscribers.
We sat down with Carlos to learn how he fosters innovation, seeks out productive collaboration, and manages his time to stay productive and do great work.
What do you love most about marketing?
I love the mediums and the people on them. As someone who grew up in the AOL era as a teen, it feels like I was destined to work full time around channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
While marketing is the narrative that we tell about our company’s goods, products, and services, the mediums are the gateways that connect us to an infinite number of consumers or prospective ones.
To be blunt, when you work in social media marketing, not any single day is ever the same, which keeps work fresh and exciting.
You’ve done great work in your career, but really, what does “great work” mean today?
Results achieved and nothing less.
With the real-time, noisy nature of social media today, you’re only as good as your last win. Meaning, what worked for you a year or two ago is no longer relevant due to the speed at which marketing is evolving.
Let’s face it: C-level executives hire people like myself to drive results and if I’m not driving real, tangible ROI as a marketing leader, they will be quick to replace me with someone who can.
What are the biggest obstacles keeping marketers from doing their best work?
The majority of my friends throughout the industry have openly expressed to me how much pressure and stress they’re under at work.
Their VP of marketing or chief marketing officer is expecting results within the existing month or quarter, therefore, they forego looking at where marketing is headed simply to ride the current wave until it dies down.
Then, when the wave comes crashing they’re forced to scamper and learn the latest trends—like Snapchat or Instagram—because it’s what’s perceived to be hot at the moment.
If you want to be successful as a marketer at any company, you need to be several steps ahead of everyone in your organization, including your higher ups.
How do you think your “hustle” has made you a better marketer?
To steal a line from Drake, “know yourself, know your worth.”
Not to sound arrogant or cocky but I’ve been in the industry for nearly a decade and have experienced the highs of starting social media for one of the largest grocery chains in the United States at Winn-Dixie, to the lows of struggling as a start-up founder during the recession.
Through it all, I’ve been a loyal student of the game of marketing including learning from other leaders and colleagues throughout the industry. I’m always pushing myself to learn more, stay up to date, and keep building up my resume.
You are great at connecting people together. What is one piece of advice for other marketers to make more meaningful connections with customers, prospects, influencers, or each other?
As cliché as it might sound, be authentic. A lot of people make the mistake of seeing social media as an easy gateway to get them in front of business leaders while taking the human element out of business etiquette.
Nobody is going to be inclined to hear your random pitch or want to help you if you aren’t taking the time to consume their content, add value, and stay on their radar through networking.
Out of thousands of people that I am connected to online, right now I can name at least 25 to 30 people that consistently share my content and engage me consistently. If any of them came to me with a request I would gladly drop what I am doing and help them without hesitation.
How do you make the work of marketers around you more meaningful?
Collaboration is the key to success. Marketing cannot exist in a silo within any organization. Whether it’s digital, social, or traditional advertising, our roles are intended to provide support to the broader organization.
Therefore, it’s critical that you provide key stakeholders with visibility into the work that you’re performing and the results that you are delivering as a means to justify your value. And not just on a one-off basis, but consistently.
In the work you do as a marketer and thought leader how do you prioritize your time and energy?
I sacrifice sleep and “free time” to devote myself to improving my craft. Meaning, I don’t watch Game of Thrones or spend time doing things that serve little or no purpose in the bigger picture.
Instead, I spend time when I am not with my family or in my nine-to-five reading up on trends across various publications, interacting with followers across multiple social networks, writing for publications like Inc. Magazine, creating video content for YouTube, and being a connector to those who opt to engage with me.
The only way to make it happen is by cutting out the dead space and forcing yourself into the mindset of maximizing your time. We all have the same 24 hours.
Can you share an example of where you were able to do your best work? And what made it successful?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give BMC Software a shout-out here. Of the four brands where I have worked in social media, BMC Software is the only one that has given me the full autonomy to do my job to the fullest and makes me feel valued for what I bring to the table as a thought leader in my industry.
Everywhere else I worked prior to BMC Software felt like I was swimming against the current just to prove my self worth. From day one, leadership at BMC Software gave me the support needed in order to transform our social media presence into something befitting a world-class organization.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the pace of modern marketing, especially when you’re simultaneously trying to stay ahead of industry trends and keep your daily deliverables on track. But, you don’t have to be a whirlwind of busy activity to stay productive.
Collaborate with your team, marketing colleagues, and subject matter experts in your industry. Manage your time to be productive instead of busy, making sure to include time for research and innovation.
As Carlos suggests, audit your downtime to find new opportunities to learn or engage with your audience.
Many thanks to Carlos for sharing how he does great work. In our next Off-Mic with Masterful Marketers post, we’ll feature Convince & Convert President Jay Baer.
In his interview, Jay shares how creating truly valuable content can help make work more meaningful, and how he manages his team to do their best work.
Subscribe to the Talking Work blog to check out Jay’s post, and for work and productivity advice from our team and beyond.
Check out our post, "Are You Truly Productive or Just Crazy Busy? 5 Common Productivity Pitfalls," to find more ways to be a productive marketer.
About the Author
Heather has enjoyed playing the game of marketing for the past 15 years, at the agency and corporate level, in both B2C and B2B companies. She's run PR campaigns that took her from the MTV Beach House to NASDAQ and many media outlets and content channels in between. She is currently the Corporate Marketing Director at Workfront.Follow on Twitter More Content by Heather Hurst