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How to keep your marketing fundamentals sharp by volunteering

One of the few downsides of moving up the ranks in the enterprise marketing space is the gradual distancing that occurs between the more technical aspects of optimization and your day-to-day responsibilities.

I don’t get to perform keyword research or craft title tags or adjust bids or A/B test subject lines or suggest ad creative that often anymore.  I rarely get to perform email outreach. And I almost never get to play database administrator or web analytics dashboard creator.

Mind you, it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve made it a point throughout my career to make sure that I keep my tactical skills sharp, because I’m convinced that much like great military leaders, great marketing leadership is always close to the front lines and ready to role their sleeves up and get their hands dirty.

And speaking of rolling the sleeves up, let me tell you a story about togetherwerise.org.

My lovely wife turned me onto them a while back when she heard about their mission on a TV show. In a nutshell, they’re dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care, and if you know anything about the plight and prospects of most foster children, you instantly realize the just how noble their cause truly is.

My wife was so touched by their mission that she decided to reach out to the organization and let them know that her husband was a digital marketer who would be willing to pitch in and help with their marketing and promotion efforts. I’m glad that she did, because their founder Danny responded, and as is the case with most non-profit organizations, they simply do not have the resource or expertise to maximize their reach via digital channels.

Fast-forward to today and we’ve begun a friendly dialogue between Danny and I, whereby he asks questions about search, social, etc. and I provide him with my point of view as well as useful marketing resources that will help them help themselves.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that most of the digital marketers out that I’ve befriended over the years (either virtually or in person) are truly good, altruistic people. At the same time, I’m painfully aware that modern society suffers varying degrees of apathy, resulting in a woeful shortage of volunteerism. After all, we’re all busy with work, family, partying, fantasy football, Reddit, celebrity watching, reality TV, scrolling through our iPhones, etc.

But I digress.

This is a digital marketing blog, so the main point of this post is to demonstrate how providing pro bono marketing consulting to a non-profit (or two, or ten) of your choice can help you keep your tactical skills sharp. Give it a shot when you get a chance.

It gives the acronym “ROI” a whole new meaning.

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  • http://twitter.com/madeale Alessio Madeyski

    Well Hugo, what can I say?
    it’s really cool to see this written from a talented person like you.
    and it’s right, I’m looking myself to help someone for free , because not only the acronym “ROI” will have a new meaning, but even “be an SEO” is going to be different, because it’s going to be more related with the core of our society: people.

    and the world needs more humanity.

    • hugoguzman

      Thanks for the kind words, Alessio! I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one looking to use my digital marketing experience to help humanity in some small way. That’s actually what I meant by “giving new meaning to the acronym ROI”