Marketing is a career path that often leads individuals into other areas and industries. It’s common knowledge that careers are not always linear, and a 2019 study found that almost half of all people make a total career change at some point.
Jessica Mendoza is no stranger to career changes. She studied marketing and philosophy and began her career in the advertising and research space, which allowed her to see different aspects of data management. As her interest in the space grew, she started to learn more about digital marketing, began to volunteer for organizations like the Advertising Research Foundation, and started taking on side projects. She even started writing on Medium and taking courses to expand her skillset, learning about everything from UX to consumer behavior to HTML.
As a multidisciplinary individual, this led her to gain a slew of different skills in marketing and data. Now, as the CEO & Founder of Monadd, she is tying all of her skills and expertise together to make individuals’ lives easier. Monadd is a UK-based business that helps individuals update their address across accounts and cancel services when they move.
We recently met over Zoom to talk about what she has learned on her journey, and the advice she has for other entrepreneurs.
I think with marketing, it’s all about empathy. It’s about practicing empathy to understand your audience. Listen and then you’ll start connecting the dots and understanding the audience you want to target. The more that you empathize with them and understand them, the more you are able to create relevant content and relevant anything, like products or services that your audience may want.
In empathy, it’s crucial to have listening skills, so the best thing is to start practicing listening skills now with your team members or whoever you’re working with, or even friends. See how those can translate into the workplace when the right time comes.
Endurance. I think one of the tough things, whenever you are building something new and from scratch, is that you need a good amount of endurance to be able to succeed in it. What that means is you need a combination of grit and resilience, and to be able to keep up with making progress day after day.
It’s a journey of waking up and working with your team, if you have a team, and guiding them. One of the things you realize once you’re a founder is that you have a lot of responsibility on your plate. And it’s not only about doing things on your own, but also delegating, and knowing that you are the bottleneck. If you don’t delegate, things are just not going to get done! It’s about learning how to use your time efficiently and keeping at it.
For some period of time you may not see much progress, but if you start looking at it week over week, then you do see it.
We all have a cognitive load - cognitive load is the amount that it takes an individual to start a new task, and often this is about 25 to 45 minutes. For example, after lunch, you need an adjustment time period before you are back in the flow of work. Jumping back and forth, or context switching, can mean you are giving your brain additional cognitive load as you switch back and forth.
Time chunking helps a lot with that. Time chunking means determining periods of time where you’re dedicated to a particular task, or set of tasks, that are related to a particular skill.
Say for example you’re ideating, you want to have the entire ideation process happen on a specific, timebound timeframe. If you start ideating in the morning, come back to it in the afternoon and then at night, you’re not going to be as focused as if you had used a dedicated time for it.
The Heinz and Weetabix campaign happening in the UK now is interesting.
Weetabix is a cereal and they are pairing themselves up with different products to do social media campaigns. They are doing a series of combinations, including Heinz beans on Weetabix, which is crafty and makes the audience react. This creates good engagement for social media, which they can measure the effects of in the long run.
I’ve been all over the world, and I have various support groups that have helped me throughout my career. Some of them were established in New York and then there are some that are here in the UK.
I started with a lot of marketing support groups, then I moved into entrepreneur and freelancer support groups, and now I’m more in the data ethics space. They’re all professional groups - anything from Slack or Facebook groups, and some have their own channels online.
I go to these groups depending on what I’m going through at the moment. For example right now I’m hiring, so I’m going to these groups to see if there might be any interested people. Or, I’ll go with questions, like for the customer support tool I’m using, I wanted to get more feedback and reviews from other people. It really depends on the particular project I’m working on or particular piece that I’m focused on.
I find that groups provide a lot of support, and I provide support back as well.
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