Meet Liz Oke: The Curious Cat

I started my career in PR, then pivoted to graphic design, illustration and became an entrepreneur designing knitwear in my 20s. At age 27, I landed in marketing. Having these experiences early in my career have helped me round out a wide range of knowledge and industry experience.

Learning about my own values in my career has been my bigger challenge. Figuring out what interested me, what I wanted, and didn't want. When I first started in the workforce after university, it was an eye-opening experience. When you first start as a junior, you realize that there is so much more to learn on the job. You learn to be agile, adapt quickly to business challenges, lose the ego, and work hard! I worked for a wide variety of big brand clients in various industries in PR, and smaller brands in my early freelance days and this range of experiences helped me decide what sorts of industries and clients interested me the most.

We live in an exciting time. The word digital is overused, but with the emergence of the internet, we are experiencing an exciting period of change and growth in the realm of marketing. This is what keeps me motivated, the excitement of what the possibilities are for the future with tech, and how it integrates with and enhances our lives.

The Most Important Core Values of a Marketer

Curiosity - A curious mind to stay on top of the ever-changing marketing practice.
Agility - Be able to change on a dime and not be rigid with an idea.
Contribution - Don't just detect a problem, solve it.
Service - Learn about others, your clients, your target audience, your sales team and be helpful to them.

I do believe we will be communicating much differently in the next decade than how we are communicating now. Our devices will be vastly different, our internet much faster, the media, how we seek information online and channels we use will be much different also. How this impacts marketing? Since marketing is a major communication vehicle, marketers need to be futurists in order to adapt and change our practices to align with media preferences, devices and channels in order to reach our audiences effectively.

My biggest piece of advice is to stay curious and keep learning. Every morning, I set aside time to read, watch videos related to marketing excellence, martech and sales enablement, helping me to stay current. Go to a conference, reach out and ask questions to people who intrigue you. You can never stop learning.

Have a plan for your career, and yet stay open to twists and turns that may deviate from your plan. It is ok to be agile. When you are first starting out, you may not land your dream job right away, but always see that each working experience you have, you can take away something of value that you can apply for your career as you move forward. In every working experience that I have had, I have taken away something of value from the experience that is useful.

There have been so many times in my career that I have stepped out of my comfort zone, sometimes not having a solid plan, that has turned out for the better. Whether it was that I made a decision to leave a job, get in front of a classroom and teach, incorporate my business, or take any other sort of risk, it has always paid off for me in the end. Always find that silver lining and stay positive.


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