“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”
Amiri Brotherson is a content marketer and project analyst with an interesting career journey to his current role. He works as a Project Analyst at U.S. Bank and started his career there as a Wealth Management Product Marketing Intern. During his MBA studies, he worked as MBA Marketing Intern at GN ReSound. Before embarking on his MBA journey and working at U.S. Bank, he was a Student Financial Aid Counselor at Regency Beauty Institute and an Academic Advisor and an Advising Engagement Representative at Capella University.
Amiri got his MBA at University of St. Thomas (where I met him. Go Tommies!), with an emphasis in Marketing and Analytics and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. He is a Certified Professional Project Manager and won an award for Best Present at the Fiat/Chrysler case competition at the National Black MBA conference. He is a Rights of Passage Mentor for Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and was a Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota and a Trustee at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
I am a project analyst with the Wealth Management Marketing team at U.S. Bank. Projects are usually assigned to me requesting my assistance with completion for the team. It should come as no surprise, but there is no typical day working in Marketing. My team is responsible for all marketing content and collateral that is distributed to Wealth Management clients and prospects of the bank. This means that we review and update all current content and create new pieces as well. In addition, we also perform competitive analysis on the bank's competition. Since U.S. Bank is a financial institution, we are subject to heavy regulation. We have to be constantly vigilant with our content to ensure we are meeting compliance and legal guidelines while conveying a persuasive message to our clients and prospects.
What are you passionate about? (In your work, personal life, or other)
I love learning about other people’s experiences and perspectives. This is why a career in marketing was a natural fit for me. Marketing is more than just convincing people to buy a product. It's about understanding ALL the needs that the product solves. To do that, we need to be willing look at problems from another's person's perspective. This sometimes involves challenging your own assumptions about the consumers you serve.
What do you find most challenging about being a Project Analyst?
The most challenging part of my role is managing expectations from other departments that have marketing requests for us. People often come to us at the last minute hoping we can quickly "whip something together" for an event and sales campaign they have coming up. While this is inevitably part of being in marketing, we have to carefully manage people's expectations of what can be done in a short period of time. I have pulled off some amazing last minute flyers and posters, but I prefer that not to be the norm.
What do you find most enriching about being a Project Analyst?
There are 2 things I find most enriching about my role. The first is seeing a project through to completion. My role is similar to a project manager, as I can be responsible for multiple projects at one time. However, I am responsible for completing most of the milestones in those projects. I have few resources to which responsibilities can be delegated. All minute details must be investigated and completed by me. The second thing I enjoy is creating something from nothing, A lot of requests I receive start by saying, "we need a flyer/poster for.....". From there, I have to make sure that flyer/poster captures the right tone and message that will resonate best with our clients.
How did you find yourself on a marketing career track?
My senior year of undergrad, I got an internship with a Marketing agency. I saw an ad looking for campus representatives for the Ford motor company. We held several events on campus to spread awareness of the student discount they were offering students. This was particularly difficult since my school had a no-solicitation policy. I became really creative at hosting events that did not violate this policy. From that point, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a marketer. I decided to get my MBA in marketing to thoroughly understand traditional and new age techniques.
Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in marketing?
You don’t have to have an advanced degree to do marketing. Everyone is a marketer is a sense. If you have bought something and ever stop and paused on why you should choose one product over the other when they’re essentially the same, that’s marketing. When you question why they price things at $4.99 instead of $5, that’s marketing. If you’re interested in that, then this may be a career path worth pursuing. One thing to keep top of mind is that marketing is not all vainglorious. You don’t get to spend all your time coming up with witty slogans and commercials. There is a fair amount of project management and administrative work that has been done.
To learn more about Amiri's career journey and his philosophy on marketing, visit his LinkedIn page.
Thanks for reading!