TIPS FROM THE TEAM ON NATIONAL MARKETING OPERATIONS APPRECIATION DAY

In today’s digital world, marketing professionals serve as an integral part of any successful business, no matter the size or industry. National Marketing Operations Appreciation Day, celebrated annually on April 11th, is a national holiday that recognizes these talented individuals as well as the extensive work required to run successful marketing teams. 

Marketing professionals are often tasked with not only leading and executing advertising campaigns, but they also work in content creation, public relations, sales, event planning, social media, brand management, and design, only to name a few areas of focus. Strategic thinkers, these professionals work diligently to manage brand identify and send clear, cohesive messages to target audiences.  

At L.I. Smith and Associates (LIS), our marketing department got its start in 2021 when, now Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Ashley Horn was hired as Marketing Coordinator. The department of one quickly grew into a comprehensive department, covering a wide variety of roles and responsibilities and is composed of two full-time employees and a part-time intern. Now, in 2024, the team is proud to create all marketing materials such as photos, videos, graphics, and print materials in house, while also managing social media, staff relations, internal communications, and community relations efforts.  

In celebration of National Marketing Operations Appreciation Day, we asked each member of the team to take a moment to reflect upon their current careers as well as how they got to where they are today. Each staff member was asked a series of questions.  

  • What is one marketing resource that you think every business should utilize?  
  • Why did you decide to go into Marketing and Communications?  
  • What is one piece of marketing advice that you would give your younger self?  

Ashley Horn, Vice President of Marketing and Communication

  • What is one marketing resource that you think every business should utilize? 

Utilize your creativity! Don’t feel obligated to continue the status quo or copy the marketing strategies of other companies. Your business is unique, and as such, your marketing strategies and tactics should be too. Try something new, while always keeping your mission and values in the forefront.  

  

  • Why did you decide to go into Marketing and Communications?  

I initially chose to pursue a career in communication because my greatest strength was writing, and I hoped to find a career in which I could directly apply this skillset. After beginning the program at the University of Tennessee at Martin, I quickly found that I also enjoyed the media design element that goes along with telling a brand’s story. Having the opportunity to express my creativity through the development of marketing and public relations materials is something that I truly enjoy.  

  

  • What is one piece of marketing advice that you would give your younger self? 

Always take the time to network! Through networking, you can uncover new opportunities for both your organization’s success as well as your own growth and professional development.

Madison Bickerstaff, Communication Specialist

  • What is one marketing resource that you think every business should utilize?  

I believe every business, big or small, should have some form of social media to share their mission, what they do best, and how others can benefit from their services. You’d be surprised how much traction a company can get by sharing their characteristics through a social media outlet.  

  • Why did you decide to go into Marketing and Communications?  

I always loved the art of Communication and how information is shared through our society. It is an ever-growing field and I wanted to be a part of it.  

  • What is one piece of marketing advice that you would give your younger self? 

RE-READ everything. And after you’ve reread it once, reread it again. It’s always best practice to double and triple-check everything you write.  

Martha Jane (MJ) Hooper, Marketing and Communication Intern

  • What is one marketing resource that you think every business should utilize?  

I think one resource that every business should utilize is networking! Over the past two years, I have watched LIS grow tremendously just because of networking. You never know what will happen and what the outcome will be just by reaching out or going to events. 

  • Why did you decide to go into Marketing and Communications?  

I decided to go into Marketing and Communications after I changed my major from meteorology in my freshman year of college. Over a break, my aunt told me about her degree, which was communications with a focus in public relations, and what all she could do with it! I liked the versatility of it and knowing that every business needs a communications and marketing person helped with my decision. 

  • What is one piece of marketing advice that you would give your younger self? 

One piece of advice I would give my younger self is to be patient when you are learning. Being in the field versus learning in the classroom are two different things and it is a learning process. Every business has different marketing criteria, and it is okay it will take some time getting used to and learning the ropes of it!