A Day In The Life Of A Marketer

Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Went downstairs and had a cup ... spent the day barely keeping up. Marketers, it seems, get to work by eight and then spend a lot of the day trying to answer mail.  

Project management technology company AtTask polled some 800 marketers in May and June this year to find out how they spent their average workday. Breaking down the marketing day hour by hour, the survey -- executed with marketing solutions and education network MarketingProfs -- found that 37% of marketers spend one to two hours in email; 36% spend three to four hours, and 18% spend all day long on the mail stream. 

Then, starting at around 10 a.m. the programs boot up, with 40% of marketers using up to five programs, and 42% using six to 10 programs. Nine percent use an astonishing 10 to 15 programs and 9% have no idea how many they use but it's more than 15, which renders multitasking meaningless.



Productivity begins to go down the toilet at 11 a.m., with 36% of marketers blaming the tire-spin on interruptions, 14% on digital/manual tasks like spreadsheet updates, and a quarter on unexpected projects. Oh -- and a quarter blame it on meaningless meetings. At noon, after what looks like an utterly wasted day in hindsight, the real work begins: lunch, which means eating at the desk for 56%. Only 19% eat away from the desk, with 18% eating outside. 

At 1 p.m., the meetings resume, but a significant number of marketers -- nearly a quarter -- say they continue to do their own work at the conference table. Half say they sometimes do so. 

Nearly a quarter of marketers work 10 hours or more per day. About 60% say they work eight to nine hours. Four percent, who either work for General Dynamics or are about to get laid off, only work four hours per day. 

It also seems that most marketers don't like to work alone: the poll also asked what kind of environments are most conducive to productivity, and 258 respondents said in a collaborative space. Two hundred and twenty-nine said in an office with a closed door and 126 said in cubicle with headphones on. One hundred and eighty said they work best at a home office.    

Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, the study asked respondents what they would be if doing if they weren't doing what they do. The vast majority said they would pursue the arts: writer, singer, actor, designer, in fashion, or floral design. After that comes "sharing of myself" as teacher, medicine, public service or philanthropy. A close third is business, engineering, science or law. Then comes working in nature, fitness or sports; and then just wallowing in cash. Interesting (or tragic, if you're an adherent of Tony Robbins), third to last is staying in marketing, which is above only working in travel and tourism, and professional cooking. 

Now get to work. It's Monday. You have mail.

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