The importance of personal understanding as a marketer by Abigail Dixon

By Guest Contributor Abigail Dixon

Author of The Whole Marketer, Abigail Dixon, explains what it truly means to be a Whole Marketer, and the importance of self-discovery and personal understanding as a marketer.

Becoming a whole marketer, is someone you is not only great technically at what they do and how they do it, but one who knows why they do what they do. One who is fulfilled, motivated and passionate about their career. Acknowledging that knowing yourself is just as important as understanding the latest marketing trends or developing technical skills. The key to fulfilment is be living a career and life that is based on what you value and drives you and that you have clarity on you goals and where you want to go and spend each day edging closer to that goal. It is from personal understanding that you gain clarity, fulfilment and motivation.



Investing time in self-discovery is 100% worth it. I have personally been on a journey of self-discovery over the past few years. I was already fairly self-aware and knew what motivated me and didn’t. However, taking the time to discover and gain a deeper understanding of myself – namely my goals, my values and my ‘why’ – has fundamentally changed my life. When I defined these for myself, I really felt as if I started to live my life to its fullest, as I was able to make decisions that would play to my values and move me toward personal fulfilment.

It’s also key to not only what drives you but also what is holding you back, what beliefs you may be carrying and have the mindset and toolkit that allows you to overcome these and edge closer to goals each and every day. Coupled with the clarity on what we want from our career and life as a whole, not what society wants but what our soul wants.



What I have found to be the most life changing is taking the time to understand my values and help others to define theirs too. When you understand yourself and your values, you really begin to unlock things within yourself. This is a key exercise within The Whole Marketer, and one that often leads to positive, fundamental shifts – providing a foundation for how you approach your career and life as a whole.

Defining my values is what led me to my qualification as an accredited coach and to developing the Whole Marketer approach, writing the accompanying book and supporting a community of marketers to grow. As it plays to my values of growth, generosity and connection. The advice, tools and techniques I share through this approach come not only from my own experiences and learnings resulting from my own self-discovery but also from researched, tried and tested approaches and exercises.

You are probably thinking, “Easier said than done – I’m always so busy.” I’m sure you are spending your working weeks delivering campaigns and product launches, attending forecasting meetings and leading strategic planning sessions – all alongside the demands of general life admin, school runs, social commitments and so on.



I encourage you to start believing that you are worth the time. We often give our family, children, friends and colleagues our time, but when was the last time you focused on you? The most important project you will work on is you. Especially for those who are looking after others as parents or careers, or managing a team, the oft-repeated oxygen mask analogy is true: you need to put the mask on yourself, so you can breathe, before you help anyone else. Remember, understanding yourself better will also help those around you.

Understanding your personality and what you are like to be around will help you to increase your own self-awareness and allow you to be understand and get the best out of those you work and interact this. I encourage you to go deeper and define what you value, what drives you, motivates you and why you get out of bed every morning .



This will be relevant to how you interact with prospective employers (including through your CV and in interviews) and with your existing team (to define ways of working). It will also allow you to improve your understanding of others in your team and motivate them individually on a deeper level. Another benefit is that you will be better able to build effective teams and ways of working, and ensure that you are recruiting people with personality traits that complement and enhance your existing team

Wherever you are on your journey of self-awareness, try to find the time to think about what makes you you, and take time to learn more about your colleagues. Increasing awareness can only improve your ways of working and being.

Unit 3 of The Whole Marketer is dedicated to you. It is packed full of thoughtful questions, practical tools and personal insight that helps you dig beneath the surface and define what you really want from your career and life as a whole and how to make it happen. Life by design, where life isn’t happening to us but for us, is really the ultimate goal for the whole marketer… and it all starts with you. Make your marketing career personal, make it yours.


ABIGAIL DIXON is an award-winning chartered marketer, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), an accredited consultant, a course director and trainer, and an accredited International Coaching Federation coach.



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As marketing roles continue to evolve, expand and embrace the complexities of the modern world of business, marketers are under increasing pressure to perform as individuals and teams. The Whole Marketer argues that now is the time to take stock of technical skills required, examine the latest thinking, identify capability gaps and discover how to be fulfilled in a professional context and as a human.   

Abigail Dixon looks at the functions of a marketing team through a lens of personal development. Her rich experience comes from leading marketing teams and training hundreds of marketers at varied stages of their career to achieve formal qualifications. 

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