career memos

Career pivoting and a lens into marketing roles with Meng Li, VP of Marketing at Native

December 16, 2020

Learn about what marketing roles mean, career pivots, and pro tips on how to stand out to hiring managers.

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I equip Gen Z and Millenials with the career tools they need to succeed.



This week I am thrilled to chat with Meng Li, the VP of Marketing of Native to talk through not only her career journey, but what different roles in marketing mean.

Meng also went through a major pivot in her career, from Brand Management into Marketing.

If you’re a job seeker that’s been scouring the internet for marketing positions and have come across job titles like Growth Marketing, Product Marketing, and Brand Marketing, you might be wondering what exactly are the fundamental differences?

We’re going to dive into all of this and more in this week’s conversation on The Career Memos Podcast.


Brand management requires both sides of the brain
After getting her MBA, Meng transitioned into an Associate Brand Manager role at Johnson & Johnson after a brief stint as an intern. The role was immensely diverse – from managing budgets and working with the sales team on product launches, to studying business forecasts and analyzing the competitive landscape. She’d ask herself, “How are we performing in the market compared to key competitors?”

The role also involved creating media plans and working closely with their agency to execute on them.

Hearing the title “Brand Manager” might automatically conjure up an image of a highly creative position, so it was surprising to hear from Meng just how analytical and strategic it is. Meng compares it to a “general management” role.

Running a business, you have a revenue goal you are responsible for. In a brand management role, it’s very similar.

Brand management is a great fit for an analytically minded person with a creative lens who wants to be an entrepreneur and juggle multiple hats over the course of their career.

Marketing roles are jam-packed with variety
Marketing takes on a different meaning at every type of company, and it’s always changing. 

But at the heart of it, marketing is ultimately responsible for the overall growth of the business. It’s all about how you position the brand in the marketplace. What do you stand for? What is your mission? Who is your consumer? What are you selling and how is it different from other products out there? How do you acquire and retain those customers?

A marketing team is in place to support all of those above-mentioned goals.

At Native, Meng was thrust into a fun, startup culture where every day is completely unlike the other. Some days, she’s zeroed in on recruiting, looking at candidate resumes and scheduling follow up calls. Other days, she’s working on budgeting and forecasting or leading 1 on 1 calls with her team, getting status updates on key projects.

Then there’s the creative element of looking at the media plan or working with the copywriting and design teams. There is so much variety.

Applying and interviewing for a marketing role
Meng has a tip or three if you’re in the process of interviewing for a marketing role.

First, your resume. Keep it to one page and tailor it specifically for the role you’re applying to! Yes, this might mean you rotate between 3 or 4 versions of your resume, but the payoff will be worth it. 

There is no reason for your resume to be two pages long. You also want your resume to stand out and highlight specific elements of your skill set.

No matter who you are interviewing with, be sure you see the process through and show up to the interview on time. Meng recounts multiple times she’s been ghosted for an interview and doesn’t even receive a follow up from the person afterwards.

At the same time, respect the interviewer’s time. If you know you are no longer interested in the position, be honest and let them know.


  • What are the skills someone should cultivate if they want to break into brand management?
  • What does marketing mean to you?
  • Do you have any tips for someone who is in the middle of the interview process?

The Career Memos Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts. withSarina Career Coaching equips Gen Z and Millennials with the career tools they need to succeed. Learn more here.

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Your Podcast Host and Career Coach

Over the last 12+ years, I’ve done everything from work as a global human rights activist to lead marketing & partnerships initiatives at companies like Postmates and Apple. I’ve started businesses, lived in multiple cities around the world, pivoted careers more than once, and know what it takes to turn career goals into a reality. As a career coach & consultant, I’m passionate about sharing all that I’ve learned with you, helping you define tangible goals, and providing you with the tools and direct feedback you need to achieve them.

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