Adverts for products and services are everywhere you turn, whether it is a billboard on your daily commute, or as you scroll through your phone to pass the time – there is no getting away from them. The most effective ones will stay with you and it will be a team of master marketers that create them.
A career in marketing can be incredibly varied and creative, and there are many different paths you can take to achieve it. With so many different roles within marketing, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are just a couple of tips to help you kickstart your career in marketing.
What is marketing?
At its most basic level, marketing is the process of promoting a business, product, or service. This includes all of the various promotion methods such as advertising and outreach to match the company’s products to potential buyers. Within a marketing team, many roles help the process run smoothly. This can include anything from copy and content writers to data analysts and social media experts. Due to the way the modern world is constantly changing and developing, marketing techniques, especially digital ones, are always growing and adapting to have as wide a reach as possible.
This means that you will likely find a role or position within a marketing team that suits you, whether you are more visual and creative or enjoy working with data and numbers. There are plenty of different fields in marketing, including:
- Market research. This involves using tools such as surveys, market analysis, and focus groups to study what people buy and why they buy it. This helps companies find the markets in which their products would best fit to direct their marketing efforts towards those most likely to buy them.
- This is where networking and the ability to maintain customer relations are incredibly useful, as sales representatives are the face of the product or company and work to secure the purchase and ensure it is delivered.
- Advertising and public relations. This combines both the creative and analytic elements of marketing. Advertising involves creating ad campaigns to communicate the value of a product to potential consumers and identify the best media outlets to place the ads, and then track the progress of the ad once it has been placed. Public relations relates to the brand’s values and public image rather than the products themselves.
Education and training
When working in marketing, there are different paths you can take. One of the most common is to study a marketing course at a university, a bachelor’s and even master’s level. Many institutions offer marketing courses or business courses with a marketing emphasis, so make sure to do your research and find the most appropriate courses for what you want to study. Study at this level can give you a huge range of skills and opportunities that you may not have access to outside of an educational setting.
You could choose to continue studying to master’s level or get an internship to gain some practical experience. There are plenty of benefits to internships, as not only do they allow you to put your knowledge into practice, but they can also help you network and make connections within the industry, sometimes even leading to employment. Internships and work experience are two very important elements in your training and journey to working in marketing, and many entry-level jobs can help you gain valuable experience, skills, and contacts at the very start of your career. Depending on the job you want or the position you would like to hold within a company, an MBA or even a Ph.D. can boost the career ladder.
Different career outcomes
A career in marketing can be incredibly varied due to the wide range of available roles and jobs. A bachelor’s degree in marketing can help you narrow down the areas you would like to work in and hone your skills in these jobs. Understanding the industry and having a basic understanding of what some of the jobs entail is also important. There are so many different jobs to choose from, and often you will cover multiple areas. Here are just a few of the potential options and different types of marketing:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Global marketing
- Content marketing
There are also many different skills required to be successful in your marketing career. These are a mixture of technical and non-technical skills that can be gained and developed through a mixture of education, training, experience, and general attitude. Soft skills are non-technical skills that help you excel in the workplace and are looked upon favorably by employers.
Common soft skills that are particularly useful in marketing include:
- Communication- you need to listen and communicate to and with a wide variety of people, from clients to your teammates.
- Teamwork- you will most likely be working as part of a larger team, so you have to collaborate successfully with others.
- Adaptability- the ability to change your ideas and approaches is vital, not just due to the constant changes and developments in the industry but also because you will most likely be working with client briefs, and they may frequently change their minds.
- Creative and critical thinking- thinking critically and creatively can help you evaluate your work, spot problems, and solve them quickly and efficiently.
More technical skills that may benefit you include:
- Copy and email writing
- Google Analytics
- Software competency, for example, MailChimp and WordPress
- Coding and other technical skills such as knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Excel
The way customers consume information is always changing, with new trends coming and going, so you need to keep your finger on the pulse and adapt to new methods and processes. Working in marketing can be very fast-paced and challenging, but also very rewarding, and will use all of your wide skill set to help you create and produce great marketing content that will bring in new customers and make stronger connections with existing ones.