Career in Marketing

Marketing consistently ranks as one of the most popular professions for MBA students and college graduates.  It offers you a broad range of experiences and work with a diverse range of companies and industries.  Marketing provides the link between a society’s material requirements and its economic patterns of response. Marketing careers are the best field for people who like to strategize and identify patterns and trends.  It also promises a structured career path for growth and development.

However, marketing can also be a high-pressure job with constant travel taking a toll.  The competition is high, and both breaking into and maintaining your position in marketing can be rigorous.  So before entering the industry it’s important to understand not only do you have the appropriate skill sets, but also how well it fits your personality.


What is Marketing?

Marketers are sellers and brand-builders, hired by companies who need expertise and perspective on business development and to publicize their product or services. Typical tasks include approximating the need for products or services, distinguishing potential markets for products or services, monitoring trends, developing pricing and sales strategies and working with staff in public relations, product development and sales departments. Some marketing firms specialize on market research, whereas others may concentrate on the technology side.  One may be a “boutique firm” and specialize in a specific function or industry while others may be a one-stop shop with verticals covering all industries and areas.

Typically a marketer engages in the following activities:

  • Market Research. You need to compile data and gather information about consumers’ needs and preferences
  • Strategy and Plan. You have to strategize on how you publicize or increase the market reach of your product. This could include making presentations on how to approach forward.
  • Analysis. You need to study about the current market trends and see what type of marketing is working in which product space.
  • Sales. You will also be required to strategize the best way of selling your company’s products and then implement it. You will talk to various potential clients and negotiate to complete the deal.
  • Reporting. You need to document your work in a report and present it to your client in a logical and convincing manner.

 

Industries Where Marketers Are Found

There are a number of industries in which marketers can offer their expertise.  Let’s look into some of the more popular options.

  • Advertising & Public Relations. Ever want to improve the way ads run on TV?  How about helping manage the rollout of new products and working to improve the perception of those products by the media? If these possibilities interest you, then you could be well suited to jobs in advertising or public relations (PR). The core activity is to take a product be it small or large and construct promotional campaigns that get people excited about the product. On the PR side you will help to manage the perception of the products.
  • Market Research. Market researchers figure out what drives people to buy a particular product. Market researchers are applied consumer behaviouralists, combining quantitative data with their understanding of how markets work to better promote a product. Market researchers use tools such as statistical analysis packages, surveys, mystery shopping, focus groups and new product tests to help achieve success for a product.
  • Retail. Retail is one of the largest, most dynamic part of the world economy. Careers in retail are people-oriented, fast-paced, and have room for creativity. Retailing jobs are worth taking a good look at, particularly if you are looking for a service-oriented, entrepreneurial profession. The options are many including store management, buying, merchandising and central management.
  • Non-Profit. Non-profit organizations include non-business functions such as governments. There are many different types of jobs in non-profit areas ranging from social causes, helping causes and also jobs in the arts, government, religious organizations, public health and museums. The aim is to deliver a message about the organization’s services to the applicable audience. An increasing trend is toward “social entrepreneurialism” or “venture philanthropy” where funds invest in projects and measure their return by impact made.
  • Other roles associated with a career in marketing includes Product and Brand Management,  Internal Marketing, etc.

 

Skills & Talents Required

Careers in marketing require knowledge of market research, consumer behavior, sales, visual arts and general marketing. Experience as a sales rep or buyer or in advertising or public relations is a plus. As you grow and evolve within your organization, the skills required will also change – the role of a Digital Marketer will be different to that of a PR Person.  We are focusing on entry-level requirements and skills that firms are focusing on when hiring marketers.

  • Sales
  • Creativity
  • Team Player
  • Strong Communication Skills. 
  • Analytical Skills. 
  • Open to change.

A combination of both quantitative and qualitative skills will provide the right balance to excel in a job in marketing – research, data analysis, forecasting and so on will help you assess the issue but you also need to convey and implement the solutions within the organization in hand with your team.

Is It Right For Me?

Before you jump into recruitment phase, take your time and consider these factors:

  1. Internal Evaluation. Take a step back and identify your strengths and weaknesses.  Does your personal situation allow you to travel extensively? Are you comfortable with market research or presenting ideas to a large group of people?  Look at the expectations the firm has and truthfully answer if those are a match for you.
  1. Do Your Homework. Even though you believe you have the required skills, aptitude, attitude that marketing firms are looking for, dig deeper.  Research the companies that you are targeting, as each company has it’s own ethos and working style.  What are their core competencies and policies. Identify firms which are the ideal fit for you.
  1. Speak to people in the Industry. If you have friends or family members who are marketers, talk to them about their experiences.  Ask them about both the positive and negative elements they have faced.  Understand what their career trajectory and if possible spend a few days shadowing them to get a complete understanding of the work.
  1. Summer Internship. If you are still in college or school, then spend a summer interning at a marketing firm.  This is a ideal way for you to understand the true dynamics of marketing.

 

Marketing as a career provides you broad based exposure; it hones in on both your analytical and communication skills, provides a platform to work with a range of business issues, industries and companies, and the opportunity to travel to a number of new locations.  However, due to the diversity and intensity of the role, it can also be a very challenging career.  It’s important to thoroughly do your research and ideally an internship, before making your career choice.

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