Are you great at communicating your ideas? Do you consider yourself a natural salesperson? Would you like a career that throws up unique challenges and requires development of a wide range of skills?
If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding “yes” then a career in marketing may be for you…
Marketing is a fast-moving, results-based industry that can offer an enjoyable and rewarding career, however breaking into this field can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t really considered a career in marketing before.
There are many types of marketing job out there and although they all share some common links, they often require very different skills. This post will look at five marketing jobs, and offer five tips to get you on the path to marketing success:
1) Field Marketer:
Instead of relying on media campaigns, field marketers conduct marketing ‘in the field’ by engaging with potential customers on a personal level to help promote their business.
Field marketing techniques include services like sampling campaigns, product demonstrations, and tactical marketing events, such as roadshows. One of the main aims of field marketing is raising brand and product awareness through interaction with the general public, often in person.
For this reason anyone considering a role in the field marketing industry needs to be comfortable operating with a high level of face-to-face customer interaction, and have the ability to adopt the ethos of a brand to the degree that they can clearly communicate the brand message.
2) Experiential Marketer:
Experiential marketing campaign create a ‘branded experience’, usually involving some form of interaction with the general public.
A powerful form of marketing, successful experiential campaigns create an emotion connection between the brand and the consumer as well as increasing awareness, credibility and enhancing the positive perception of the brand in question- no easy feat
Often focused on unique ideas, experiential marketing is an exciting career path for creatives who with to get involved in the marketing sector.
3) Public Relations:
Good PR (Public Relations) is something all organisations need. PR is all about communicating a message to the public to help build and maintain an image and gain exposure.
This could include anything from building a list of contacts within the media that you can call on to help generate publicity for your client, writing press releases or compiling reports from data gleaned from media coverage, to overseeing specific market research events, finding new business opportunities for your agency and clients, or overseeing all manner of content production for clients.
Some PR roles also require very creative thinking, to brainstorm ways in which a company can generate interest in it’s message. PR’s may also work in conjunction with other marketing professionals, for example to help promote experiential marketing activities. Confidence and strong interpersonal skills are a must for a position in PR.
4) Marketing Communications:
Often abbreviated to MarCom, marketing communication officers (as their names suggests) aim to make sure any communication their business has with customers, clients or the marketplace, is consistent with company ‘tone of voice’ and style. MarCom professionals are also often tasked with creating comprehensive marketing plans and accompanying marketing materials that can assist the plan in generating leads for sales.
A results-based role, many tasks are completed to strict deadlines, making MarCom roles suitable for those that thrive under pressure. Often the last port of call before a piece of copy is sent out to the public, good spelling and strong proofreading abilities are essential too.
5) Marketing Executive:
If project management or research and data analysis is your strong suit, a marketing executive role could be what you’re looking for. A great position for dynamic, driven individuals, marketing executives can really shine if they have ability to spot new marketing opportunities and develop strategies to capitalise on them using a variety of tactics.
Marketing executives are also often the first point of contact for clients, so good social skills and a penchant for networking are always welcomed by recruiters. With promotion and progression available for those who excel, a role as a marketing executive can be the first step to a glittering career.
Now you know what’s our there…
How do you break into a career in marketing?
Now you should have a better understanding of what career options there are in the marketing world. However even if you’ve decided which type of marketing career is for you, it can still be difficult to know what to do next. Here are five tips to help you turn your marketing dream into a reality.
- Marketing Qualifications are Helpful but not Essential – Obviously a degree in marketing will stand you in good stead but it’s important to realise that you don’t need marketing qualifications to start a career in marketing. Enthusiasm, dedication and a willingness to learn and adapt are just as important!
- Get Experience – Having relevant qualifications is all well and good but if you’ve already proved your chops you’ll stand a much better chance of success. Experience through previous job or internships is great but it doesn’t have to be that literal. For example maybe you’ve successfully promoted your own business or have given out free samples for a field marketing agency. If you don’t have any relevant experience, consider offering free marketing help to a local charity, or help a local store with a small on-street sampling campaign. All of this will help you build a portfolio of relevant, real-world experience and will greatly increase your chances of getting in the industry.
- Know the Lingo – Do you know what the ‘Four Ps’, what a banner ad is, and do you know your KPI from your ROI? It may sound silly but knowing the marketing lingo will be a big help when it comes to convincing a potential employer that you know what you’re talking about.
- Think Digital – You might be applying for a traditional marketing job but given the increasing prevalence of digital technology, it pays to think digital. If you want to convince a fashion company you’re the right person to promote their product, pointing them in the direction of your successful fashion blog that has excellent social engagement with industry professionals and fashion fans is sure to impress. You might not have much real world marketing experience but if you already market yourself successfully online then you’re part way there.
- Look Beyond the Obvious – Every company needs to promote itself which means there are marketing jobs everywhere – everyone from insurance companies to the military need people to help promote their cause so be sure to look everywhere, even in places you might not expect! For this reason networking both online and off can reap rewards from surprising places!
Insider Tip – Quote From an Industry Professional:
Tim Harris, Senior Marketing Communications Executive for field marketing agency Cosine, gave this insider tip for landing a marketing job:
“Read up on all you can, being able to speak confidently and knowledgeably will stand you in good stead. I spent an afternoon in Waterstone’s reading the opening paragraphs of a number of marketing books until I found the ones I connected with.
There are plenty of online resources now too, but keeping up-to-date with news via a website like Marketing Magazine, and following appropriate lists on Twitter are great ways to stay ‘in the know’.”
These tips are just a starting point, but will hopefully point you in the right direction as you attempt to break into the marketing world. The rest is up to you. Good luck!
Author: David Jephcott is head of recruitment for Cosine, a leading UK based field marketing agency based in Haddenham, who serve several top international brands.