5 things you need to know about starting a career in marketing

istock_000011531535small-marketing-sales-growthDo you enjoy working with people? Are you fascinated by consumer behaviour? Intrigued by why one brand can be popular and another less so? Are you a lover of social media?  A career in marketing may be for you!

1.What is marketing?

Marketing is a widely used term to describe the communication between a company and the consumer audience that aims to increase the value of the company or its merchandise or, at its simplest, raises the profile of the company and its products in the public mind. The official academic definition from CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing) is:

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” 

It takes place both “in-house” and can also be delivered through communications agencies (specialist firms). Marketing as a profession has grown massively in recent years and is a great career option for graduates

2. What skills are needed for a career in marketing?
An ability to communicate clearly and effectively is important, as much of your time will be spent communicating with customers and consumers. Sometimes called relationship management

  • An interest in brands and consumer behaviour – what makes a product or company successful?
  • Good writing skills
  • An ability to manage and prioritise tasks (organizational skills)
  • Familiarity with digital communication platforms (digital is a growing area)
  • Creativity – to “think outside the box”
  • The ability to work under pressure

3. Do I need a qualification in Marketing to get into this field?

No! You can enter the field from any degree discipline and you don’t necessarily need marketing qualifications to get a job. Lots of Manchester graduates from all degree backgrounds move into marketing straight after graduation.  Experience is important, and this can take many forms.  You could approach local marketing and communications agencies to ask about work experience (many are happy to receive speculative applications).  If you have done any promotional work for a student society or flyering for a club night, this could count too.  Some companies offer opportunities to students to work as brand managers on campus, so this is also a good way to find out if marketing is for you and to gain valuable experience along the way.  If you do decide to opt for a qualification in marketing, check out the CIM website for details of accredited qualifications:

4. Where are the jobs?

Jobs in marketing are advertised year-round. If you are thinking about applying for a graduate scheme,  it is worth noting that there are a small number of graduate scheme opportunities out there, but the majority of roles and opportunities exist outside graduate schemes. This is particularly true if you are looking for roles outside London. We advertise lots of marketing roles on CareersLink and there are many “entry-level” roles out there.

5. What job roles should I be looking for?

Typical “entry-level” roles include the following job titles: Marketing Executive, Marketing Officer, Marketing Assistant, Marketing Internship, Graduate Marketing Assistant, Content Manager Intern, Communications Intern, Digital Content/Social Media Intern…. and many more

Don’t be put off by the job title! Read the person specification to properly understand what the role involves. CareersLink is a great place to look at marketing job descriptions and the Prospects website has a few example marketing job descriptions.

Marketing industry websites are useful to help you to build your glossary of marketing terms seen in job descriptions such as:  B2B – Business to business, B2C – Business to Client/Customer, SEO – search engine optimization, PPC – Pay per click.

Finally, if you think of yourself as “a people-person”, then marketing could be the career for you!

Find out more about marketing:

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