You’re ready for a career, ready to make some money and climb to the top. You’ve always had the communication skills and a knack for thinking outside the box. So marketing seems to fit the bill. But what does someone in marketing actually do? Beyond reading a simple job description, why not find out from industry professionals what you really need to know about a career in marketing?
Start with our 13 simple yet profound insights from industry professionals and see if becoming a marketer is what you really want to do.
1. Marketers are bridge-builders
Consumers don’t want to hear you shouting at them. They want to see you build a bridge between their want/need and your product. “They want to know how that product will improve their life,” says Nora Miller, co-founder of Anderson Miller PR.
2. You’ve got to have guts
Each company you work for will interpret marketing in a different way, says Nevyana Karakasheva, an online marketer at Optilocal. A good marketer needs to be gutsy enough to fill in the gaps and bring to light what’s been overlooked in their company’s current marketing strategy.
3. You need creativity
“Often the job of the marketer is to reinvent the status quo,” Karakasheva says. Eventually your company will look to you asking, “What’s next?” You’ll need to have the creativity to invent and the courage to try something new.
4. You’ve got to know SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is here to stay. “Search rank is as important as your client's product being placed at eye-level in a brick-and-mortar store,” Miller says. “It's our job as marketers to make our client’s products as accessible as possible online.”
5. Big data is a big deal
Countless terabytes of consumer information, big data can be channeled into insights and take some of the guesswork out of marketing strategies. Really familiarize yourself with this concept; be prepared to bring it into you future workplace, not everyone is using this yet. Understanding and utilizing big data is a big way to set yourself apart and find success in your marketing campaigns.
6. Traditional marketing is NOT dead
Sometimes it seems that the Internet is taking over and leaving traditional marketing in the dust, but that’s not the case. “That assumption couldn't be further from the truth,” says Len Markidan, a private marketing consultant.
Print, television and radio will always be mediums for marketers so long as consumers are using them. So if traditional is more your style, it’s still out there.
7. Communication is key
Think you can just hide behind your computer screen crunching data and creating new campaigns? Think again.
Marketing is more than unattached communication with a consumer half way around the world. Presenting your findings and communicating strategies and campaigns to your employer will always be a part of the gig.
8. Use Twitter wisely
It’s a simple way to follow and communicate with journalists and publications that are probably more likely to respond with a quick tweet than an email or phone call.
“Twitter is your new Rolodex,” Miller says.
If you already have an account, create a new one used for professional purposes only.
9. Research is your friend
10. Get ready to test
After the research, comes the test: does your idea really work?
“Savvy marketers don’t make decisions based on opinions,” Markiden says. You will constantly test and measure, test and measure, seeing what works for which market in which season.
11. You’ve got to work smart
Marketing is not a field where you can afford to “put your head down and work.” You’ve got to keep your head up and work smart.
Staying educated on changing trends and best practices is not a choice; it’s a necessity. Staying informed will help you have an edge over competition for future positions and clients.
12. Remember your most important asset
Relying on marketing trends and tools should never be your goal. “Tools and marketing channels change, your ability to get people to buy things is the most important asset you’ll always have,” Markiden says.
13. You’re no starving artist
“So long as you know how to make money for someone else,” Markiden says, “There will always be work for you.”
You will become an expert at learning what an individual or company wants and creating ways to deliver it. There will never be a shortage of demand for someone who can do this and do it well.
The next step
Now that you have the inside scoop from industry professionals, and you know what marketers actually do, continue your climb to the top. Check out Rasmussen College’s degree page to put yourself on track for a successful career in marketing.