Is Marketing Right for Me? 6 Signs to Consider
We live in a world that often revolves around consumer decision-making. Television commercials, email queries, print brochures and flyers, online pop-up ads, billboards you drive past everyday—everywhere you look there are efforts to raise awareness about products, services and causes. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into creating the latest hilarious Super Bowl® commercial, viral video sensation or grand opening event, it’s worth your time to explore a career in marketing.
How do you know if marketing is the right field for you? While it’s certainly a broad field with varied roles, there are some solid general indicators out there to consider. We’ve asked marketing professionals to help identify six signs that indicate studying marketing might be right for you.
Should I study marketing? Consider it if…
1. You like variety in your work
Does the idea of regularly having a new set of challenges appeal to you? Many marketing roles require professionals who can tap into a wide variety of skill sets in a given day. “There are so many different aspects to marketing,” says publicist Alli Rodriguez. “You can be drafting a press release, pitching media for your clients, creating social media content, negotiating brand deals and partnerships.”
While Rodriguez says her work in marketing is enjoyable, she also notes that there can be difficult pieces to it. In her media relations role, crisis prevention and communicating on behalf of a client with the press can be tricky. “It’s a good fit for someone who has tough skin and can handle constructive criticism.”
Katie Ostreko, vice president of sales and marketing at Quality Edge, believes marketing is a great place to start a career. “Because you get your hands into everything—product, development, marketing, communications, financials, analytics—there are tremendous opportunities for leadership across multiple channels.”
2. You understand people—and how to communicate with them
If you’ve ever been described as empathetic, marketing might be the place for you. “Empathetic people do well in marketing,” says Stephen Light, co-owner and chief marketing officer at Nolah Mattress. “Marketers with solid empathy skills can put themselves in their target market’s situation, making it easier for them to create a marketing strategy that effortlessly woos them.”
For Roy Morejon, president and cofounder of Enventys Partners, understanding psychology is also key. “Marketing is a field that incorporates many social science fields because it is all about appealing to the consumer psyche.” Good marketers don’t just understand the product or service they’re selling; they understand the people who use it.
“Marketing is all about making the product come to life,” says Morejon. “Good marketing incorporates a product as part of a consumer’s life. It’s not just some product; it is a part of your life routine that brings ease and comfort.”
3. You’re flexible and always learning
The ability to pivot and shift depending on the needs of your client or the campaign is also essential.
“Marketing is a dynamic field that requires being able to constantly adapt to new developments,” says Maya Rotenberg, marketing manager at Stoke Talent. “Technological advances over the last ten years have changed marketing drastically from what it was twenty or thirty years ago.”
This constant evolution means that good marketing professionals are always up for new skills. “Marketing is a fast-paced world,” says Jay York, CEO and founder of Grove Brands. “One thing that people may dislike is the continual education required to stay on top of the most effective trends and strategies.”
For one, the explosion of digital marketing has brought vast changes to traditional marketing, requiring marketers to keep on top of the latest updates.
“Digital marketing is constantly evolving and taking shape,” says Devin Schumacher, founder of SERP. “The tried-and-tested processes that work in one year might not move the needle in the next.” Schumacher cites the practice of search engine optimization (SEO) as an excellent example of this challenge. One small change to the algorithm powering Google® search results can make what was previously wildly successful fall flat.
4. You have good writing and verbal communication skills
“One essential skill is writing,” says Brad Touesnard, founder and CEO of SpinupWP. “A good writer becomes a good marketer very quickly, particularly if you understand the business in depth.”
Alicia Blessing, internal marketing manager at Outerbox, agrees. “Anyone in marketing should enjoy writing,” Blessing says. “Writing—whether it’s email copy, ad copy, social media posts or blogs—is a central skill that every marketer should have in their toolbelt.”
Though marketing roles don’t all involve creating copy, there is a clear advantage for those who can communicate. “In nearly all environments, marketing professionals are expected to have excellent written or verbal communication skills,” explains Joshua Feinberg, CEO of SP Home Run Inc. “You’ll almost always need to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.”
Communication skills are important for all messaging, not just to customers but to internal salespeople and other stakeholders in an organization, says Kristen King Holmes, marketing director at Metro Aviation. “You’ll need to be able to clearly communicate with the C-Suite, the board of directors, employees and customers.”
5. You’re open to work for a variety of organizations
All organizations use marketing to make the public aware of their products, services or causes. “There are different kinds of marketing with different intentions, which make use of different channels, to different degrees,” says Eric Rohrback, chief marketing officer at Hill and Ponton. “But marketing in the private, public and nonprofit sectors all increasingly rely on social media and other digital marketing channels.”
Lauren Higbee, retention marketing manager at Laserfiche®, notes the differences in working for marketing agencies and working as part of a company’s in-house team. “Agency work can offer the variety of many different customers and projects, but in-house marketing can be more stable,” Higbee says.
Marketing jobs aren’t uniform, one-size-fits-all. “Because marketing is such a broad field,” says Patrick Chen, chief marketing officer of Advisor Smith, “there are numerous opportunities to specialize, depending on what type of company, business or product you are marketing.”
6. You’re creative
Marketing is a field with endless creative capacity. “The best part about working in marketing is the freedom to test and try new approaches,” says Blessing. “There’s never one right answer when it comes to marketing; it’s all about testing new ideas, experimenting and then applying what you learn to future campaigns.”
Morejon enjoys the creative aspect of the work too. “The most fun part of marketing is when you find your brand and your voice,” Morejon says. “The creative opportunities become endless and focused. You feel you know your customers, what they need and exactly how your product will benefit them.”
Chen believes that creativity is not just a vital part of this career but also a massive reward. “One of the most enjoyable aspects of marketing is seeing the effect your work can have on customers, particularly if you see how the product you’ve helped to sell has made a difference in a customer’s life. If you’re ever gotten goosebumps or teary-eyed when you’ve watched a commercial, then you know exactly the kind of impact marketing can have.”
Do you have a future in marketing?
The field of marketing is vast, varied and always evolving. People who thrive in this field are curious problem-solvers who never tire of learning new skills and gaining insight into human behavior. If the prospect of working in this fast-paced, creative industry appeals to you, check out this article “7 Suitable Jobs in Marketing for Degree Holders.”
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