Whether it’s a sultry blonde tossing her hair and proclaiming, “I’m worth it”; a press agent stating solemnly, “My client, Mr. Movie Star is announcing his separation from Ms. TV Star”; or a focus group discussing which car they prefer to drive; the influence of marketing is pervasive in our culture and vital to almost any business. For this reason there are many jobs in the field, but the competition for the top positions is fierce.
Advertising – Think Small
When most people think of marketing, they think advertising, which is a large and important part of the field. http://www.businessballs.com/market.htm With the addition of the Internet as a source for product information, agencies are employing more representatives for a greater variety of positions. Responsibilities include not only creating striking images and clever slogans but overseeing product placement, company image, blogs and “buzz,” conferences and seminars, statistical analysis of a campaign’s effectiveness in various media and more.
While landing a position with a large, well-known agency is difficult, there are plenty of small agencies and individual businesses that need your skills. Some recent job posts in advertising are media planner, online sales executive, entry level position in sales presentation, copywriter of letters to solicit funds, and the relatively new position of product or brand manager, one who is in charge of the public reputation of a particular brand name. Be careful, though. Some employers say they are seeking marketing experts, but actually want telemarketers or supermarket sample-givers.
I Can Relate – Can You?
Public relations is similar to advertising, except that it involves a long-term situation revolving around a single person or entity. Public appearances, work for charitable causes, political alliances and other individual events must fit a larger plan for a career, a company, or even a political party. Press agents are known for “spin,” the recasting of potentially negative incidents to show the client in the best light possible light. But they also listen to the public and alter their plans in a way that better pleases their client’s audience.
Do Your Research
Market research is a booming field right now, as advertisers seek more and more precise information about who is currently buying their product and what they need to do to get more sales. Knowledge of data analysis tools and methods is an essential skill here, as is familiarity with sampling and data gathering methods, and possible sources of bias. An outgoing personality is also a must as the market researcher deal with clients and potential customers almost daily. Note that to rise to the top in market research a master’s degree and even a PhD are desirable.
Most current mid-level jobs in this field have to do with designing and conducting focus groups, gatherings of people who all use or are interested in using a particular product. Focus groups may discuss their reasons for buying and not buying; decide which one of a number of logos and slogans they prefer; view a commercial; or test new products by observing, tasting, driving, etc. These groups are usually the product of a team that decides in advance on goals, type of audience and specific topics, and sees to the slogans, images and products the groups will see. Afterwards they analyze the data to present to the client.
Not All Profit Is Money
A sound choice for first-time job seekers is a non-profit organization. Because such concerns must watch their budget, they will frequently hire a young person to perform a wide variety of duties. One day you might be writing fund-raising letters; the next, presenting the organization’s purpose to a group of potential donors; the next working out the details of an overall marketing strategy. The pay may not be high, but the experience is great and the thought that your efforts are making the world a better place can count for more than money.
The Tale in Retail
Retailing is an area of fast growth with good potential for interesting well-paying work. As a buyer, sales manager, “ambassador” for your store or product, you deal directly with customers, getting a feel for their needs. While keeping track of sales curves and marketing strategies are important, this person-to-person contact can make or break a sales relationship.
In short, the marketing field is wide and fertile. If you keep your professional and social skills sharp and varied, you should get hired. If you approach your job with ambition, dedication and willingness to learn, you should do well.