What are the career prospects like in the field? What does a successful career path look like? How long should does it take to develop a successful career? What skills should I focus on developing to create a successful career in marketing?
James provided a good list and you have other good insights offered. As someone who hires marketing people, it's a broad field and without knowing your background, I'd recommend a focus on the areas I find are critical and in high demand:
1. Strong writing skills. Used across the spectrum but especially in coordinator roles, junior product management and product marketing roles; especially if you have a technical aptitude to take complex products and articulate value that the sales teams and customers can easily understand.
2. Strong analytic skills. Used in web analytics, search engine marketing and optimization, and other campaign analysis roles.
3. Consider looking at free tools from Hubspot, which has become a widely used marketing, sales and service platform for many organizations. Hubspot also has certification courses that will give you practical skills to offer an employer.
Best of luck to you,
If you are interested in the field of marketing for the long haul having direct front line sales experience will always help. You will learn more in your first year than you can imagine. Commissioned sales is one of the best indicators as it pays for results and you want to be known as a results producer. Make sure to develop a few mentoring relationships with the most successful sales producers who can show you the best ways to progress and what to watch out for. My first sales mentor was the reason I was so successful as a sales producer. We worked for IBM. About fifteen sales producers worked for a sales manager that we reported to. This is one of the insights that my mentor shared with me. " All sales managers spend about 90% of their time thinking about themselves. The other 10% of their time is spread across all the people who report to them. You are low man on the totem pole. How much time do you think he is spending on you? " The message was if you want to be successful learn to count on yourself and not others. This is just one example of the type of guidance he gave me that I will be eternally grateful for.
In the post that James Watters provided, Job description #1 may interest you a lot considering your foreign travel experiences. Marketing Coordinator, while broad, could offer an Events planning role. Within that role, you would be responsible for planning and executing your organization's presence at shows. Thoughts?
Michael: I have two daughters who are employed in marketing. You may be amazed to find how easy it is to find such a job. You need to limit your possibilities. Find a product, field, etc that interest you. Find the businesses in the area that you want to work that do what you are interested in. Go up to the front door, dressed to impress, one page resume in hand. Ask to speak with the marketing director and sell (market) yourself. Your winning personality will get you in the door. Your desire to learn and impress will get you position. Your skill, imagination, and artistry will propel you forward.
Here's an example: My daughter likes coffee. She is an artist. She was in a new town. She went up to the coffee shop owner and asked to talk about their marketing and shared her ideas. Fast forward a year and she is their corporate marketing director, hiring photographers, actors, printers, setting up sales campaigns, managing their social media personality, etc. Whatever she decides to focus on becomes their hot item for the day, week, month. She loves it.
To summarize: Dream a little. Define what you want. Go for it. Don't settle. Prepare - you'll be where you want to be sooner than you can imagine.
Common entry-level marketing jobs to keep an eye on
By Gordon Hanson
1. Marketing coordinator
Serving in a role with multiple responsibilities, a marketing coordinator helps the marketing team with research, planning and analysis. Duties could include competitive analysis, sales forecasting, media placement, campaign implementation and compiling reports. With marketing becoming a more data-driven field, coordinators should be comfortable with quantitative research.
2. Account coordinator
Working with a specific client or group of clients, an account coordinator is the link between the paying customer and members of the marketing team. Responsibilities include relaying expectations, ensuring deadlines are met and making sure the client is satisfied with work being done. This job requires excellent organizational and communication skills.
3. Communications specialist
Helping shape public perception, a communications specialist is dedicated to managing the messaging from an organization. As you might expect, these professionals need to exhibit excellent written and verbal communication skills. Communications specialists commonly work with advertising, public relations and media relations organizations.
4. Outside sales representatives
Serving as the face of the company they represent, outside sales representatives hit the road to sell the organization’s products and services. Sales representatives must maintain good relationships with existing clients and cold-call prospective customers, which requires someone who is a good people person. This can be a highly competitive career, and it may require overnight travel.
5. Inside-sales representatives
Working from the home base of the office, inside-sales representatives maintain accounts to ensure existing clients are satisfied with the company’s products and services. If a client needs to place an order or report unresolved issues, the sales representative is the contact person. Inside-sales representatives may be asked to upsell customers with new or enhanced product lines.
6. Development associate
Acting as a funds-raiser, a development associate generally works in the nonprofit sector to raise money for a good cause or mission. Required skills include database management, event planning and campaign development. For solicitation of major gifts, calling prospective donors is a responsibility that takes good long-term salesmanship skills.
7. Junior business analyst
Working with senior members of the team, a junior business analyst helps in validating performance of sales and account management systems. The job requires significant monitoring of systems and generating reports for updating senior management. Supervisors depend on junior analysts to report trends—both good and bad.
8. Social media specialist
Interacting in the digital world, social media specialists are the voice of the organization on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more. Social media specialists need to build online communities, engage followers and channel the dialogue in a positive way. These marketing professionals are tasked with creating content campaigns that support overall marketing objectives and putting a friendly human face or touch to organizations. Excellent communication skills are a must—this position requires you to make a conscious effort to adopt the “voice” of a brand, which isn’t always easy.
9. Public relations coordinator
Maintaining the image of an organization, a public relations coordinator works with media, plans events, writes press releases, pitches stories, contributes to social media and advises organization leaders on public statements. If a problem does occur, it's public relations professionals who manage crisis control communications. This position requires excellent organization and relationship-building skills as PR professionals work closely with reporters and editors to gain coverage of their client’s events—being on good terms with the staff of a publication is always helpful!
Acting as a matchmaker for the professional world, recruiters are in the business of marketing people to businesses needing to fill organizational roles. The job is a mix of marketing and human resources as the recruiter uses marketing skills to attract top talent and build trusting relationships with employers. These recruiters often work for staffing agencies and receive commission for successfully finding and placing candidates for client roles.
Sales is a good start also, commission sales directly correlated with business growth, client acquisition via traffic. Partners I work with have systems that generate ads, websites, lead traffic and the salesmen or woman are paid very well for each business owner who signs up
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly in demand of all the digital marketing methods as more businesses move to make their presence stronger online.
It is a technique of making a webpage rank in search engines via certain methods. And once you get a client, there is a monthly retainer fee.
With the exodus of business owners from physical to virtual stores, they are desperate to get to the first page of Google, because based on studies, only those who land on Google's first page will get the customers - hence SEO.
It is actually easy to learn and become a certified SEO professional. Feel free to message me, I will gladly help.
I wrote an introductory guide on SEO initially for my friends but I have been sharing it since:
I would suggest looking into taking a communication course and developing sales skill. Marketing and selling often goes hand, but often marketing uses a lot more psychology in writing and planning.
Good luck with your endeavors.
Please log in to answer this question.