By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
As defined by the The Chartered Institute of Marketing, marketing is “ Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
The marketing industry is based on the idea of ‘going to market with goods in hand’ – the theory being that to satisfy organisation objectives, an organisation should anticipate the needs and wants of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors. Sounds simple, right?
Well, yes and no. Marketing practice was once considered part of the creative industry, which included advertising, distribution and selling. But today, marketing makes extensive use of academic study, throwing social science, psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, anthropology, neuroscience and more into the mix.
If you see yourself embarking on a career in marketing, you’ve got to have knowledge of all these key areas.
The information about products and services today is near endless. Limitless online data, customer reviews, countless vendors to choose from… purchasing power has never been more in the hands of consumers. Because of this, a marketer must learn how to sell to a person who already has the facts. Traditional strategies like cold calls, door knocks, snail mail and trade shows are no longer that relevant, so how do you go about making it in the marketing and sales industry?
You study with the International Career Institute UK, that’s how.
The ICI marketing program is designed in conjunction with industry leaders, ensuring you finish at the top of your game. You learn the skills you need to succeed quickly and conveniently, meaning you can enter the industry with the confidence that will fuel you with drive.
On completion of your diploma, you will understand how to:
Through this diploma you’ll be able to fast-track your career, learn insider secrets, free up time spent travelling to courses, study at your own pace, have access to your own tutor, and pay using an interest-free payment plan.
Once you’ve learnt what you need to learn, your next steps are to understand how to stand out from your competitors. These tips are not rocket science, but they will help you land your first marketing job.
Employers often ask for experience as well as qualifications when sending out a job description. To get experience, you may need to look at an internship. An internship might be low pay or may even be no pay, but it will give you work experience that will satisfy future employers. Ideally, you should try to do this internship whilst you’re studying so that you’re ready to go once your diploma is in your hand. Internships provide great networking opportunities, and in some cases can lead to full time employment upon completion.
Similar to an internship, a volunteer position can help you gain experience, albeit with no pay. On top of your hands-on experience, you’ll benefit from the experience of helping out an organisation in need. If you’re smart, you could find out an interest area of the hiring manager at a firm you’d love to work at. Let’s say she’s loves orangutans – knowing you volunteered your time to creating a marketing campaign for the Orangutan Foundation UK could impress her enough to shortlist your application.
As the old adage cites, it’s not ‘what you know’, but ‘who you know’ that counts. Increase your marketing contacts and expand your chance of meeting the right people. Join your local industry association, or check out sites like Eventbrite to see what networking events are on. Meet people and put your personal brand out there. Marketing yourself shows you’ve got what it takes to market others.
If you want to appear more valuable to an employer, don’t just stop at a diploma in marketing. Strengthen your knowledge with a diploma in advertising or public relations. Enrol in a social media course. Watch webinars and recorded training. Get to know how people tick by studying psychology. Tap into your creative side and learn graphic design. In short, upskill and broaden your job opportunities.
Pay close attention to the work environments you’d like to be a part of and make sure your skills and interests match. Understand the company’s products, services and breadth of work and integrate this knowledge into your application cover letter and interview whenever possible. Your applications and interview technique should always be customised to detail the employer.
Marketing includes a range of functions and activities, so get to know which area excites you most. Is it market research or advertising? Digital marketing or direct marketing? Relationship marketing or public relations? Events marketing and sponsorship or content creation? Find your niche and strengthen that field area as much as you can.
If you have dreams of marketing fashion for big names like Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren, jump into the fashion industry wherever you can. Take a job working as a shop assistant or with an upcoming fashion house and start offering your marketing services. This could lead to a dedicated marketing position, which then leads to valuable (and paid) fashion marketing experience.
Good salespeople are inquisitive and ask thoughtful questions. Don’t confuse this by badgering your interviewer with questions, however. Show in your interview that you are open to getting to know the employer, just as you would be a client. Ask great questions and then sit back and listen to the answers. Good questioning skills gives you the ammunition you need to explain to the interviewer why you’re a good fit.
The marketing industry is ever evolving, so dedicate one hour of every week to learning something new. There’s no shortage of content, so instead of scrolling your Facebook feed, scroll through industry news instead. If you want the content to come to you, add a couple of great blogs to a feed reader such as Feedly, allowing you to “pocket” them for reading when you’re ready.
Any recruiter worth their salt will spend time researching a potential candidate. First and foremost they’ll check your LinkedIn profile, but many go further than that. They may take a look to see if you’re active on Twitter, Instagram and other sharing platforms. They may look for a personal blog or website, or check your Facebook profile pictures. This can be your first impression, so make sure it’s polished and respectable.
Now that you’ve been given all the necessary advice to get your career in marketing started and stand out from the other candidates, you’re ready to get started! And there’s no better way to start than by getting qualified with the International Career Institute. Check out our marketing and sales courses to start building your dream career today.