Getting Started in a Marketing Career

The world economy runs on people spending money and convincing others to spend it on your products and services.  This admirable goal is something all individuals working for a company should understand and be focused on achieving – especially in the Marketing function. Transformational marketing involves communicating the value of a product or service to customers, gathering data on their behaviors, searching for actionable insights and revealing patterns to refine your strategies to increase profitable sales.

You may be asking why you should study Marketing instead of another functional area of expertise?  The answer is that a Marketing degree gives you a ticket to work for almost any type of company, non-profit or government entity. Every company that interacts with people (which is pretty much everything) needs marketing expertise, so an entry-level marketing job offers you a career path that’s well understood, structured, but also agile, especially if you actively follow emerging marketing trends.

A recent example of a company understanding their target demographic and employing transformational marketing campaigns is Nike’s new campaign with the online game Roblox.  In this campaign, Nike marketers created a branded world called “Nikeland”.  Players can buy Nike merchandise for their virtual characters – which turns out to be a phenomenal tactic to increase revenue and brand awareness for Nike!

How Do You Get Started In Marketing?

The best way to land yourself an entry-level position in marketing is by earning a college degree in marketing, communications or business administration and gather experience during your college years through university programs and internships.

In the US, an average starting salary will be in the $40K to $45K range, but the value of the experience you gain in your first assignments will likely far outweigh your monetary compensation. A marketing career will likely require you to do lots of market research and understand the customers of your brand deeply so that you can efficiently create winning marketing campaigns.

Given the exponential growth of eCommerce around the world, it is likely that an eCommerce brand may be where you land your first opportunity.  E-Commerce requires a savvy understanding of digital marketing technology, social media and creativity to help brands stand out from the crowd and convert new customers.

As a new marketing employee, you will also be exposed to developing advertising campaigns, supporting media buying, and creating marketing campaigns and promotions. This will mean you will work alongside graphic designers and copywriters to support current accounts, as well as partner with media buyers to entice new customers to engage with your brand. Collaborating with and reporting to so many different types of people means that you need to hone your relationship skills to successfully run campaigns, manage deliverables and measure business results.

As for the types of entry-level marketing jobs available, here are several examples roles to consider:

  • Account Coordinator –  In this type of role, you will be working with project management tools and schedules to assure that everything runs smoothly in the marketing operation. Your primary goal is to facilitate the communication between your marketing team and the clients on expectations and deadlines. Essentially, you are establishing a foundation for customer satisfaction.
  • Development Associate – This line of work is associated with non-profits where you will have to know how to manage events and work certain databases to create proper campaigns whilst also being able to call for prospective donors to donate.
  • Social Media Specialist – Modern marketing mostly happens on social media, ranging from online ads to proper social accounts for brands to connect with their customer base on a more personal level. There are so many users found on the internet by now that the broadest band for making your brand seen is done on these platforms. As a social media specialist, you will be the one behind your company’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and any other account. You will need to understand the difference in habits between these platforms, build a community on them, engage with people and other brands, and become the “voice” for the brand on these platforms.Making interesting content (and posting it), as well as creating campaigns online for products all require you to have good analytical and communication skills.
  • Marketing Coordinator – As a Marketing Coordinator, you will be a person of many trades since this is exactly the sole essence of what you learned during college. You will need to research and analyze, plan campaigns, create sales forecasts and then reports, and place media properly. Analysis and data will be a big part of being a marketing coordinator, so prepare to be working with numbers often.
  • Communications Specialist – As a Communications Specialist, you will be dealing with exactly what the title suggests: effective messaging for your company. Advertising and public relations will be at the forefront of your days, so if you lack proper written and verbal communications skills with the ability to maintain a professional and diplomatic tone, maybe this line of work isn’t ideal.

Final Thoughts

In Marketing, there’s room for just about every personality and skill set. No matter what industry you love and what you love to do, there’s a company out there that needs your expertise to thrive in a fast-paced, highly competitive market. If you’re still unsure about what field is right for you, try thinking about your own experiences as a consumer. What brand interactions have been the most meaningful and rewarding for you? By drawing from personal experience, you’ll be able to draw connections with your professional skills and discover the perfect path for your career.

At TopRight, we love helping marketers transform brands and even transform their own careers! If you feel like you could use a little help, a little boost in your career, or a quick marketing health check, then let’s have a conversation.  And as always, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me @toprightpartner, or if you want to go deep on transformative branding, grab a copy of my new book, Marketing, Interrupted.