A career in marketing can be challenging, creative and well-paid. Marketing jobs such as those available at Direct Line Group can offer a lot to the right candidate, but what experience are employers looking for and what key skills do you need to forge a successful career in marketing?
What is marketing?
Before deciding if you possess the right skills, or have the aptitude and potential to develop them, it’s important to understand just what marketing is. It’s a broad field and definitions vary but essentially marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to potential customers.
It’s the intermediary function between product development and sales, and can incorporate market research, public relations, media planning, brand and reputation management, advertising and more.
In a competitive market, producers and suppliers have to understand the wants and needs of their customers. They must figure out how to communicate effectively with their customer-base, and reach out to new people.
As the end goal, they must ensure that potential customers buy their products or services rather than those of their competitors, and that they keep coming back for more.
All this falls within the remit of marketing.
Marketing does not take place in a static environment. As the marketplace changes, so will the demands placed on marketing professionals. The fast-paced changes in technology also pose a challenge to marketers. If you look at the history of Facebook you may be surprised to learn that this social network – which was not the first, but is by far the most successful – was only founded in 2004.
A mere decade ago, social media marketing was unheard of but for many businesses these days a strong social media presence is a must. Online content marketing and mobile search marketing are also relatively recent developments, the potentials of which are still being fully explored.
Successful marketers should be flexible, adaptable and able to keep up with a constantly changing marketplace. Marketers also need to be persuasive and personable. They don’t need to be as slick as a snake oil salesman – marketing executives rarely front campaigns themselves but they may have to sell their ideas both within and outside their own organisation.
Strong oral and written communication skills are also a must for marketers to be able to successfully sell their message to a variety of potential audiences.