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Topic: Student Questions
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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Become A Marketer? Attractiveness & Feasibility
4/20/2014 at 6:31 AM ET
I'm currently analyzing a move from communications to marketing and would like to do a general questionnaire to confirm both career attractiveness & feasibility. I believe it would be a great help to all who are interested. Thank you everyone for your help!
1. What do you like/dislike about what you do?
2. What innate Qualities as well as learned skills are required?
3. What's involved in a typical work week?
4. Is it difficult to change industry within the profession?
5. Are job demands (time, resources, ability) so stringent that it's either excel or fail, or reasonable that there is room for some middle ground?
4/20/2014 at 8:53 AM
The answers I could give may not help you.
It would be inadvisable to reveal what one person likes or dislikes because no two individuals will have the same experiences or desires.
Qualities and skills will depend on what you want to do WITHIN the world of marketing.
There is no "typical" week. Every day is different because situations and client needs vary on a case-by-case basis.
As for any degree of difficulty involved, it depends on how badly you want to succeed in the area you you want to move in to. What do you offer? What skills, experience, insight, and perspective do you bring to the table? Having opinions about aspects of marketing is one, but in order for those opinions to be taken seriously they need to be anchored in solid ground: they need to be INFORMED opinions, otherwise they lack value.
The leading contributors to this forum each have decades of experience (the top 10 contributors to the student category alone probably have 250 years' worth of experience between them).
Think about that for a moment.
As for job demands, are you prepared to live, eat, drink, breathe, and experience marketing 24 hours a day? Some time ago, Randall (MONMARK) coined the phrase "Everything you do is marketing™".
I think we all share the same values.
And as for any kind of "reasonable middle ground", how good do you want to be?
Kind of so-so?
The best in your town?
Or the best in the world? Even if this means going agains the grain?
Each sphere of business is clouded with mediocrity; the middle ground is safe because the ground is thicker and more solid. But in solidity there is boredom and tedium. In mediocrity there is dullness and drabness. Marketing that sits in the middle ground all looks the same, sounds the same, and performs the same: few people want to rack the boat. Few people want to stand out. This is why so much business marketing looks and sounds the same.
Is this you? Do you REALLY want to be like everyone else? Or do you want to cause a ruckus?
Communications IS marketing. Marketing IS communication.
One you realize this the big questions you need to answer for you (not for anyone else) then become how will what you communicate help people make decision that impact their lives?
How will what you communicate solve problems?
How will what you communicate salve pain?
How will what you communicate help people make their dreams come true?
How will what you communicate create value and provide benefits to real world problems?
Good luck with your switch.
4/20/2014 at 12:15 PM
Marketing is too broad a field for our responses to be meaningful for you. If you can describe the area within marketing that interests you we can probably be of some help.
Peter (henna gaijin)
4/21/2014 at 1:27 PM
As said above, marketing is such a broad field with many very-different areas one could consider (and as an aside - so are the career opportunities for communication - see a partial list at
), so it would be hard to answer your questions in a way that you get any meaning from them.
On question 4 - in general, the more the position requires expertise in the product or the industry the product is sold in to, the harder it would be to change products//industries. The more the position requires expertise in a function/activity used to market the product, the easier it is to change. So someone who is the product expert (positions like Marketing Manager) would have a harder time changing industries, where someone who is an expert in a specialty of marketing (ad layout, market research, etc.) could often more easily change, as their expertise is usable across markets/industries.
On the bigger question you seem to be pondering - what degree to go for: For many areas of marketing, a marketing degree is a good route in. For other areas, a degree in communication would be just fine. And some areas, doesn't seem to matter what degree you have. So as said above, you might want to look into what ,marketing is and get a feel for the type of area within marketing interests you.
4/23/2014 at 9:14 AM
Hi all, first of all, I truly appreciate the enthusiastic and thoughtful responses. Work has been killing me in the last two days so I hadn't been able to respond as quickly as I could!
"There is no typical week" - Pretty much what the way it's always been for me and I love that!"
Having both a safe standards of operations as well as room to "rock the boat" is just the kind of
instrument I find appealing.
The idea that marketing is so human, that we do it everyday is what makes it fascinating. Communicating/Understanding, creatively is something you can see yourself being able to appreciate/learn beyond your 9-5, and that's what makes it interesting.
I gather from the other responses, and from what I've seen that the field is so broad, that there's bound to be something in it for someone who is generally attracted to the overall idea.
Regarding, the practical aspect of shifting including experience, degree and goal touched on by Peter, mind if I cheat, and sneak in one more question ^^ ?
I'll go ahead and do a quick brief of what I'm doing now and what I hope to do:
I'm already 28 years old. I'm actually working on the tech team at IBM (4 years now)as the an interface to our customers, with the focus of improving their satisfaction to our service.
1) Surveying them, analyzing their feedback to our service and the operational needs of their industry, and coordinating with both R&D and service professionals to make the changes
2) Communicating our new service offerings, creating introductory material for and demonstrating our new products.
3) Syncing up with customers periodically to build relationships, or when we hit a complaint and training service professionals on how to communicate and build relationships with their customers.
4) Writing all the main templates we use for various interaction scenarios
I majored in advertising for my bachelors at the Art Center College of Design
Have previous graphic design, web, brochure, banner design experience at the previous gig.
Before that, I was involved in some sales, mass communication writing.
Generally, I would say my best skills are in writing, negotiating (making something unpleasant sound reasonable, etc...).
Thanks again for the great advice, at least in a sense we are engaged in a form of marketing here, in this small research session!
What I'm the most interested would be the promotional aspect, with research and branding as 2ndary interests.
4/23/2014 at 9:38 AM
Wow, I was really pressed for time in my last post. I apologize for the various glaring writing mistakes...
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