When I tell others that I’m a marketing co-ordinator, the statement is invariably followed by, “So what do you do exactly?”
For many, it seems marketing is difficult to understand – I like to believe it is because it encompasses a wide variety of tasks and skill sets. So, when I answer that question I don’t just provide a textbook definition of what marketing is (the strategic process of determining the needs and wants of a particular group of people and then providing a good and/or service to satisfy those needs and wants), but rather an exploration of how my role integrates and impacts the organization within which I work.
The marketing career path
Marketing consists of several different career possibilities: advertising, public relations, brand management and market research, to name just a few of the big ones.
In my opinion, it’s not as important to know what particular path you will end up following but instead knowing if marketing as a whole is the right fit for you. This is because new marketers are often thrust into generalist positions that allow them to have a hand in all of the above possibilities and then some. Ultimately, you learn from experience where your true strengths and passions lie not from a textbook.
So, if you’re looking to take that leap into marketing, consider the following:
Marketing is often paired with communications because of how integral it is to the success of any marketing endeavour. In both the oral and written sense, communication is the heart of a message. To speak and write articulately in the predominant language of a market is to embrace a construct that facilitates connectivity between the consumer and the organization.
If either of these – speech or the written word – comes naturally to you, marketing is certainly a career path that will force you to understand your audience and hone your ability. Now, if it is a not-so-natural skill but marketing appeals to you nevertheless (and there is no reason why it can’t), my suggestion is to practice because your ability to skillfully communicate is powerful beyond measure.