If you’re a recent graduate thinking about your first job or a corporate veteran trying to make the switch, marketing can be a stable and interesting career path. Marketing incorporates a wide range of skills while allowing you to specialize. Like nursing or teaching, marketing professionals are highly employable and have skillsets that translate to a wide range of contexts. If you’re looking to get a job in marketing, you can set yourself apart from the crowd.
Learn about Market Research
When you think about marketing, the first option that comes to mind may not be researching how best to develop and position products and services. But the top companies take this step. Whether you want to work for a Fortune 500 or a venture-backed startup, it’s smart to understand how market research works. In addition to general market research theory, the best candidates have practice developing survey questions, calculating survey sample size, and using statistical packages to conduct analysis. The ability to set up surveys using common survey platforms is also a highly prized skill.
Develop your Direct Marketing Skills
Working in the marketing department of a major company requires direct marketing skills. Direct marketing refers to tactics such as email marketing, sending advertising packages in the mail, and even doing infomercials. The focus of these materials is generating interest in a product, increasing demand by focusing on the benefits, and then ending with a strong call to action. Improve your direct mail skills by studying some of the greats the industry such as US Data Corp. The ability to write strong copy, plan out a package, and purchase mailing lists are all helpful.
Master Social Media
Today’s marketing mix tends to emphasize digital tactics such as email marketing and social media. In particular, it’s difficult to get a job in a marketing department if you don’t understand social media. To stand out professionally based on your social media marketing skills, it’s important to understand how to use a wide variety of platforms. Focus on mastering the basics of Facebook and Twitter, including how to write effectively for the networks and how to use their analytics packages. The ability to develop content for visual networks is also increasingly important. Spend time getting to know how businesses are using platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and SnapChat. Succeeding at social media requires the ability to measure performance and communicate impact.
Improve your Writing
Even if you weren’t an English major, it’s important to learn how to communicate effectively. Being a good business writer is different than being a novelist. It’s about clarity and focused communication. More and more businesses are relying on their staffs to blog, write materials for their content marketing strategy, and manage social media channels. Improving your ability to write – with a specific focus on marketing materials – will enhance your credibility for any job.
Succeeding in a career in marketing is very possible. It’s a growing field and one that gives you tremendous flexibility to celebrate your interests, whether they’re technology or writing. Focus on developing the right skills today and you’ll be setting the foundation for a lifetime.
About the author: Tracy Marino is a career journalist. She writes extensively about digital marketing and trends in business.