How to Enhance your Marketing Career

Being a college student is stressful. You have to figure out in four years (or less) what kind of career you want and how best to achieve your “dream job”. Lets say I want to do Marketing for a Department Store like Nordstrom. How do I stand out as a job applicant? Which classes should I take to be most prepared? Should I specialize in a certain type of marketing? Should I add a minor? Do I need a graduate degree? …. I could keep going on and on. The questions are endless. But, the general point of all these questions is HOW CAN I STAND OUT!

So yet again, I found an article, so let’s dive into it and try to answer these questions. What stuck out to me about this article was the first sentence, “As the field of marketing evolves, marketers must consider how to acquire skills for an automated world and collaborative business environment”. In my mind that right there tells me that this article is going to give me some insight to keep on trend within the ever-changing marketing world. As I read through the article it started to give me some valid insights on navigating the marketing world and discovering which skills and capabilities I need to acquire.

The article mentions 3 main elements.. as per usual I’m going to break them down and add my insight to round out the whole experience!

  1. Shifting Marketing Environment: This one is a more obvious element… TECHNOLOGY! This is where us students have the upper-hand. With an increase in digital marketing and social media content we are able to stay up-to-date on trends without having to do extensive research or workshops. However, where some of us might struggle is with the data side of marketing. This has become a huge trends with an increase in the usage of CRM systems and from this customer experience management emerged. “New roles require more facility with data acquisition and analysis; more expertise in designing and testing new offers and messages; more understanding of the internet as a communication medium, sales channel, data source, app and social network environment.” Any of us at UT (or any other campus) that’s taking Marketing Research knows that it doesn’t exactly come easy to most people. But, its becoming crucial within the marketing industry and offers a great career path. (So I’ll let that idea simmer with you for a bit)
  2. Changing Career Outlook: I’m not going to lie to y’all this part to me was the least relevant, so I’ll break it down quickly. The article is essentially trying to point out the change in job structure. This is largely due to automation. We live in a digitized world where software programs such as SPSS takes out a large portion of work that used to be done by hand. I think it’s hard to predict how this will effect marketing careers but in general we can expect for automation to continue to increase.
  3. Choosing a way forward: I’m going to shorten this part because I think it’s best to get to the point! These points are very important and are up to your interpretation.
    1. Think carefully about what formal training is needed (think grad school? and minors and workshops!)
    2. Understand the trade-offs between pursuing a specialty versus becoming a generalist who coordinates multiple specialties (Specialty: mastering a particular app like Photoshop or SalesForce etc. Generalist: data analysis)
    3. Invest appropriate time in managing your own personal brand, i.e., what to be known for, what expectations to set for prospective employers and what type of value to contribute to the market (I like to think of this one as blogging, reading articles, networking events etc. anything that gets you involved in your chosen industry)
    4. Plan to acquire information that will help with career management going forward (Find a role model!! Whether it’s a professor, boss, or a blogger.. like me 😉 Find someone that gives you the advice and the support you)

Now that all of that has hopefully sunk in, start applying it to your own life and your own career. Like my original example with Nordstrom, as a UT student some advice would be taking retail marketing as an elective or finding a boutique owner to be a mentor. These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself. Get creative. Find your niche!

Ciao Marketeers!

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7 thoughts on “How to Enhance your Marketing Career

  1. Great post and article! I still don’t know what I want to do and time is running out as a graduate in December! I agree that finding your passion or niche is the first and most critical step.

  2. Awesome post! As a marketing major entering my junior year, I am applying to internships and thinking about my career after graduation. It can be a very overwhelming task to try to stand out against the other thousands of college graduates in the same field as you going for the same jobs. I agree that being able to use technology proficiently gives you an upper hand, as being able to use Powerpoint, Excel, WordPress, and Google AdWords has already helped me in interviews!

  3. What a great read! I like how you take another article and break it down for us. This also was very informational and a great reminder of where to set my line of vision for what career path I want to go down. Out of all of these points, which do you think is the most important? I think investing time in your personal brand is of utter importance because really, many people don’t get jobs just through applying and going through the application process, it not includes knowing the right people, making sure when people search for you online, etc, that you represent everything they want to see and so on. Great insight Jordan, thanks!

  4. This was an awesome post! This was certainly helpful to me as I am sure it will be to others too. There were many points in here that could really impact someones path to a career and future. It is important to focus on the right things!

  5. Very informative post and appropriate for many students this time of year. I know automation was your least favorite topic. But one way that I have seen automation take over marketing is – automated customer service on the phone in the olden days. Press 1 for this. Press 2 for that. Many automated recording responses as opposed to talking to an actual person. This is also happening in social media now. Auto responses based on the content of people’s posts. Perhaps this is taking away potential jobs. But it is disastrous. Companies are getting into trouble because their automated responses do not adequately address customers’ concerns and sometimes they even post something inappropriate because the “auto reply” was written and doesn’t take into account the days or weeks news!

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