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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Content Content Content – How Can You Stand Out?

As my first blog post I really wanted to choose something that I was passionate about. For me, that’s content marketing. I first learned about content marketing in my Intro. to Marketing class. It was the first time I realized that marketing is truly what I wanted to do. So, I started researching how I could, as the title might suggest, write killer content and develop better writing skills to attract my audience. I might not have much of an audience now.. I have my professor (Hi Professor Burton) and my Momma.. but you have to start somewhere.

A part of my research lead me to the book “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley. There are many lesson I took away from this book. The first and most important one is BYE-BYE to the over-used high school five-paragraph essay. For so long it was engrained in me to write a monotonous and precisely planned out thesis that perfectly outlined the next three paragraphs that was then summed up in a neat little bow of a conclusion. But, in the real world.. that doesn’t happen.

As I read Ann Handley’s book I could see her personality through her writing and that spoke to me more than any other piece of writing I’ve read. That’s how you create content that people will not only read but enjoy. Handley found a real way to relate to her audience. Her humor and ability to keep “trendy” showed me that its okay to write “outside of the box”, in fact its encouraged!

Content marketing is all about creating a conversation – you want to be the thought-leader of your industry and most of all you want to be relevant to your audience. As a college student my relevance comes from my inexperience. I’m learning as I go and growing into this ever-changing industry. Starting with creating my own content – this blog!

Ann Handley quoted Mean Girls in her book.. so naturally I’m going to end my first blog post with a Mean Girls inspired message. To write good content.. you have to find a way to stay “fetch” – keep up with the trends and never stop communicating with your audience!

– Millennial Marketeer

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