There are some important things every marketing major needs to know about the field of work that they are entering. Here are a few things that you might not have learned in school or during independent study that will give you an advantage in the marketing industry.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Numbers
Don’t be afraid of numbers. Most marketing students are afraid of taking the quantitatively-inclined classes. Guess what: you need to understand statistics. That’s your job.
You need to be able to analyze and prove everything you do. If you don’t love numbers and math, specifically statistics, you’re in the wrong business. Of all of the classes you should excel in, your statistics classes should rank at or near the top of the list.
Just about every marketing class preaches the Ps or C’s of marketing. Guess what? They don’t matter. Yes, they do introduce you to the core principles of marketing, but it is rare that you will ever have to actually meet price, product, place, and promotion in one project.
The marketing world is just like every other industry. To get economies of scale, agencies use division of labor. Thus, become skilled at a few things and do them better than everyone else. This is what will really make you employable.
Your Classroom Experience Doesn’t Mean Anything
When you graduate, it’s easy to think that you have all the qualifications for a shiny new job. You don’t. You can simulate real life scenarios all you want, but you won’t learn anything important because the only real test is the actual marketplace itself.
You can’t practice it. You just have to jump in with both feet and embrace the numbers.
Having Internships Doesn’t Qualify You For a Job
A lot of students go out and try to rack up as many internships as they can. But, internships alone don’t qualify you for a job. It really depends on what you did while you were an intern. If you spent your day fetching coffee for the boss, you’re not employable.
If you actually helped out or learned something about the business, then you’re a better candidate. If you took marketing training at Simplilearn.com and learned something integral to the operation of the agency, your chances of getting hired just shot through the roof.
You’re Not An Expert, And Your Employer Is Unlikely To Treat You Like One
When you graduate, you might think you’re an expert. Why wouldn’t you? You’ve just been imparted with all of this new knowledge. You know everything and have a degree to prove it. But, newbie marketers with degrees or even letters after their name do not make a great marketer.
It takes time to learn how the marketplace works, to understand what your agency’s target market responds to, and to uncover what your client’s target market responds to. And that’s just the market.
The actual industry itself changes constantly to keep up with new strategies, laws and regulations, and trends.
A Standard Resume Will Kill Your Chances Of Landing a Good Job
You’re a marketer now, so why are you submitting standard resumes? The pressure is on. You need to sell yourself to your future employer, and the best way to do that is to actually sell yourself through your marketing skills. Spend some time writing a killer resume. If you can’t convince your employer of your skills, why should he or she hire you? After all, your employer is going to turn around and ask you to do the same for the company – convince clients that they should work with the agency.
The Marketing Industry Changes Fast
The marketing industry flows with the times. When trends change, marketing strategies follow suit.
A major example of this is the social media platform. Before Facebook, marketers didn’t even consider this as a way to market to other people. The closest thing to “social marketing” was PR, and that was largely confined to offline publications, where marketers developed relationships with journalists.
Since Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, social networking has become a sub-speciality in the marketing industry.
Marketing Is Not About Viral Videos
If you spend enough time on YouTube, you might start to think that marketing is about lolCat videos and crazy teens posting videos of themselves singing cover songs or doing crazy dance moves.
But, effective marketing is marketing that benefits your audience. You can’t spend your career making Buzzfeed or College Humor videos and expect to rake in the big bucks.
You need to think about where sales will come from, because this is what builds brands.
Marketing Isn’t About Brand Awareness
The traditional view of marketing is that it’s about “brand awareness” – that foggy, abstract, idea.
News flash: marketing is useless unless it’s putting dollars in bank accounts. Let someone else go down the road of old-school Madison Avenue marketing gimmickry.
Your job is to create actionable media that people engage with and that bring sales to the company, and your boss will expect nothing less – especially in this economy.
Get Familiar With Computer Language
Most marketers are surprised by just how much screen time they get in during the day. If you’re not familiar with HTML and CSS, get familiar. You don’t have to be a computer programmer or a full-on engineer, of course, but you do need to understand the basics and how to input and change text, move and manipulate images, and insert video and other media into webpages and on social media sites.
Thankfully, most websites use content platforms like WordPress, which make handling HTML and CSS much easier than coding by hand.
Network With Everyone
It’s hard to be too social when you’re a marketer. It’s all about relationships and building them. When you go to work for a company, don’t only find out what your job is and whom you need to talk to within the company. Talk with people – almost everyone – about whatever you can think of.
Being an extrovert helps. You never know who will end up being your next client, or your next boss.
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Guest Author Bio
Siva Kumar is a growth hacker, blogger, social media marketer, content strategist and content manager for Simplilearn. He enjoys sharing his research and ideas online.