Making Your Career in Marketing A Success

August 2, 2010  |  

Thanks again to everyone who has been sending me questions. Please keep them coming! I recently had a warm email from a young lady who is venturing into the wonderful world of marketing. She wanted to know how to be a success in the industry. Since I’m sure she’s not the only person starting a career in marketing or considering doing so, I thought I’d share the gist of my response to her with you too. So, without further adieu, here are a few tips on how to make your career as a marketer a success—whether you’re a student, a career marketer or an entrepreneur.

1. Learn all of the rules.

Despite how simple things look on TV when celebrities market things, there is a “science” to marketing. Only after you’ve learned the rules can you bend them to your / your client’s benefit as a marketer…and you should!

2. Study people.

You can do this through general observation. However, you will gain additional insight if you study Psychology and Sociology; college classes or a good book can work wonders in this area. Understanding people will help you to anticipate how people, in general, will react under certain circumstances as well as what motivates them. This is a crucial skill to have when marketing as it will help you to reach the people to whom you are marketing and to read people with whom you interact in your daily business dealings.

3. Improve your communication skills.

You will need to do this on all levels. So, become comfortable (if you’re not already) with speaking in front of groups of ALL ages and types. Improve your writing, focusing on word choice; since you most likely will not be present to clarify what you’ve written, it’s important that you learn to say precisely what you mean.

4. Find your niche.

Marketing is a gargantuan filed. So, for those entering the marketing industry as a career, I say this: research the industry to see which type of jobs you’re most interested / best suited to do. For instance, do you want to be on the creative side or business side of marketing? The creative side may involve writing (copywriter) or drawing (art direction or graphic design). Meanwhile, the business side may involve creating strategies, meeting with clients, making presentations, etc. Of course, as with everything, there’s a “gray” area too where some jobs may allow you to do both–creative and business.

Do you want to work at a corporation in a marketing department, an advertising agency or a public relations firm? Each setting handles the job of marketing differently. Once you’ve narrowed down where you may want to be, apply for internships to see what the jobs / environments are really like.

For entrepreneurs looking to improve their marketing, I suggest you study the marketing major corporations do. To do this, choose three major corporations and track what they do—their PR, articles, radio / TV spots, community relations / sponsorship activities, social media usage, etc. Your goal is to look deeper into each communication to see what the message they’re trying to communicate is, the goal of the marketing and what they use to do it. Once you’ve figured it out, try mimicking the tactics for your business as best as you can based on your budget. Hire copywriters, graphic designers and printers to insure what you create properly represents your business.

These basics are all things that you students will need to explore as you venture into your career in marketing and you entrepreneurs will need to do as you market your business. They will certainly help poise you for success.

In the end though, none of them will insure that you are a success. Only you can do that because only you can define what success means to you. Develop your own notion based on your desires, not society’s standard, and strive to live up to that. If you do, you will be successful and enjoy your successes as they come that much more!

As always, if you have a marketing question that you would like me to answer, send me an email at AskTanisha@TheLoftyEntrepreneur.com or ask@madamenoire.com.

Tanisha Coffey is a professional writer and marketing consultant based in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. She provides her services through the strategic marketing consulting, professional copywriting and independent author services firm Scribe, Etc.

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