Behind every marketing strategy is an army of marketers; creative and self-driven individuals who play a crucial role in ensuring businesses meet their sales goals. As organizations look to expand their market share in competitive industries, the demand for competent marketing professionals will keep rising. If you are looking to develop and pursue a career in marketing, you need to do some basics. Read on.
1. Choose Your Career Path
The marketing profession has a good number of career paths, from entry-level positions where creativity is a must-have to management positions where marketing decisions are made. It is imperative that you know your career path right from the beginning and prepare yourself adequately. You could be a media buyer responsible for purchasing advertising space in newspapers and other platforms, or you could be a marketing copywriter responsible for preparing creative advertising copies to urge customers to buy a product. Or you could be a market research analyst, an advertising planner or a promotions specialist. Familiarize yourself with the job description (roles and responsibilities) of the marketing career you wish to pursue.
2. Get Relevant Training
It would be a tough call to pursue a successful career in marketing without a college degree. At the very least, you should obtain a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree should be your target.
Marketing is a relatively wide profession, so many universities are tailoring their degrees for specific career paths. For instance, if you want to be a digital marketing specialist, you should pursue a degree in online marketing instead of going for the traditional marketing degree.
3. Obtain Professional Certifications
There is nothing that demonstrates your competence and dedication to the marketing field like a professional certification. There are a number of professional associations offering marketing designations, so you should not find any trouble getting certified. Here is a brief list of some of the widely recognized credentials:
- Professional Certified Marketer - American Marketing Association
- Certified Marketing Management Profession – International Institute of Marketing Professionals
- SMEI Certified Professional Marketer – Sales & Marketing Executives International
Although the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing doesn’t award professional designations, it does of professional development courses that can make a big difference in your bid to develop a career in marketing.
Besides earning a professional certification, it is important to secure and maintain individual memberships in the professional associations. You will be able to access other career development resources such as workshops, seminars and industry publications.
4. Master Essential Attributes
Professional training alone is not enough to make you an accomplished marketer. Are you creative enough to create winning marketing copies? Do you have the analytical skills to evaluate whether a marketing strategy is effective? Do you possess the research skills to obtain all the market information you need for decision-making? To stand out from the crowd, you must work on nurturing the skills that are specific to your career path.
In conclusion, marketing careers are often exciting and rewarding. By correctly following this guide, you will easily and quickly rise from entry-level marketing jobs through to middle-level posts and finally to management positions. The ball is now in you court!