What is marketing?
Identifying something that people or businesses want and are prepared to pay for, or a problem that they would like solved (it could be an easy way to make a cup of tea, it could be getting the latest music).
Developing a product or service (anything from teabags to iTunes) that meets that need and then promoting it so that the audience is aware of its existence.
Working out the details and making sure you’re charging the right price for the product or service. If the price is too low, you won’t make any money, if it’s too high, people won’t buy it.
...all about people
Understanding people and what drives them to behave in the way they do is the foundation of all marketing. As human beings, our needs and desires (and the many factors that influence them) are constantly changing. To be a successful marketer, you need to be at the cutting edge of the latest developments and trends because ultimately, no one is interested in yesterday’s news.
Marketing is about finding new ways to explain the benefits of your products and services so that people buy them. Thinking creatively and coming up with new ideas is one of the biggest elements of marketing. Marketers have to be innovative at all times, always thinking ahead in order to create new and exciting products before someone else does.
Marketing is all about predicting the next trend or phenomenon. Many consumers change their mind about what they want on a daily basis, so you have to keep up! Being adaptable is one of the biggest challenges facing marketers, but it is also the thing that makes marketing so exciting!
The essence of marketing is thinking big, which often involves considering international audiences. How will people in another country react to your product? When KFC launched in China, they put some consumers off as their famous tagline “finger licking good” was translated as “eat your fingers off”!
Is marketing right for you?
A successful career in marketing requires a lot of skills. Whilst not all of these skills are necessary, if you can pick out a couple that you’re good at, this will really help you when applying for marketing roles or courses.
Art and Design
Creative flair is key to marketing and it is certainly true that a picture paints a thousand words. Design has always played a huge part in marketing as it’s important to know the way goods are packaged, promoted and how company websites and literature look and feel.
English and Humanities
If you’re good with words and language, marketing could be perfect for you. Effective communication is key to marketing because whether it’s a magazine article or a TV advert, you’re talking directly to your audience. Unless you can get the important points across, you’ll never persuade them to buy your product!
A surprising amount of marketing is about analysis – which often means taking lots of data, numbers and information in order to make sense of it. Marketing research and strategy are fields where numerate people thrive. For example, the ability to calculate whether promotional campaigns have been profitable is extremely important.
Marketing involves appealing to people globally. You must be adaptable to change and sensitive to different cultures. Citizenship teaches how to be an effective citizen and about understanding the social and political world around you. This ensures that as a marketer you provide an honest, fair and ethical business to all customers.
Computer studies and IT
Technology has become increasingly important to marketers in helping them deliver and promote their products in the market. Just look at the rise of podcasting and ‘viral’ campaigns. The forward–thinking people with the technical skills to make all of this happen are among the most successful marketers.
Marketing is an increasingly global business. The ability to speak foreign languages and understand other cultures gives you a major advantage when working for multi–national companies. This could also give you the opportunity to live and work abroad
Before a company can start creating a marketing campaign, it needs a product to sell. Whether it’s designing light bulbs or cars, the skills needed to manage the development of products are very specialised and are often heavily based on science.