You made many great friends and memories, studied hard through many sleepless nights, cramming to get your all-important diploma, sat in nervous anticipation at the ceremony, ending with a glorious downpour of graduation caps, and now it’s time to pursue a career in the real world. Unfortunately, not all marketing students have been adequately prepared for this.
For all the current and future marketing students, here’s a list of things that you actually need to know.
Many students tend to avoid classes that involve analysis and statistics, which often turns out to be a costly mistake. You must take the responsibility to record and analyze everything that you do, no matter the particular area of marketing that you wish to work in, or which social platforms you wish to use as marketing tools. It’s imperative that you can use spreadsheets, make proper calculations, and be able to analyze and understand what they mean. Otherwise, you will be taking a shot in the dark every time, essentially gambling with your decisions. It will benefit you to act on proven strategies and methods, so be sure to maintain focus throughout the stats class.
While the core principles are important, it’s unrealistic to think that you can just brainstorm your way to meeting perfect targets and fixing and foreseeing all hiccups. You can rehearse real-life scenarios all you want, but learning how to make important, split-second decisions whilst managing real money, and all the while trying to maintain a company’s reputation, requires a lot of your energy and more importantly, it requires some real experience.
Internships, when done the right way, can be a good opportunity to get this essential first-hand experience.
So you had an internship last summer in a marketing agency? That’s great! But you’re not the only one. Having an internship on its own is not impressive, but the diverse hands-on experience that you accumulated is. According to a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Design in Milan, design is the art of change, responsibility and commitment, so we must progress quickly to conceive and design a type of advertising that can flow like water into all the spaces made available by technology.
With that in mind, it’s important to gain diverse experiences and to maximize your skillset in order to be considered valuable to prospective employers. Don’t just apply for the same types of experiences every summer, switch it up and put yourself to the test.
Not the 3 that you might be thinking of, but rather an art, science and tech. A lot of courses focus heavily on art for crafting advertising campaigns, billboard commercials and storyboarding. It is true to say that art is critical in modern marketing to help visualize calls-to-action and launch products, but marketing goes far beyond just that.
Concerning science, we already touched on the importance of decision-making backed up by hard data. Beyond that, you need to accept the intertwining of technology and marketing which allows for more personalized, scalable, and efficient promotion. These days, you have to be tech-savvy to make you stand out from the crowd.
How many times have you not spoken up about an idea, only to hear it echoed out loud by one of your peers? Don’t let it get to this point - if you have an idea or opinion, speak up! The experience will help you to form proper judgments, so it’s essential that you don’t shy away from it. You can think up the next big thing, but it won’t be realized if you are afraid to share your ideas.
You will face rejection on occasions, you will have to listen to customer complaints, deal with people bashing your product on social media, and so on. That’s why it’s vital to grow thick skin. Try to take negative feedback as constructive criticism, make something positive from it and move forward more knowledgeable and experienced.
Why not market yourself instead of waiting for someone to do this for you? You can prove to yourself right now that you have marketing skills and can cultivate your experience along the way. A couple of ways you can do this is through content writing – for example, on an existing blog or even by starting your own. This will demonstrate your writing ability and also your knowledge. The other way is to build up your social media outreach to connect to more audiences and other professionals. Remember to network with everyone. You never know which random stranger could give you a helping hand in the future. Another key thing to remember is to never burn bridges. For the same reasons that you never know who could end up as your manager or be a much-needed connection in the future.
You don’t need to be a fully-fledged engineer, but it’s essential to know some basics. What happens when your web designer is on vacation? Do you have to make a quick change to your site? Or even just need to discuss your project with a web designer?
You don’t want to sound silly or be confused in conversation, or even end up in an awkward deadlock not understanding why it’s not possible to make the changes you need. Gain some confidence with basic coding and be prepared to make some adjustments. This could be crucial in a product marketing position.
Armed with clarity and a sense of direction, you can now begin planning your marketing career and take a confident step forward in the right direction. Whether that’s a few more months learning exciting new skills, jumping in the deep end at your targeted internship, or embarking on a solitary journey to build your very own brand from the ground up.
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