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Career Options in Marketing: Prerequisites, Skills, Opportunities

Marketing covers many operations and tasks, including copywriting, advertising, PR, branding, social media management, and more. Hence, this is one of the more critical aspects of any successful business. Any business can be good at what they do, but their work will be worthless if the word does not reach its target audience. Good marketing teams ensure that the word reaches where it needs to. 

Marketing can be theoretically defined as the study of identifying current trends and patterns in the market to understand what can be modified, improved, or eliminated from a business’ services to make it succeed even more. Some of the typical daily tasks of a marketer include: 

  • Finding the need for products or services. 
  • Identifying markets for the products or services. 
  • Studying current patterns and trends in the market. 
  • Developing sales and pricing strategies. 
  • Collaborating with PR, product development, sales, and technology teams. 
  • Presenting campaign ideas and rolling out effective campaigns. 
  • Tracking and measuring the success of the campaigns. 

Marketing is undoubtedly the most visible and active aspect of any business. If you have a knack for marketing and know what prerequisites and skills can get you there and what opportunities await you – you’re in just the right place. In this article, we’ll talk about all that and more!

Prerequisites for a Career in Marketing

Strict educational requirements in marketing vary based on job duties, company, and other variables. However, it is a good idea to get at least a degree or a diploma in marketing. But the trend is slowly changing, and people without traditional marketing degrees are also being hired if they have the prerequisite skills – which we will talk about in a bit. 

Other prerequisites for a fulfilling marketing career involve understanding market research, sales, consumer behavior, and data reporting. 

Experience of working in advertising, sales, or PR roles can act as a big plus for you. For higher-paying and more up-the-ladder roles like Marketing Managers, the prerequisite is at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration – although some companies also demand a master’s degree. 

These prerequisites are not set in stone, and if you have honed the basic skills needed for a marketer and can prove your worth during the interview, you can expect to find your way in.

With that said, let’s look at some necessary skills to not only start but also sustain a long-running marketing career. 

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Necessary Skills for a Career in Marketing

Marketers juggle different tasks and wear various hats through a typical workday. That is why, they need to have a few skills, without any compromises, to be successful. Some such skills include: 

  1. Excellent communication skills: You need to be an effective communicator to succeed in any marketing job role. Whatever you do, it will all come down to how successful you can communicate things – to your team, audience, stakeholders, etc. This communication includes everything from verbal communication to written – in the form of mails and messages, and more. 
  2. On-point analytical skills: One of the core marketing functions is competition and market research and analysis. Only when you have a clear understanding of the market you are tackling and the competitors you have will you be able to create winning marketing strategies. As a result, it is required for marketers to have eye-for-detail and analytical skills for understanding and studying the competition and finding relevant insights from the research. 
  3. Creative skills: Marketing is about finding innovative ways of saying what you need to say. Needless to say, that requires marketers to have a creative vision and an out-of-the-box thinking ability. This ranges from having a strong design sense to copy skills and coming up with quirky ideas and campaigns. Creative skills are highly needed for any job in the marketing field. 
  4. Tech-readiness: In the 21st century, no job is without technical tools and software – and marketing is no different. As a marketer, in whatever capacity you work, you will be using some sort of online or desktop tools. This includes tools to measure the effectiveness of different campaigns, software for keyword and competitor research, keyword analysis, SEO tasks, reporting, and more. Successfully working on these tools will require you to have some tech-readiness. Plus, if you’re working in a more strategic role, you might also need to manage martech, short for marketing tech. 
  5. People skills: Marketers often find themselves in the middle of many teams in positions that require them to act as mediators to bring the best ideas to the fore. In these situations, you will need patience and people skills as a strict prerequisite. Otherwise, it is easy to get swayed and hinder all the progress. With good people skills, it will become easier for you to manage the different teams you’re meditating on – like sales, content, graphic, web, and more. 
  6. Miscellaneous skills: The skills mentioned above are strict prerequisites for a successful career in marketing. Apart from that, some additional skills you must try to hone include multitasking, creative writing, data analytics, design sense, etc.

With that, let’s now look at the various opportunities available for you in the world of marketing.

Opportunities for a Marketing Career

Marketing is a broad area that includes the following specialized fields:

 Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a relatively new but equally important wing of Marketing. With everything moving online slowly but surely, digital marketing helps a company be on top in the online space. The scope of digital marketing is extensive, and it includes sub-roles or tasks such as branding, social media management, copywriting, SEO, web designing, graphics work, and such. Nowadays, almost all companies use Digital Marketing to foster growth and get more customers. 

 Direct Marketing

Unlike Digital Marketing which is mostly inbound, Direct Marketing is more outbound – which means that you will need to reach out to customers and potentials directly, using their contact details, email ids, etc. Direct Marketing also includes using tools such as Google AdWords, social media traffic, website traffic, email marketing, and other things to get a larger pool of potential clients, then reach out to them in an automated manner.  

Market Research

This is debatably one of the most important aspects of any marketing team. Market research is all about finding trends in the market by studying competitors, consumers, their needs and habits, etc., to create a detailed report of what a company can do to succeed quickly. Market research, as a function, is very rapidly evolving due to the introduction of novel data analysis tools and techniques. Working in market research is a mix of statistics, numbers, analysis, and reporting. Market research also involves staying updated with customer sentiments and opinions daily. Knowing a bit of consumer psychology will be beneficial in this domain since you will be able to handle different situations better. 

Advertising

This includes both out-of-home advertising – like hoardings, billboards, etc., and traditional large-scale marketing – using radio, tv, newspaper, and such. Advertising is mostly about copywriting and knowing the ins and outs of your audience. In advertising, too, different roles take on varying tasks like graphic designing, videography, editing, copywriting, and such.  

Brand Management

Brand management is slowly growing to become an essential function for any business – especially the consumer-facing ones. Brands, as single entities, represent a lot more than just their products or services. The tasks under brand management include creating relationships and strategies to reinforce the brand’s current positioning and improve it if needed.  

In Conclusion

A career in marketing is truly a mix of creativity, technicality, and data skills. As a result, it is a rewarding career, both in terms of the work you will get to do and the compensation you will receive. To build a career in marketing, it is advised to have some work experience or a degree related to it. However, a professional degree does help you kickstart your career faster. 

At upGrad, we bring all the relevant courses you need to start and sustain a marketing career. Our courses are taught in collaboration with top B-Schools, and you get to learn from industry experts. Check out our Master of Business Administration (MBA) Deakin university to know more about the course structure and other benefits! 

Do I need to have any specific formal education for a career in marketing?

Not necessarily. If you have some work experience to prove your worth, you can do without having a formal education. Otherwise, it is recommended to get some degree. It will help you get a job and help you make valuable professional connections.

What does Digital Marketing entail?

Digital Marketing is simply marketing a business on the internet using digital tools. It includes different tasks like copywriting, graphic designing, web designing, SEO, keyword research, video designing, etc.

Is a career in marketing a well-paying one?

A marketing career pays you well. The exact pay, however, depends on a lot of factors. But overall, the pay will keep you satisfied!

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