Careers In Marketing

A career in marketing can offer you lots of possibilities for variety and interest. Any reasonably sized company or organisation today relies on marketing communications to get their message out to customers and it is one of the strongest sectors of the UK economy.

There are a number of options available for those seeking a career in marketing. You can work for an in-house marketing department, or, in a small company, you could become the marketing department! Or you could look for an opportunity to work on the supplier side of the business; there are lots of different types of companies, such as advertising, direct marketing or sales promotion agencies, data management or mailing houses. Working life on the supplier side of the business tends to be more varied because companies have a range of clients with diverse requirements. There are benefits to be had whichever side of the fence you choose to work, but, on the supplier side, the hours can be long and you may wish to check into this at interview stage, especially if you have family commitments.

There are also a number of areas within marketing that will allow you to specialise as your career progresses. For example, you may start out, in a supporting role, as a Marketing Assistant, but, as your own experience grows, you may decide to specialise in a particular area of event management, or sponsorship, direct marketing or sales promotion. A qualification in marketing will open up all these areas to you and you can choose to work in the private sector, the public sector or in the growing ‘Third Sector’ of not-for-profit organisations. These are charities or organisations that are community based, such as housing associations. All these organisations have the need to produce marketing materials and communications with their customers, clients or stakeholders. Let’s just look at some of the options in more detail:

In house marketing (Client side)

The benefits of working client side are generally that you can get to know and understand a product range or service in depth and detail. Whilst in smaller organisations you may get an opportunity to write copy and influence how the product is shown creatively, in bigger organisations it would be more likely that you would be working with an agency to achieve the finished campaign. Working in a marketing role, you will also liaise with other departments in the organisation, and a close working relationship with the sales team is usually essential.

Design of advertising agency (Agency side)

Working in an agency is generally thought to be quite glamorous! Long lunches with clients and visits to exotic locations to supervise photographic shoots may have been the norm in the past, but agency life is more down to earth these days…clients want to spend their budgets wisely as they generally have to account for how much profit they have added to the business, so they don’t like to see agencies wasting it. However, life on the agency side of the business can be fun because they tend to be creative environments. Life moves fast in agencies as well, and you have to be prepared for occasional late nights so that clients get their campaigns delivered on time.

Charities/Not for profit (The Third Sector)

Working for charities and not-for-profit organisations can be really rewarding and fulfilling, and are particularly suitable if, for example, you enjoy fundraising and helping other people. There are almost 200,000 charities registered in the UK, so it a big sector of the economy. Many people are drawn to work in an area in which they have a particular interest – child welfare, health research, animal welfare, arts and education…you will find a number of charities that cover every avenue of need. Working conditions in charities are often not as glamorous as they are in client or agency companies, but you do get a feeling of satisfaction that you are making a positive impact on other people’s lives.

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