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Brand manager. Customer experience designer. Search engine optimisation expert. Content marketing specialist. Social media director. Public relations executive. Sales manager. These are just some of the marketing roles you could land with a qualification in this dynamic and evolving field.
Careers in marketing cover a range of roles and specialisations that share a clear focus: providing value to consumers. And in fractured digital environments where there’s more choice for consumers than ever before, marketing is often the difference between bottom-of-the-pack mediocrity and stand-out success.
‘Employing people who can manage the entire customer journey – from the first time they Google a product to the in-store environment, purchasing process and beyond – has become a huge part of what businesses need to do in such a competitive and fractured environment,’ says Dr Virginia Weber, a lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Deakin Business School.
If you’re interested in a career in marketing, here’s an overview of where you could end up working – and how to figure out if it’s a good fit.
At its core, marketing is about identifying and understanding customers, and developing products and services that meet their needs. When it’s done well, marketing helps to create a strong brand and profitable business.
Crucially, marketing roles demand more than clever product design ideas or slick digital advertising campaigns. Success in this industry rides on careful planning and research, explains Dr Weber.
‘The function of most marketing divisions involves integrating a lot of information and insights from other parts of the organisation – research and development, top level management, finance, logistics and so on – and making critical, creative and well-thought-out decisions to most effectively use that information to provide value to your customers,’ she says.
‘Marketers find out what people need, what they value and make sure they’re able to receive it.’
Dr Weber says marketing roles are often divided into two main areas: creative and insight driven. ‘The creative side involves working in teams to create briefs and outlines for marketing campaigns, whereas the insights side involves more research and data science to help develop a deep understanding of the consumer or industry dynamics.’
As marketers progress in their careers and become managers and directors, she says the focus shifts to high-level integration of these two areas. Senior folks are in charge of designing strategies and making decisions that lead to long-term success for a brand.
And whether you’re a graduate or a manager, at the core of every marketing role is a focus on digital. ‘A day in the life of a typical marketer includes getting to use the newest digital tools and insights to inform your decision making,’ Dr Weber says. ‘Lifelong learning, which right now means digital learning, is a part of a successful marketing career.’
'Marketers find out what people need, what they value and make sure they're able to receive it.'
Dr Virginia Weber,
Department of Marketing, Deakin Business School
In a word: yes. So important are marketing roles for the future of business that the LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report Australia included four marketing-related roles in its top 15 emerging jobs: marketing automation specialist, customer success specialist, growth manager and service designer.
Research by the Federal Government’s National Skills Commission also shows marketing roles are on the rise, with two out of three top employing management occupations relating to marketing: retail managers and advertising, public relations and sales managers.
Dr Weber says because marketing is human-centred, it’s largely immune to the increasing automation of many jobs. ‘There is huge growth in these areas of marketing, in part because it’s not something that can be automated,’ she says. ‘The creative aspect, the human interaction aspect, and the need to integrate complex information, including creative and qualitative insights, means there’s many parts of what marketers do that can’t be done by an algorithm.’
Figuring out what you want to be when you grow up isn’t easy. So, why study marketing? Dr Weber says many marketing career paths tend to suit extroverts who like working in teams and developing relationships with stakeholders from all walks of life and business. ‘Much of what marketers do is really interpersonal,’ she says.
Marketing roles are also a great fit it you like ‘fast-paced work, finding solutions to complex and challenging problems, and blending the creative with the more analytic’, says Dr Weber. ‘Marketing is always evolving – it doesn’t stay static.’
Above all, she says, careers in marketing are fun, dynamic and rewarding. ‘It’s satisfying to know that you have reached your customer, to be able to understand all these human insights and to be constantly integrating information and connecting with new people.’
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