So you’re interested in a marketing career? Great, you’ve come to right place to learn all about it.
Most people don’t have a good idea of what it means to be a marketer. Tv shows, movies, the news, fiction novels all of these have been loosely portraying marketers for decades now.
Working in marketing isn’t like how it is on Madmen. Just like how the Michael Douglas film Wall Street doesn’t represent everyone working in finance.
There are no men smoking in fancy offices trying to manipulate you into buying something.
What you can expect from a marketing career, however, is a little different.
Why Pursue a Marketing Career?
A Marketing career is a great way to start your journey either after college or even after high school.
Although the marketing industry has definitely taken a hit in recent months. The current pandemic has indeed caused many marketers to lose their jobs overnight.
Despite this, the same thing happened in 2008 during the great recession. Tons of marketers got laid off while everyone was saying how the world was ending.
News flash, the world didn’t end in 2008, marketing recovered along with the economy. Still, marketing jobs do face higher rates of layoffs during economic downturns.
That’s because businesses are more likely to reduce their marketing budgets first. When they do this, entry-level marketers are the ones who end up unemployed.
Me saying this isn’t to deter you away from a marketing career, but rather to shed light on some realism. Marketing isn’t a perfect career without faults.
Just don’t ignore the good things about it.
Plus, marketers have a diverse set of skills that they can use to apply for various jobs. Just because one business can’t afford its marketing staff doesn’t mean every company is in the same position.
It’s not like companies can just put a pause on marketing their products because the economy isn’t doing too well. Even during the worst economic crisis in recent years, marketers can still find ways to be useful.
1. AI Can’t Replace You
The rise of automation is a serious threat to the future of employment. Some jobs just are not going to be around in the future. We all know that truck drivers, cashiers, and other low skill jobs will probably be the first ones to go.
But it isn’t just those jobs that are at risk of being lost to automation. AI is making a lot of changes to industries such as finance, law, and even engineering.
Artificial intelligence will soon take over the legal field. Don’t be surprised if you have to start taking legal advice from a robot in the future. Artificial intelligence will also soon cut thousands of jobs in banking.
With the use of automatic trading software, hiring human stock traders and brokers is starting to make less sense.
Marketing jobs are pretty safe from automation, at least for now. Some entry-level marketing jobs might disappear in the process, but most are here to stay.
A computer can’t replace a marketing manager. The things that artificial intelligence can do is incredible, but it’s not a human. Marketing managers have a good sense of how to persuade people. They understand the nature of human emotion and psychology.
Computers can’t do that, at least not yet.
A computer can’t write like a human either, so any type of complex marketing is off-limits for AI. This is good news since it means that you can study marketing without the fear of having your job hijacked by a machine.
2. A Marketing Career Is Perfect For Creatives
Creative people can thrive in the world of marketing. Therefore, the field naturally attracts many graduates from the liberal arts.
Liberal arts majors make perfect marketers. The skills they learn in college are highly relevant to the type of work they’ll be doing in marketing. Liberal arts graduates are experts in writing and constructing arguments.
The nature of their work also forces them to think creatively. Students who major in stem usually don’t have this kind of creative thought process in class.
Liberal arts graduates do have a place in the world of marketing. The idea of the jobless college graduate who majored in English is just not accurate. Many of them become marketers, and they tend to do a great job.
Plus, marketing agencies love hiring grads from different educational backgrounds.
Hiring from different majors helps to keep the workplace fresh and full of new ideas from different perspectives. When more creative ideas are spreading in the workplace, companies will have a better chance of marketing their products and services.
3. Digital Marketing Jobs Are In Demand
Despite the current pandemic, the demand for digital marketing has remained strong. Companies still need digital marketers since they’re convenient and more affordable to hire.
Graduating from college might not even be a requirement for getting hired as one.
Some digital marketers get started working right out of high school. Digital marketing, however, is kind of a tricky subject to try and absorb in a classroom. Instead, it’s better to learn about digital marketing by actually doing it.
Start your own website or blog and try to promote it yourself. There are even digital certificates that you can get through Google, Bing, and Facebook.
These two are huge players in digital marketing.
The best part about running your own digital marketing business like these guys is that you receive all the credit for your work.
Gary and Neil run their businesses and receive direct praise from their customers. When you work for someone else, you might not receive all the credit for the work you put in.
With your business, you get to keep 100% of the credit and profit. The best part is that you can begin learning how to do this right at home on your computer.
Of course, this is going to be more challenging than just getting an ordinary job in marketing. Nevertheless, ask successful entrepreneurs like Gary and Neil: I’m sure they’ll tell you that the pros outweigh the cons.
4. You Can Make A Lot of Money
There are many misconceptions about how much marketers get paid. Many college graduates are hesitant to pursue a career in marketing because they think the pay is low. And while it’s true that entry-level marketing salaries are much lower than jobs in finance and engineering.
The reality, however, is that marketing careers develop over time: Your salary will increase as you gain more experience. Entry-level marketers don’t get paid a lot because they’re new. Learning how to be a great marketer takes time, and a long career will force you to learn new skills and techniques.
A marketing coordinator earns an average annual salary of about $50,000. SEO specialists earn a little more at about $52,000 a year. These still aren’t considered low paying jobs; $50,000 is decent money for someone fresh out of college.
Digital marketing assistants can have a salary of as high as $62,000, and you might not even need a degree for that.
The best part is that a marketing career has the potential to grow fast, like really fast. As a marketer, you’re valued by the amount of traction you can get for your company. If you show results early on, most marketing agencies will see it and try to promote you.
Management positions in marketing may require that you have a masters’ degree; although it is possible to get promoted without one. Marketing managers can easily make six-figure salaries, but you will need about 5-7 years of experience.
The Highest Earners
Then, we have executive positions. Executives are senior managers that have to handle more responsibilities for the company.
The vice president of marketing can earn around $150,000 a year. A vice president will need anywhere from 10-15 years of experience.
Lastly, the chief marketing officer, or CMO, is the highest paying marketing position that exists. Chief marketing officers can make anywhere from $180,000-$240,000 annually.
Most of them will have about 20+ years of experience so it’ll take some time to get this job.
Even so, there is one last position that your marketing career can lead to. Eventually, you can get promoted to CEO after you’ve proven yourself as a CMO.
There have been many CEOS with backgrounds in marketing, A CEO can make an average salary of $250,000-$10,000,000 annually.
5. The Hours Are Flexible
Marketing has some of the most flexible hours compared to other professional jobs.
Marketing companies make time off a priority. They do this to avoid overworking their employees, which can potentially cause less productivity.
There is no dress code, you can bring a dog to the office, and some offices even allow alcohol. Employers have noticed an increase in productivity when they allow such things.
Think of Japan, which has one of the strictest working cultures in the world. Companies in Japan are known for pushing their employees to work long hours. But some of them have changed their attitudes towards this.
Japanese companies have realized that employees who work the most hours are not necessarily the most productive.
Marketing professionals work an average of 40-65 hours a week. Those hours will allow you to see your family and do your hobbies; that time is yours.
If you compare those hours with someone working in investment banking, you’ll understand why. In the world of investment banking, 100 hour work weeks are a thing. That means sacrificing your spare time for work.
People working in finance do indeed make a lot of money. Yet is it worth giving up the time you have with your family? Most people who start these careers have children and can’t see them.
Marketing is a good alternative since the hours are flexible, and even though the pay isn’t as high; for some people, it may be worth it.
How To Break Into a Marketing Career
There are many paths you can take to get your marketing career started. Some will require you to have a college degree, while others might care more about your experience.
Digital marketing jobs tend to be more lenient when it comes to choosing a candidate over their education. Recruiters understand how difficult it is to study digital marketing in college.
Digital marketing is always changing, and college can only teach you so much.
By the time you graduate, what you’ve learned in school might even be completely outdated. The best way for you to get a job without a degree is to have a portfolio.
That can be anything from your blog, YouTube channel, to even promoting someone else’s website.
The biggest thing that digital marketing companies are looking for is results. If you can get results through your campaigns, finding a job won’t be that hard.
It also wouldn’t hurt to add some certifications to your resume. Digital marketing certificates are available on the internet and can prove to employers that you know your stuff.
Acquire Marketing Skills
You will need certain specific to do your job effectively as a marketer. Marketers need a wide range of expertise to be successful.
These are the best skills for a marketer to have:
- Writing Skills
- Public Speaking
- Analytical Skills
- Negotiation Skills
- Cooperation Skills
- Organization Skills
- Business Management Skills
Writing is probably the most valuable skill in marketing. Being able to write well will help you market any product or service effectively. Writing is so affective since many people buy products based on what they have read.
Next is public speaking, which is almost as important as writing. Top marketing officials are required to speak to the media and sometimes directly to customers.
You need to learn how to speak concisely and confidently. If you’re afraid of public speaking, it’s time to get over it. Being a marketer means that you have to be effective at verbal communication.
Creativity is also a must-have for aspiring marketers. Coming up with new ideas on the fly is necessary to help generate quick sales and publicity.
Otherwise, you might never get promoted, or even worse, your boss may even let you go. You don’t have to be on J.K Rowling’s level of creativity, but you do have to think outside the box and provide great ideas.
All the other skills are useful in almost any other job. Marketers who master all of them are the ones most likely to get promoted.
Start Thinking Like a Marketer
Mastering the skills to be a marketer is crucial, but they’re useless until you start thinking like one. It takes practice to learn how to think like a marketer. Marketers must out-think their competition and help boost the public image of their company.
The thing is that marketers come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to teach yourself marketing through only textbooks or even work experience.
For instance, think of Steve Jobs; everybody knows him for what he’s accomplished. Before Jobs returned as Apple’s chief executive officer, the business was failing. He would eventually turn things around and make the company seem cool again. Steve did this through his genius capabilities as a marketer.
I used to watch all of Apple’s new press coverings when Jobs was around. He used every opportunity he had to promote the company’s products to the world.
This was more of a public relations tool for Apple, but it worked, nonetheless. It worked so well since he had charisma and was able to build excitement for a new product.
Unfortunately, I haven’t felt the same excitement about Apple’s most recent conferences.
Take Notes From Rap Artists
Marketers do not have to be entrepreneurs or business people in the traditional sense. One of the best examples of marketers that don’t get enough credit is rap artists. You might not associate rappers as marketers, but the truth is that rappers make the best marketers.
Rappers need to promote their content just like bloggers and YouTubers do. Rap artists can teach you a ton of things about self-promoting your work on the internet.
One of the best self marketers in hip-hop is rapper Lil Wayne. Neil Patel says that consistent and quality content is what is going to attract readers to a blog. Lil Wayne knows this better than anybody. Wayne has produced more free content than any other rap artist in the industry.
He is also good at social media marketing which helps him connect better with his fans. He markets his erratic personality in a way that makes people love him even more. Likewise, the rapper Wiz Khalifa has also built his career from his marketing capacity.
Wiz Khalifa was one of the first rappers to utilize the power of twitter. He gained a following and was able to promote his content on the platform before anyone else.
Wiz Khalifa is also known for his collaborations with other artists. It’s a similar concept when you think about guest blogging and how that can help market your brand.
Wiz has worked with many different artists throughout his career. One of his biggest collabs was from the song See You Again, which helped him grow his brand even more.
Marketing Career Education
You will need to have a bachelor’s degree to get certain jobs in marketing. Though the type of degree you’ll need isn’t as important.
The truth is that you don’t have to major in marketing to be a marketer. The marketing industry hires all kinds of majors from different backgrounds. There have been many famous marketers with degrees in English, History, Psychology, and even Biology.
What’s more important is that you have the competence to do the job. It also wouldn’t hurt for you to have been one of the creative kids in grade school: Working in marketing requires creativity. That is the main reason why liberal arts majors perform so well as marketers.
Liberal arts graduates know how to write, and they also tend to be more creative. If you have a liberal arts degree and are looking for a job, marketing might be it.
Get a Master’s Degree To Move Up In Your Marketing Career
A bachelor’s degree may be enough to get started in marketing, but getting your master’s is still a good idea. That’s not necessarily a requirement, but it will help you move up the ranks.
For example, look at the marketing executives at big companies and you’ll notice that many of them hold master’s degrees. The type of master’s degree depends on your role within the company. However, the most popular way to go is to get an MBA with a specialization in marketing.
The MBA is vital if you want to move up the latter of your marketing career. It can give you a huge advantage when it comes to getting those higher-level jobs. The MBA is a fine choice if you aspire to become a chief marketing officer, CMO, or even a CEO eventually.
Marketing professionals make great CEOs. Boards of directors value the skills that marketers provide. They’re good at boosting sales and can get more attention to the company while in charge.
An MBA from a top-ranking business school can help catapult you into a top position. Business management degrees from lower-ranked schools are also worth considering. Your company may even be willing to pay for your education, depending on how long you plan to work there.
The full-time MBA will take two years, while a part-time program takes longer.
Entry Level Marketing Jobs To Get Started
Finding the right entry-level job in marketing will take a good job search strategy. There are many ways in which you can enter the workforce as a marketer. Marketers don’t have this single image that pops into everyone’s head when they hear the term.
Think of a financial manager who you may picture as a businessperson wearing a suit and tie.
Even dress codes are taboo in many agencies, which is why most marketers don’t wear suits anymore. On the flip side, marketers in particular industries will wear suits depending on the image they want to portray to their clients. Just look at Steve Jobs and his famous turtleneck.
History remembers Steve Jobs as the entrepreneur who founded Apple in his garage. Yet, when you examine him and his successes, you can see just how much of a marketer he actually was.
Being the brilliant innovator he was, Jobs convinced people to believe in his vision for Apple. You have to think of marketers in the same way; they are innovators like Steve Jobs. Marketing is an industry where creativity, and of course, turtlenecks shine brightly.
To find the right marketing job, you have to tweak the search for specific job titles.
On Linkedin, click experience level and check the internship and entry-level boxes. Some decent positions do sow up in associate also.
Experience: 0 Years Salary: $0-$20 an hour
To find specific jobs, you have to search for specific job titles that fall under the entry-level category. Sometimes even when you check for entry-level on Linkedin, the employer might list a job that requires five years of experience as entry-level.
Remember to search for a specific job title that is known for requiring less than five years of experience. For many college graduates, their marketing careers will start with an internship. Marketing internships can be useful since they’re easy to get and can provide you with good work experience.
The only problem is that some internships can be unpaid. That isn’t always bad, since most companies will hire their interns after some time. An internship can give you a shot to network and find the right job.
But then again, the traditional route doesn’t have to be your only way into a marketing career. Mastering social media, writing, and having an online presence are also great ways to showcase your skills.
You can start a blog and build a following through it to show that you know how to market yourself. You can even have a YouTube channel or a podcast. Anything that requires online self-promotion will help make you stand out.
Experience: 0-1 Pay: $14-$22 an hour
Once you complete an internship or if you’re just looking for a job; a marketing assistant can be the next step. The job of a Marketing assistant is to write reports, organize, visit customers, and assist with promotion. It’s possible to get a job as a marketing assistant fresh out of school.
You can apply for this job with any undergraduate major. Use any kind of marketing you have done in the past to boost your resume. If you don’t have any previous work to show, try doing some free marketing for local businesses in your area.
Experience: 1-2 Years, Pay: $40,000-$55,000 Annually
You have another option when you complete your internship, which is to work as a marketing coordinator. A marketing coordinator has a few more responsibilities than a marketing assistant. The job also has the potential to pay a lot better.
The average marketing coordinator can make anywhere from $40,000-$55,000 annually. The job responsibilities are to implement marketing campaigns, track sales data, plan meetings, and maintain databases. Applying to an agency is the easiest way to get a job as a marketing coordinator.
Marketing agencies have the resources to help train and support you. You also have a better chance of developing your career at an agency.
Social Media Specialist
Experience: 1-3 Years, Pay: $39,000-$50,000 Annually
Social media specialists are the most popular job for digital marketing nomads. You can do this job almost entirely from home, which is great during this pandemic. Your main job as a social media specialist is to execute marketing campaigns on social media.
You also have to monitor what people are saying about the company you work for on the internet. Social media specialists can earn good money, plus the job is also not too hard to get Having a social media following can help you stand out in interviews.
Employers want to know that you understand how social media works. It’s also imperative that you maintain a professional image on all social media platforms.
Experience: 1-5 Years, Pay: $45,000-$52,000 Annually
The role of an SEO specialist is to implement marketing strategies through search engine optimization. They’re also in charge of the technical side of SEO.
SEO specialists are entry-level jobs that require a few more years of experience. You will need to prove your ability to do this job, probably more so than a social media specialist. There aren’t as many SEO specialists job postings available as well.
With fewer job postings, there will be higher competition making it more difficult to get hired. Businesses want to trust who is doing their SEO work. They may not want to hire somebody who has a degree with little experience.
But it is possible to get the job if you can show previous positive results with SEO. The best thing you can do is to start a blog or website and show that you know how to rank on Google. Showing that you know how to drive organic traffic to your website will prove you can do the job of an SEO specialist.
Experience: (Depends On Company) Pay: $45,000-$60,000 Annually
Account executives are one of the most underlooked entry-level marketing jobs. They’re salespeople who are in close contact with an agency’s clients.
You might be familiar with what an account executive does if you’ve watched Madmen before. In the show, the character Pete Campbell is an account executive for the advertising agency. Although this job isn’t as glamorous as the show depicts, it’s still a good option for new marketers.
PR, advertising, and marketing agencies all hire entry-level account executives. Public relations and advertising share many similarities with marketing.
Some agencies will even have listings for assistant account executives. An assistant account executive is just an account executive with less experience.
Email Marketing Specialist
Experience: 1-3 Years, Pay: $39,000-$54,000 Annually
Finally, the email marketing specialist’s job is to focus on building email lists and other written forms of communication. Ask any blogger and they will tell you how important it is to have an email list. This makes the person whose job it is to manage it ever more important.
The money is in the list, as they say. That is true, and it’s the reason why so many bloggers and internet marketers try so hard to build an email list. Larger companies need someone to manage and write all of their emails for them. That’s essentially what an email marketing specialist does.
This job requires you to work with automatic software by sending out emails and newsletters to customers. This job pays well, and it’s one of the easier ones to get. So many businesses are looking for email marketing specialists that job ads are abundant.
Pursuing a marketing career is perfect grads and non-grads alike. The entry-level pay might not be as high as other industries, but over time sticking with it can pay off.
If you majored in the liberal arts, a career in marketing is perfect for you. Liberal arts graduates have the skills that make them a perfect fit for marketing.
And even if you’ve never been to college, there are still many options for you. With the rise of digital marketing, more companies are starting to look past a traditional education. The degree isn’t what makes you qualified as a digital marketer; it’s the results you can get.
Marketing is a great and lucrative career path, regardless of your personal situation. Try applying to entry-level jobs to see if this field is for you. If you come to realize that it is, then prepare for a long and fulfilling career.