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What are some good opportunities for people who want to study marketing?

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Hi there,
My name is Tara, I'm currently a junior at Prospect High School. I would love to study marketing and potential information systems. Currently, I'm looking for new opportunities and people to meet. #marketing #business #career #college #entrepreneur

Hi Tara, I slightly edited your question to remove your last name. Gurpreet Lally Translate
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17 answers

John’s Answer

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Depending on the role Tara, marketing careers can require specific industry knowledge such as consumer behavior, sales, market research, competitor analysis, and creative among others.

A career in marketing can take you in several different directions. In a typical marketing job, you will be given a “generic” product and/or service and instructed to associate that product or service with a brand name. The marketing professional’s job is to create, manage, and enhance brands. By performing these tasks fully and properly, you will ensure that consumers look beyond the price and function of a product or service when determining whether or not to buy it.

QUALITIES THAT MAKE A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PROFESSIONAL

CREATIVITY – When it comes to marketing strategies, there are often no right or wrong answers. The best marketers are those who think outside the box and do things as they were not done before. Great marketers are individuals who are not afraid to go out on a limb and experiment with what might even appear to be “crazy” ideas. They are not afraid to fail because when those ideas connect, they know it could be a winning strategy.

ENGERY – The best marketing professionals are also those who light up a room with their ideas, creativity, and pure energy. These are people who are passionate about what they do and aren’t afraid to show it. They come to work bursting with enthusiasm. If you don’t love what you do and can’t wait to go to work every day, then it probably isn’t your thing. This is especially true for marketing.

INTUITION – The best marketers are also those who have their finger on the pulse of their audience. You can only give your audience what they want if you know what they want. The good marketer is one who knows what his or her audience wants and is not afraid to give them exactly that. Some things may be obvious. For example, you’re not going to market a dating app to someone who is in his 80s, like me. But it’s the more nuanced understanding of the audience that distinguishes the mediocre from the best in this field.

LISTENING – Good marketing professionals may be enthusiastic and energetic, but they don’t talk all the time. While they are good at expressing themselves, they are even better as listening and observing. They watch people to learn what their habits and expectations are. They know to ask the questions to help draw people out and get to know them.

STORYTELLING – If you are looking for a marketing professional, you are essentially looking for someone who can tell a compelling story. You need to be able to do that to get people excited about the product or service you are selling. How can your product or service improve people’s lives in a meaningful way? Often, that’s the powerful story you are trying to tell. You want to tell it in a way that connects people with your brand. You want consumers to see themselves in the stories you tell.

TEAMWORK – In the end, marketing is not an individual game. It takes teamwork to succeed in your marketing campaign. You will be working with several teams including creative, sales, finance and logistics to successfully sell your product or service. You should be able to work on your own and most importantly, as part of a team in order to succeed as a marketing professional.

Because marketing can be accomplished in several ways, a career in marketing opens many different doors to you as a profession. You might be looking at types of jobs in sports marketing, law firms, luxury brands, clothing, music, or just about any other industry. No matter what type you are interested in pursuing, marketing is a function that is needed in every company in every industry.

Hope this was helpful Tara

Your career potential is unlimited Tara, below are some types of marketing jobs to help you prepare for your Marketing Career.

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Market Research – In order for a company to capture a market, it must first be able to understand that market.
  • Brand Management – It is their job to instill the brand's essence, map out their competitors brand ed identify marketing opportunities.
  • Advertising – You will find that advertisers work with all aspects of marketing from strategy to concept to the execution of the strategy.
  • Promotions – This team works on creating programs that unite advertising to purchase incentives like: special discounts, coupons or rebates.
  • Public Relations –You must be able to learn quickly what your clients do to communicate their messages effectively.
Thank you so much! This was extremely helpful Tara W. Translate
You are Welcome Tara, It was my Pleasure. Just spread your wings and fly! John Frick Translate
Thank You Erin. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill John Frick Translate
Thank You Marina. “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran John Frick Translate
Thank You Renee. “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” — Kofi Annan John Frick Translate
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Marina’s Answer

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A lot of good advice here! One thing I’ll add: I believe my past jobs in the retail and restaurant industries helped me in my later career as a marketing professional. While, I didn’t directly study or earn a college degree in Marketing (I have an HR degree!), talking to customers/consumers, learning about their likes/dislikes/habits/needs and finding a way to connect/communicate the benefits of a product to fit that need are essential to any marketing profession. Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, in my opinion.

Since you also have an interest in information systems, I’d recommend following brands you like on social media and via email newsletter. The companies and brands that do it right, put in a lot of time and energy into thinking about every image, video, word, song, etc they share. And use software platforms effectively to help them get that work done.
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Erin’s Answer

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Hello Tara,

Junior year is a pivotal time to begin thinking seriously about your career, interests, and networking - you're already on the right track!

I'll start with the classic phrase of "When I was your age", because I believe we had similar questions and interests. Here goes!

When I was your age, I had a good idea of my personal strengths and weaknesses. I didn't know my professional ones yet, until I started internships and part time jobs like a local ice cream catering company. I didn't think it was anything more than a fun summer job when I realized how I'm bringing a positive experience to offices, boosting morale, and networking is happening all around me. Not only did I enjoy being a part of it, I realized I was good at listening to customers to enhance their experience, eager to advance, and worked best in teams. With simple experience under my belt and an epiphany, I realized I wanted to work behind the scenes and see a project evolve from start to finish.

How would I get there? I took on summer internships my junior and senior year. From receptionist, to local magazine company, to getting sucked into a pyramid scheme I ran out of quickly - I learned a great deal. I then enrolled to Radford University Media Studies program (now known as Marketing/Communications), and was able to take elections and a get a minor after discovering what I did and didn't have a knack for. You may find various courses through Marketing that peaks your interest, and you should follow that gut like I did. John's list of fields below are super helpful to begin reading about! After graduating, I picked up an event marketing position for little pay but managed large front line projects that I was grateful to be exposed to since they were both challenging and rewarding. I realized then my passion isn't behind a desk working with sales team, it's being onsite, enhancing experience for all, and managing a project to evolve from perception to reality.

That marketing experience allowed me to shift my focus to my current role of a Corporate Event Manager in DC. I get to work with a large talented team ranging from marketing, graphic design, production, communications, and project managers that all put their expertise to one goal - the event. Getting to network with a wide scale of talent keeps the job relevant, fresh, and exciting. From scooping ice cream to managing corporate events in the span of 9 years - who knows where your path will take you?

My last piece of advice that recaps my story is to not turn down opportunities or see an ordinary one in a positive lens. Open as many doors as you can to dabble, understand your talent and passions, then the rest should guide you naturally since you'll work hard for what you want.

Hope you find this helpful if not relatable. Happy to help answer any follow up questions.

Good luck!
Erin
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me, and also giving me some lovely advice. I really appreciate it. Tara W. Translate
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Kinan’s Answer

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Hi Tara,

A lot of very useful information and tips here. I will not repeat them, but instead offer some insights from my experience.

You mentioned meeting people: I think it would be good to just do as many internships as you can and explore which areas of marketing you really like and something will also match your passion. Broadly speaking, working at agencies at this stage would be better as it would expose you to a broad range of clients and you would also get to meet more people. (Check out this link on the Japanese concept of ikigai: https://medium.com/thrive-global/ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life-might-just-help-you-live-a-more-fulfilling-9871d01992b7)

As for your major in college, I would say go with something that you really like rather than taking marketing just because it is something that you might do as a career. I myself had an undergraduate degree in journalism, the most important thing I learned was how to think, learn and interact with people. The skills I picked up? They are now useless. You can learn about the latest SEO tricks, CRM software in weeks. The technical skills are the easy part. Mastery of analytical thinking, mental models are the tough part.

Also you can meet and learn more from people on Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn or your social network of choice too. Key is to explore and just get your name out there.

Hope that helps.

Kinan
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Megan’s Answer

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Hello Tara,

As a recent college marketing graduate, here are some tips to jump start a career in marketing in high school:

1. Join clubs related/associated with marketing. Whether your school offers a marking club, there are other clubs to join to practice marketing skills. Student council, yearbook, language clubs all require work related to marketing skills. Being on student council really helped me realize that marketing was something I wanted to pursue in college.
2. Take any technical classes such as digital imaging, excel classes, etc. (if your school offers them). A lot of entry level marketing roles involve digital content so having some technical skills already would put you one step ahead.
3. Marketing is such a broad topic, so be open for different opportunities that arise. You never know where one job can lead you and snowball into new opportunities.

Best of luck!
Thank you so much. I will definitely invest my time with school opportunities from the ones you have listed. Tara W. Translate
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Lorena’s Answer

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During my college years i would follow conferences or events that were taking place in my area and would sign up to volunteer. That allowed me to experience what it looks like being behind the scenes of making an event successful. This really help me in determining what i wanted to do within the marketing/events realm
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halee’s Answer

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Interestingly, you can come from any number of different disciplines. Some people on our marketing team have a background in Dolphin Training. No joke. Some have worked in matchmaking. Also, no joke. It’s almost more important to acquire skills than think about specific majors. Sample n include: writing (grammar and sentence structure are important), knowing how to convey complex concepts in simple terms (are you good at explaining things to your grandparents?), an eagerness to help out (most of our team members got into marking by volunteering to do marketing in their initial jobs). Try to do marketing things for whatever company you work for. When you’re in school look for relevant clubs and extra-curricular: school newspaper, yearbook club, managing websites, managing events, promoting events, organizing spirit weeks, student government. Startups are a great place to get started because they’re willing to help train up people who are new to a field.
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Tracey’s Answer

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Hello Tara,

I was a Marketing Major Degree for my Undergrad. I found that having a marketing degree was broad and could give me options to pursue many different career paths. I ended up working for a mortgage company as a summer job prior to my last year in college and was hired permanently post graduation as a Secondary Marketing Manager. Not truly knowing what that would entail, I was learning alot about mortgage and mortgage financing. I left that job to go to Fannie Mae where I have been for 25 years and would have never envisioned a role in mortgage financing, specifically customer relationship management - which is marketing yourself quite frankly to others. My advice is as you begin to explore opportunities, keep an open mind as it may surprise you in terms of what your career will look like.

All the best, Tracey Kosky
Thank you so much! I will definitely keep my mind open to all opportunities and ideas. Tara W. Translate
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Jeremy’s Answer

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Hi Tara,

Many tech companies in the Bay Area are more than happy to take on interns. In fact, I recommend going this route if you really want to gain marketing experience.

Interning at a tech company will allow you to explore the various functions in a marketing department. This is useful if you don't know which path you want to take.

As long as you make it clear that you're interested in seeing how every marketing function works, companies will ensure they put you with the right people.

I've spent my entire career in tech as a marketer (8+ years), so I'm happy to answer any questions you have.
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halee’s Answer

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- Tactical/technical skills (excel, presentation skills)
- Business or Humanities majors (but marketing is not limited to specific majors)
- Business fraternities/ sororities
- Build your own brand (social, web)
- Help out family/friends to build their brands
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Gwen’s Answer

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Usually, Marketing or any business concentration (Information System, Finance, etc) happens at graduate school (vs. undergraduate)

That said, you can get an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, and get involved in student clubs etc that focus on Marketing while in school
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Maryana’s Answer

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Hi Tara,

I recently completed a Data Analytics: Marketing course at the Fashion Institute of Technology and learned a lot! The instructor provided tons of articles that can be read online and there are a lot of free courses out there as well.

My advice would be to networking with people in the industry and read a few books and articles on marketing. There are so many resources out there for free! You can even create your own blog and learn google analytics, which I highly recommend!

Hope this helps!
Maryana
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Peter’s Answer

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Hi Tara - learning marketing and information systems is a fantastic idea! Learning marketing will give you a super-solid foundation in consumer theory, behavior, sentiment, experience while learning information systems will give you a good idea on this new vast world of marketing in a digital world with more and more digital natives as your potential market. I think that the marketing + information systems union has endless opportunities. Hope this helps. Good luck! - Peter
Thank you for the reassurance it's just what I needed! Tara W. Translate
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halee’s Answer

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Depending on your college, if they don’t have a dedicated Marketing major you could look towards majors in Writing, Communications, or Business. My College did not have a dedicated Marketing major so I majored in Communications, minored in Creative Writing, got an extension certificate in Marketing (through the school), and focused on getting Marketing Internships. If you want to study Marketing outside of school, there are a ton of online classes that are free & paid. I would suggest Linkedin Learning and Google courses.
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Helen’s Answer

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Product management, Pricing, Product Line operations, Business strategy. I studied marketing and I and currently working as Pricing Sr Advisor. You have a lot of areas to chose from.
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Michele’s Answer

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A marketing degree can serve you well to pivot into many areas in business. There is nothing more important in a business setting then understanding your customer and what they need. This is a key study in marketing. Every business has a purpose and customer even if it is an internal customer. Using your marketing skills to dissect and under stand the want and need of your customer is key. I was a marketing major but for some of my additional course work I also took a few psychology classes. What better way to get an understanding of people, emotions, etc.

I am now in the banking and real estate industry. Most home purchases are peoples largest investment. When they walk through a home to purchase, they are not thinking about...wow I am making a great investment...they are thinking ...I will put the couch here and pick their kids bedrooms. Marketing of a property then turns into a more of an emotional experience.

Its the same way with advertising and sales; how can you get people to fall in love with your product? the marketing piece gets you the break down of your potential target market of ages of people likely to use your product. Learning how and why they buy certain things will be helpful as well. Why do you think coke uses a white fluffy bear in their winter soda adds?

Look all around you in your everyday life... marketing principals and practices are all around you. Where do you shop? Grab a soda? what type of soda? The shoes you bought...why those?

Now you just have to decide: what part of the marketing experience surrounding you everyday makes you excited....and turn that into your goal.
Thank you so much! This was extremely helpful! Tara W. Translate
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Virginia’s Answer

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While internships/externships are often required for some colleges, I found that it's also possible for you to do these types of "internship" while you're not quite there yet (or even after). In order for me to gain experience, I did some pro-bono work for several local charities where they needed a hand or two with marketing (mostly social media). If you're unsure whether you'd prefer marketing, IT, or even both, this could be a good opportunity for you to get experience in either field, as many non-profit organizations need more help than none. This is also a good relationship building opportunity for when you're pursuing further education after high school. Good luck!
Thank you so much for you're advice. Tara W. Translate
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