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what is the worst thing about marketing

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Andy’s Answer

Marketing is no doubt one of the most critical functions of a business. It informs both product decisions and sales decisions, while providing the demand that any business needs to thrive. That said, it too is a job. Here is a look at what marketing is and isn't:

- It's NOT "Mad Men": If you've seen the show Mad Men, you might think that marketing is just the art of finding creative ways to present a particular product or service. Think, jingles, slogans or ad campaigns. Unfortunately - that's not accurate. While advertising agencies do have creative teams who do this - it's not how MOST marketer spend their day. Instead:

- Marketing IS analytical: Many people gravitate toward marketing because it's less mathematical then finance or accounting. However, don't be fooled: it's not just art either. In the new digital world, marketing involves a great deal of analytical work. From tracking ad performance data to spotting trends in sales data or demographic data, marketers spend a lot of time looking at and analyzing numbers. Since creative people tend to choose marketing, this can often be disappointing - as it means less time spent doing creative work and more time doing analysis.

- Marketing is NOT a get-rich-quick plan: Relative to Sales, Finance and Accounting, Marketing is not the best paid discipline. Most entry-level marketers make no more than $50-60k annually, and can make even less as interns or in smaller companies. This number grows only SLOWLY over the next few years. Also, marketing rarely has a "variable income" or "commission" portion to it's compensation. This means that performance doesn't reflect income as much as in some other disciplines (like sales or finance).

- Marketing IS general: In business school (if you go, which you should), you will learn a ton about marketing as a general discipline. You will learn how to make marketing plans, how to determine the 4 P's for your business (Product, Place, Price, Promotion) how to do marketing analysis for an industry or company, etc. What you won't do as much, is learn the inner-workings of Marketing softwares (like Salesforce, Hubspot, Marketo), the tactical day-to-day tasks like managing ad campaigns, and the specifics of marketing in any one given industry. As a result, you'll graduate as a good GENERAL marketer, but without any "specific set of unique skills". It's IMPERATIVE that you specialize or accrue some HARD skills in addition to your degree. For example, take a post-graduate certificate in marketing for a specific industry. OR, take the Google AdWords certification. OR, take the Salesforce certification. Do SOMETHING to show potential employers that you understand the technologies they use and have some specific knowledge that might be relevant to their business.

- Marketing IS Fascinating: With all of this said, marketing is one of the most unique and exciting fields in all of business. From analyzing potential markets, to building brands, designing promotional campaigns, studying consumer behaviour and tendencies, optimizing your product and promotion to please your customers, the marketing role can be EXTREMELY interesting and rewarding. The key, is to remember that like any job, it requires hard work, analytical thinking, some math, some research and definitely some technology. If you're a creative or social type that was drawn to marketing, just be prepared for that reality. You will get to use your creativity, but not every day.

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Jordan’s Answer

Marketing is not a get-rich-quick job choice.

The client may want things that don't make sense, remember you are the expert and just need to be able communicate why it isn't the best strategy.

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Patrícia’s Answer

I'm a proud Marketing Manager and I've been working in the field for about 6 years now.
I wouldn't say there's an absolute worst thing about it, but I can admit some challenges.
Living in a Digital world, it's highly important that you track marketing initiatives so that you can understand the performance you're getting, and ultimately, getting the impact and getting to the goals you want to achieve.
Sk with thus, something that can be challenging is finding a way to measure all initiatives, this means that you should be able to define a clear and measurable result (increase views in website by 12%, decrease the bounce rate by 10%, doubling the number of subscribers, generate a pipeline for sales on this product of 5k dollars, etc.). You see what I mean? You need a number in it. What often is challenging in marketing departments is working with vanity metrics (for instance you may have had an increase if website views, but did the sales come up?), so stepping away from the vanity metrics may be hard sometimes.
Also, for you to be able to measure the performance of your initiatives you need a good backbone of tools which help you measure and regularly pull the data out, unfortunately getting the data is hard when companies don't have the necessary tools.
With this, even with the data, you need to be extremely critical and analitycal when working with it and getting a report to analyze the information, which can easily be done wrong.
So I guess this is the "worst" thing about marketing (I put it on quotes because I see it as awesome challenges to tackle) :
- Stepping away from vanity metrics mindset
- Limitations on having an efficient backbone for the data
- Work with the right data to get a report that matches the information you need to analyze initiatives
I hope this helps.
Marketing is an awesome area if you want to go on that route, so I hope you don't think of any of this as bad, but more as "I'd have very few doll moments working in marketing" :)