There is so much opportunity in sales, marketing and advertising! If this is where your interest lie then you're in for a really interesting career. Here's the short list!
Retail sales associate
Social media manager
Sales and marketing manager
And the list goes on!!
So now our next question is, what specifically do these roles do? Let's take "Insurance agent" for example. One could also call this role an "Insurance Salesman". Basically the role of an insurance agent involves selling! Or we could say, the role of an insurance agent is to provide a service. Or better yet, help their client select the service or product they need.
So, if you like one on one working with and helping people by providing them a service, sales might be for you! However, if you prefer to promote the same service by writing about it, you might prefer to be a "copywriter". Someone has to write all the brochures & price sheets, etc. Someone has to write the web pages of a web site! Someone has to write the emails that companies use to inform the public about their products and services.
This is just a peek at Marketing, Sales and Advertising... I hope this helps!
1. Linkedin Sleuthing
Choose your favorite brand. Is it Starbucks? Is it Spotify? Is it PlayStation? Head over to Linkedin, search and click on that business' page, click on their "People" tab, in the small search bar under that tab search "marketing" or "sales". You should see that company's employees start to filter! You can then click around and understand the ecosystem of their marketing world / job titles / career paths. You can even sleuth your way onto someone's profile with a job title you find interesting and see what experience they have that prepared them for the role! Very helpful, and a way to open the door to a possible informational interview.
2. Listen to Experts on Podcasts
I will list some of my favorite podcasts that offer a "deeper dive" into different career paths - to this day, it still opens my eyes and makes me think, "this is someone's job?!".
3. Always ask, "who was behind this?"
Just like Mark said in his answer, looking into "what specifically do these roles do?" is a powerful tool. Let's take a Superbowl ad for example! You may think that it was the brand who put the ad together - like State Farm or Budweiser. But the truth is, there is an army of marketing and advertising agency professionals that brought it to life. I will link an article to AdAge that lists the Superbowl ads AND the agency behind them to help you start to dig into that world...
Wishing you all the best on a successful and fulfilling career in marketing / sales / advertising!
Riley recommends the following next steps:
With a college emphasis on marketing, sales makes sense in terms of understanding the customer's business as to how best your products or services are applied to fit within their business needs. And, by selling to multiple types and sizes of businesses, you will garner significant knowledge relevant to their need for and employment of your product or services as well as an understanding of their various business models.
If successful, you will have garnered hands on knowledge and skills, honing academic credentials, now critical to Marketing and Product Management.
As you move to Product Management, you will be intimately involved with data analysis relevant to profiling your existing and new customers in order to meet current and future product needs. This will place you in a position to orchestrate, with engineering, existing product modifications as well as new product development. In addition, you will be intimately involved in terms of pricing your products to meet these customer needs, how your products are serviced as well as over sight of the approaches, presentation materials that the sales force will use to sell your products and services to targeted customer's.
Also, you will oversee the advertising for your products and services in such a way as to entice your targeted industries and customers to peak their interest in terms of wanting to know more about your products or services.
In my teens, while in college, I majored in marketing. I then became a salesman learning about my customer's businesses and needs. I was promoted to Product Manager with oversight of a group of products and services whose revenue exceeded one billion dollars. Armed with an academic background, combined with knowledge and experience in sales/marketing, profit and loss understanding for products and services, an understanding as to how other companies made money (business models) I moved ahead to eventual become President/CEO.
Bob recommends the following next steps:
As others have correctly mentioned here, there are lots of opportunities in the world of marketing. All those options can make getting started a little daunting. I've found that it is helpful to think about marketing roles in two categories: brand-focused roles and performance-marketing roles.
Brand roles - as you might expect, you are likely working directly for a brand (some agency and consulting work is also relevant here). In these types of roles, you are often thinking long-term about a brand, its products, its packaging, where it should be sold, potential product extensions (all the Ps and Cs of marketing if you've studied marketing in school). Advertising usually falls under brands as well. Essentially, in these types of roles you are the brand steward maximizing its health for the future. A lot of entry points into this career path are working for the brand in marketing research, sales operations, shopper marketing, or other marketing-adjacent roles. Lots of people also get their start in this field working for a marketing agency or consulting company. You can also start in a performance marketing field (see below) and make your way over to the brand side. Find people on Linkedin that have Brand Manager in their title, and look at the jobs they had previously to get to those fields.
Performance marketing roles - these roles are focused on marketing activities such as email marketing, traditional/digital media, social media, loyalty programs, analytics, content development and e-commerce. These roles generally focus on campaigns, orchestrating all of these activities to generate awareness, traffic, or revenue depending on the goal of the campaign. This side of the marketing world is increasingly driven by emerging technology, which means that there are often businesses looking to hire people that know how to use a specific tool/technology that is relatively new. A good way to meet this need is to get certified for a tool (i.e. Adobe Campaign, Google Analytics). I know a lot of people that got their start with an Adobe Campaign or Analytics certification.
The more marketing professionals that I have talked to, the more I have realized that there isn't a blueprint for making it into the world of marketing. While this can be frustrating, I think it is helpful to have an understanding of the different types of functions/jobs that exist in marketing. From there, you can begin to target your networking/career search efforts.
Best of luck!
Tracy recommends the following next steps: