If you are in school, college or Uni – perhaps studying Business – and if you have great communication skills, a flair for new ideas, an eye for detail, and you are analytical, then a career in Marketing might just be worth a look…

With local universities and colleges – such as UWE, City of Bristol College and Yeovil College – offering pure Marketing courses whilst Marketing is also a part of broader subjects elsewhere – such as Business or Management degrees and apprenticeships – this is a fantastic region to be studying such an exciting subject, and one that is relevant to so many future careers.

To find out more, we went straight to the experts: The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) – who have over 28,000 members worldwide, including more than 3,000 Chartered Marketers.

So, what is Marketing?

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) define Marketing as ‘the management process which identifies, anticipates, and supplies customer requirements efficiently and profitably’.

Marketing basically involves examining every aspect of a business and analysing the customer experience at each stage of a sale. You use market research to also identify – or anticipate – a problem / desire that people would like solved.

If a company has a new product or service that people or businesses want – and are prepared to pay for – marketers need to work out the details, such as:

  • What your product or service will look like?
  • How many do you think you will sell?
  • How will people buy it – online, from a shop, from a distributor?
  • How will you let potential customers know about the product or service?
  • How do you charge the right price for it? Bearing in mind, if the price is too low, you won’t make any money or if it’s too high, people won’t buy it.

What are your career options?

Marketing includes a broad range of disciplines and a lot of career options. You could work within a business and specialise in market research, product development, branding, customer service or communications such as PR, advertising or social media.

Or you might choose to work in marketing and advertising agencies, in roles such as client management, producing content for websites and social media, scheduling advertising, packaging design or developing TV and online advertising campaigns to name just a few roles available.

There are many routes that can help you get into Marketing

Degrees and HNDs – Management and Business Management degrees will give you a great insight into all business disciplines and include marketing modules or you can place more emphasis on marketing disciplines with a straight ‘Marketing’ degree.

CIM works with many of the leading UK universities (Graduate Gateway) across the South West to map the content of their marketing and business degrees against learning outcomes for CIM professional qualifications – it means you will become an Affiliate of the world’s largest membership community of professional marketers and this will help you get ahead once you have graduated.

Apprenticeships – As an apprentice you will be in paid employment and can complete a marketing apprenticeship, which has been designed by employers to ensure it gives you the most up to date skills and great onward career prospects.

Studying for professional marketing qualifications – Once in work you can study for a CIM qualification on-line or via our study centres across the South West. There is a wide range of professional qualifications to choose from, starting with Level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing (e.g. City of Bristol College) to a Level 7 Post graduate Diploma in Marketing.

Work experience

There are several ways you can find out more about marketing and get relevant experience which will help with your CV and Personal Statement.

Work experience placements in Year 10 or above – Most medium sized businesses or organisations will have a bespoke marketing department. Securing a placement in such a department will give you hands on experience and an understanding of the different tasks undertaken. Large companies and corporations will usually have the marketing department based at their head offices. Often, in very small businesses the owner or manager will undertake the marketing function, themselves, so less opportunity for you to experience a full range of marketing tasks.

Organising events and fundraising – If you have been involved in organising a fundraising, school or club event – you have probably encountered many marketing disciplines first hand i.e. planning, identifying your target customer, promoting the event, working out the cost per head and/ or collecting the money. It’s all great marketing experience and a good case study for you to use on your CV or to talk about in an interview.

School enterprise projects – Get involved with a school enterprise project. These projects will help you develop the employability skills that employers demand. You will learn about enterprise, how to set up a business and the different business disciplines that make a business successful.

Part-time employment – If you are considering getting a part time job for the holidays or on Saturdays, think about securing a ‘sales’ or ‘customer service’ role in a shop, café or restaurant for example. You will learn a lot about people, pricing, sales, customer service and business systems – all vital skills for a marketer. Review your experiences and include in your CV, consider what skills you have learnt and how they could transfer to your dream job.

And finally … what skills do you need to be a Marketer?

Understanding people and what drives them to behave in the way they do is the foundation of all marketing.

It means you need to enjoy talking to people, be interested in them and be fascinated by new ideas and concepts. You need to have great communication skills, both conversationally and written. And you need to be creative, have an eye for detail, have good ITC skills and be analytical.

Take a look at the subjects you enjoy studying to see if marketing is right for you.

With many thanks to the CIM for this amazing guest blog! @CIM_Exchange ‏ ‏

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