Fantastic guest blog including the skills you need to work in marketing by Claire Sweet, Student Ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) South West:

My route into Marketing

It was when I was coordinating the internal communications for ScrewFix that I first got to spend time with their marketing team. We would meet and discuss all the latest marketing campaigns that were planned so I could keep my team updated and informed.

I always looked forward to the marketing meetings because I was very interested in the campaigns, how these affected the business, and the calls expected to come in – as well as all the exciting creative that went along with each project.

Being in a communications role was very similar to marketing because I was ‘marketing’ the marketing campaigns to the staff, who would then be aware of that was happening in order to be able to talk to customers about it and recognise any details customers may have, such as voucher codes etc.

I expressed an interest and was lucky enough to be given a 6-week secondment on a new project…I stayed in the marketing team until I left Screwfix 6 years later!

Starting as a Marketing Assistant

My first marketing project was for a new store concept and I was really lucky to be able to learn the ‘trade’ during this time (not that you ever stop learning)!

I learned all about the 7 Ps and how every ‘P’ links to the next. I learned how to put together a store launch plan, a PR plan and put together a new catalogue. It was a fantastic experience and I was lucky enough to be able to then study for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Level 4 Certificate as well.

Seizing opportunities

After achieving my Level 4, I was promoted to Marketing Manager and managed several teams. Then I took a year outside of the marketing roles and became the PA to the Marketing Director and the Operations & Property Director!

This was an incredible way to learn more about marketing from the director’s point of view. I was able to gain a great insight into the day to day role of a marketing director, understand his thinking and how things worked. And it gave me a great chance to make some important contacts.

During this time, I also studied for my CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing Level 6 to further my education and skills. I love to learn the theory alongside the job: I believe that continuing to learn can only make us better and more equipped in our roles.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

I was looking for other ways to become more involved in marketing and, last year, I was lucky enough to gain a place as the Student Ambassador on the South West Board of the CIM.

My role involves chatting to potential as well as to new students about the course(s) and about the CIM as someone who has been where they are – studying hard to get an essay in on time or revising for that final exam!

What skills do you need to be a Marketer?

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

Communication skills – you need to enjoy talking to people, be interested in them and generally have great communication skills, both conversational and written.

Creativity – you need to be creative and be fascinated by new ideas and concepts.

Attention to detail – have an eye for detail and be analytical.

Computing skills – you also need good ITC skills.

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

There’s so much variety

I particularly love marketing because we are always learning about customers, learning about their wants and needs and learning about the impact of marketing campaigns.

No two days are ever the same and there’s no chance to get bored – I love that the most. I love meeting new people and working with like-minded enthusiastic marketers.

Getting the chance to talk to your customers and create new ways to make decision making easier for them and seeing the impact of a particular campaign is incredibly rewarding.

And finally …

The title of this blog is ‘Why I chose marketing as a career’…but actually I think it chose me. Sometimes paths just happen and you end in a career that you love and a job that is rewarding.

With many thanks for this amazing guest blog to Claire Sweet, Student Ambassador for CIM South West!

Find more about the Chartered Institute of Marketing on their website and @CIM_Exchange. ‏ ‏ It’s Your Future – Let’s Get It Started!

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