The Marketing and Communications is a field that's always evolving and there's always something new to learn. Getting your marketing degree is an excellent way to launch your career and here are a handful of tips to help you engage at a deeper level with your career path.
1. Never Stop Learning
Are you the type of person who would remain a student forever if they could? Well, in the field of marketing, you can kind of get away with this. Throughout your career, you'll always have to find ways to keep your skills sharp. In the '90s, marketing professionals didn't have to worry about social media—does that mean that these individuals just stopped working? Of course not! They found ways to embrace the emerging technology (and combine it with their rich experience) to push their careers to a new level.
Here are a few resources marketers use to learn about new trends and skills:
- Website Analytics
Take Google Analytics Academy Courses to learn how to measure the impact of your website.
- Paid Search
Learn how to start a successful paid search campaign with Google AdWords Essentials. For a more in depth experience, pursue an AdWords certification.
- Inbound Marketing
HubSpot offers a free Inbound Marketing certification that covers a variety of topics, such as: blogging, social media, SEO, email marketing, and more.
If you prefer an in-person experience, see if there's a conference you can attend to learn more. As a student, seek out a discounted student rate to help make the experience affordable for you. Some student discounts reduce the price to as low as $75, while other options are pricier. Take a look at Forbes list of Marketing Conferences To Check Out In 2019, and a quick search online will display dozens more.
2. Plan for the Future
You never know where your career will take you. Maybe one day you'll want to earn a master's degree in management. You could be drawn towards the analytical side of marketing or writing original content. To help keep your options open, you may want to strategically think about your course selections as an undergraduate major. For the MBA-bound marketing majors, be sure to take statistics as an undergraduate to help prep for your future studies. If you love blogging, perhaps take a few extra writing courses to help craft your voice.
3. Find Experience
If you don’t currently work in marketing, there are ways to get experience. At Granite State College, our Career Advisor helps students find flexible arrangements to volunteer or intern at companies remotely. If you have a favorite nonprofit organization in your community, find ways to get involved. You'll be able to learn from their staff and offer some ideas based on what you're learning in class. The key to being successful in any of these opportunities is consistency. If you can consistently contribute your time and talent to an organization (even if it's a few hours each week), you'll prove yourself to be someone they can count on and opportunities will come your way.
4. Remember the Bottom Line
As you learn more about marketing—and maybe even get involved with volunteering or interning—think critically about the work that you're doing and how it connects to the bottom line. How do the marketing activities generate revenue, earn new customers, or increase brand awareness? If you can start to make these connections early on as a student, you'll be prepared to contribute at a higher level.
5. Know How to Market Yourself
In marketing, it's easy to become a jack of all trades and master of none. While you should develop an understanding all components of the marketing mix, work to specialize in one or two. This will make it easier to market yourself when searching for job opportunities.
Once you get your foot in the door and start to land job interviews, prepare for your interview in a way that goes above the stock questions, like what is biggest strength or weakness. Kipp Bodnar, Chief Marketing Officer for the leading inbound marketing software HubSpot, has a specific set of questions he uses when interviewing candidates which assess candidates not only for their marketing talent, but also for who they are as people. In the Ultimate Guide to Marketing Interview Questions, he shares these questions—here's a preview!
Case-Style Interview Questions
- Draw a funnel on the whiteboard showing 10,000 visitors, 500 leads, 50 opportunities, and 10 new customers. Now, pretend you're the CMO for the company, and you have to decide what your marketing team should do to improve on these metrics. Which areas of the funnel would you focus on, and what would you do differently to change these results?
- We have two potential designs for the homepage of our website, but we don’t know which one to use. The CEO likes one, and the COO likes another. Half the company likes one, and the other half of the company likes the other. Which one should we use?
Marketing Internship Interview Questions
- What is one of your hobbies? How do you do it?
- What brands do you like or follow on social media and why?
Marketing Coordinator Interview Questions
- What do you read, and how do you consume information?
- What's an example of a lead-generating campaign you'd be excited to work on here?
- What are three components of a successful inbound or digital marketing strategy?
Interview Questions for Marketing Manager
- Why do you love marketing?
- Between videos, ebooks, blog articles, photos, podcasts, webinars, SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest ... there's a lot of potential content our team should produce for inbound marketing. How do we do it all?
- Let’s pretend we have very convincing data that shows none of our potential customers use social media. Should we still do it? Why?
Marketing Director Interview Questions
- We have a new product coming out in three months. What would you do to launch it?
- Our CEO wants you to evaluate our blog. What would you say?
- What's the main relationship between marketing and sales?
For more insight into the logic and strategy surrounding these questions (and tips crafting compelling responses), read Kipp Bodnar's full post.
6. Experiment on Social Media
If you haven't had the opportunity to manage a company's social media, don't let that stop you: create your own opportunities. If you love sports, follow the big game's hashtag during the action to see how things trend. Look closely at the Twitter feeds of some of your favorite brands to explore their approach and see what messages capture the most attention.
7. Brush Up on Copyright
Whether you need music for a video or an image for a blog post, at some point you'll be in a position when you need to curate content from other sources to support your marketing project. Become familiar with what you can and cannot use, and how to attribute credit appropriately.
Your local Chamber of Commerce offers Business After Hours to help connect you with local business, but if you seek a more marketing-focused networking event, search for Meet Ups or User Groups to attend. For example, designers can look up their local Adobe User Group, or join a virtual one. There are 125+ groups internationally including two in New Hampshire (Nashua and Durham), and two online.
9. Find Professional Associations
The American Marketing Association has nationwide networks, including a Chapter in Boston. Public Relations professionals can look into the Yankee PRSA, New Hampshire's local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
10. Stay Inspired
While the tactical side of marketing is extremely valuable, so is the creative side. Be sure to continue to nurture your creativity. Find a blog, podcast, book, or thought leader who inspires you and apply the lessons learned.
The #MarCom field moves fast and it can be overwhelming. Remember to have fun, keep learning, and look for support to strengthen your marketing career.
Editors Note: this post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated to incorporate emerging trends, best practices, and expanded insights.