What can you do with a marketing degree? Join Pete as he explains just how many different parts there are in a working marketing department.
Marketing can be a hard word to define. After all, it’s an area that encompasses so many different fields of study, all of which exist for a variety of different reasons. The great thing about the complexity of marketing is there are so many different places where you can find your own little niche. Advertising, promotions, social media, sales, research – these are just a few of the pieces that make up the marketing puzzle, and while all of these pieces may do different things, every one of them works towards the same two goals that nearly all aspects of marketing boil down to: attract new customers to your company and maintain the customers you already have.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Well, if the goal is that simple, why does the process need to be so complex?” Let me explain through example…
Let’s use a minor league baseball team. The team may already have a solid group of dedicated fans who follow every game played and every substitution made, but say they want to expand their fan base to a more general audience. This would be a job for the team’s marketing department, and to do this, they’d need to have a plan.
Creativity – it’s another great part of this career. Not only is creativity encouraged within a marketing department, many times it’s vital for success. This means there are many different ways our minor league baseball team can approach this task. Free giveaways, raffles, bobble head night – if it will attract fans, it’s probably fair game. So how does a marketing department decide which route to take? That’s where our first marketing career comes into play…
These are the guys who make sure the plan or project the department is thinking about starting is actually worth starting. They do this in a number of different ways – from monitoring and forecasting sales trends, to gathering and analyzing data on consumer behavior. In many cases, it’s through this research that the market research analyst can come up of an idea on their own.
So let’s say the market research analyst of this baseball team finds there has been a drastic increase in the amount of retail shopping from the people living in the surrounding area. So what do they do? They decide they’re going to give every person that enters the park a free book of special coupons to these stores. If the deal is good enough, people will show up to get their hands on this coupon book – even if they’re not baseball fans.
The marketing department has the idea, now they need to make it happen. Believe or not, there is a lot of work that’s going to go into this little coupon book: the stores need to be contacted and persuaded to take part in this wonderful opportunity for them; content for the actual needs to be written, reviewed and revised; and promotions need to be sent out to alert the public that the event is happening. All these jobs require different people with different skills within the marketing field – and all fall under the guidance of a marketing director.
Now the retail stores are on board, the content is ready and the public is aware of what’s going on. Just one last thing remains: the book has to be designed. It may not be the most obvious career choice in marketing, but graphic design is just as important to a marketing department as the more traditional roles. Remember, the whole purpose of marketing is to reach people – through visuals as well as words. With the help of a professional graphic designer, the coupon book will not only be useful, it’ll also look good and perhaps prompt its owner to show it to their friends.
That’s marketing in a nutshell. Which step in the marketing process with you end up completing? Will you become a jack-of-all-trades? What can you do with a marketing degree? Only one way to find out…
Pete the Panther