Marketing skills and qualifications open up career opportunities in company marketing departments, marketing consultancies, advertising agencies and market research firms. Although the specific skill requirements may vary from job to job, the traits needed for success in marketing are consistent across the career spectrum. Good marketing people are first-class communicators, good team players and skilled project managers, with excellent analytic and creative skills.
Communication skills are an essential trait for a marketing career. In developing and presenting your marketing plans, you will communicate with the senior management team, finance director and sales manager. To obtain product information for marketing programs, you need to communicate with product managers and technical staff. You will also need to communicate with external specialists such as advertising agency staff, marketing consultants and other marketing services providers to explain your requirements.
Marketing professionals need to have good analytical skills. You will be reviewing many different types of research reports providing statistics on factors such as market size, product sales, market share, consumer demographics and competitive activity. You need to understand and interpret the data so that you can make informed decisions on marketing strategy.
You need to understand the creative process to succeed in marketing. Part of your role is to brief creative staff such as designers and copywriters so that they can develop marketing material that communicates effectively with customers and prospects. Although you will not be developing creative work yourself, you must be able to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the creative work that others produce.
Marketing programs require careful project management to deliver results on time. You must be able to identify the different stages of a marketing program, establish a realistic schedule and allocate a budget. When the program is underway, you will need to coordinate the work of different specialists and suppliers to ensure the program meets its targets.
You must be a good player to work in marketing. In a company marketing department, you may be working with other marketing professionals, including marketing directors, marketing managers and specialists, such as public relations managers or research managers. Your own success depends on your ability to collaborate with colleagues inside and outside the marketing department. If you are working in an external marketing agency, you need to be able to build effective working relationships with your clients as well as colleagues within your company.
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