Marketing

 

Overview

At a very general level, marketing is broadly about finding out what customers want, then setting out to meet their needs through promoting and selling products and services. Marketing as a discipline is made up of a number of components such as market research, product and service development, price setting, advertising and other forms of promotion, distribution and selling.

Another way to conceptualise is to use the 7P’s of the marketing mix: develop the product, with the right packagingposition it correctly in the marketplace, promote it at the right price to achieve a reasonable profit with the right people.

While making a profit is a core objective for commercial organisations, marketing is also done by the public sector, e.g. to promote services or campaigns, like those associated with quitting smoking, and by charities and interest groups to raise awareness, influence opinions or to raise money.

Although some organisations develop, manage and implement all their own marketing activities, in many instances expertise in different areas of the marketing mix is bought in from specialists. These include marketing consultancies, specialist market research, direct-marketing, sales promotion, advertising and PR agencies. One distinction when thinking about career paths then is between in-house and agency roles.

Typical marketing divisions

Advertising

The process of promoting an idea/product into the marketplace through media placement. See advertising for more information.

Community involvement

Good for moral within the company and showing a caring side to the local community, community involvement consists of working with the local community. This could be through sponsoring local events, being part of local associations, chairing meetings, or volunteering in schools or local youth centres. It could also involve reaching the local community in an online arena.

Customer service

Part of the desired relationship and image the consumer has of a company or product. Customer service is important from start to finish.

Direct marketing

Is a form of advertising which delivers its message to consumers through forms such as fliers, leaflets, catalogues and street promotion. 

Distribution

Part of the management chain of sending one product from storage to the retail outlet.

Market research

Generally specialising in quantitative or qualitative research a market researcher collects and analyses information which is used by companies to make informed decisions about their product or person. Will guide your decisions by getting data and information from the market, potential customers and competitors to inform your marketing strategy.

Media planning

Deals with finding the most appropriate media outlet for a client's brand or product.

Product pricing

Looks at the current market, product competition, consumer types, cost of production to set a suitable price for a product.

Public relations

The ongoing promotion of the reputation of a product/person in order to change opinions or influence support. See Public relations for more information.

Sales

Planning and supporting your sales teams by driving forwards sales targets and formulating a plan as to how to reach your customers in order to meet these targets.

Typical agency divisions

Account handling

Involves working closely with clients, relationship building and ensuring the project runs on time and to budget within the agency, and coordinating all parties within and outside the agency to ensure the project runs smoothly. Responsible for constructing a marketing strategy for the business through understanding the company's objectives.

Creative

Responsible for the delivery and quality of the final product. They will work with all departments to ensure the product is as the customer requires.

New business

This department is responsible for sourcing new clients. If this department does not exist senior account holders tend to take the lead.

Planning and research

Responsibilities include planning the media output, the strategic direction of the marketing of the brand and gaining qualitative and quantitative consumer and industry insights.

Useful Information

Routes in

Work experience and internships

Fifty per cent of positions within marketing are not advertised. Therefore, gaining work experience or doing an internship can be important to help you get your first marketing role. Many people are offered their first marketing role by performing well in a work experience or internship position.

Most marketing work experience is gained through speculative applications and networking. There are some formal internship and work experience placements available but these are competitive. 

Consider voluntary positions within marketing departments or agencies. LSE CareerHub lists voluntary positions as well as paid.

Trade journals can be a good source of information regarding companies who offer work experience. 

Some students gain valuable experience by becoming a brand manager at their university. A company will hire you (don't necessarily expect to get paid) to promote their brand on campus. This is great experience as you can be involved with organising brand launch events, market research, sponsorship, product sampling and sales promotion. Getin2marketing has a list of companies which offer this position.

Graduate training schemes

See advertising, media, marketing and PR deadline dates for marketing grad scheme deadline dates.

For more graduate schemes see Prospects and employers’ websites. Visit our resource centre to pick up copies of the Times top 100 graduate employers, The Guardian UK 300 and TARGETjobs which list employers with graduate vacancies.

You can also search LSE CareerHub for graduate jobs and find organisations who are coming on to campus to recruit LSE graduates.

Getting a job

As mentioned above, fifty percent of positions within this sector are not advertised. Therefore, networking can be very important. Email or ring your contacts, explaining you are looking for a role (know which role you are interested in) - they may have something that would suit you or pass on your details to colleagues or friends who are looking  for someone to fill the type of position you are looking for. Similarly, tell your friends you are looking for a job and they may pass your details onto someone in the industry. 

Many job hunters within this sector make speculative applications to companies they are interested in working in. Do your research into the company as recruiters and markting professionals can tell the difference between a tailored cover letter and CV and one that is sent to hundreds of companies.

LinkedIn is a great way to expand your networks or contact people in the industry. Some professionals on LinkedIn may be willing to meet for a coffee to discuss their role or the industry. Why not make contact with relevant professionals and ask them politely?

Alternatively, Do work experience or an internship, perform well and the employer may want to take you on in a permanent role.

Create your own media

Another way to increase your employability is to build up a portfolio and experience by creating your own media.

Job roles

Overview

The complexity of the marketing sector is reflected in the wide range of job titles, roles and career paths available. An in-house role means you are effectively working on the organization's marketing whether that be for a specific brand/product line (e.g. in FMCG) or for the company overall. Particularly in smaller companies these roles can be quite broad and involve elements of planning, promotion, market research, media relations and advertising and PR. An agency based position offers the opportunity to specialize in a particular ‘type’ of marketing early in your career.

Marketing careers can be developed in a number of ways: by specializing in a marketing function such as research, communications, brand management; or in a type of marketing, such as product, service, consumer or business to business (B2B); or within a sector, such as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), financial services, public, not for profit or entertainment; or in a marketing consultancy or agency, developing marketing strategies and campaigns for clients or providing expertise on a specific aspect of marketing, such as sales promotion.

Typical agency roles

Account director

In charge of the accounts team, ensures projects runs on time and to budget and sources new clients. This position requires about five years agency experience and a history of working with blue chip clients.

Account executive

Liaise with your own team and other teams within the agency to ensure the smooth running of a client's account. As you gain more experience in this entry-level position an account executive may have contact with clients.

Account manager

Manages entire accounts to ensure campaigns are delivered on time, on budget and to the client's requirements. Tends to require 2-3 years of agency experience.

Client services manager

Ensures all aspects of the client interaction is fruitful and profitable. They work closely with designated clients to ensure the development of marketing strategies and brand promotion. With careful management they are also able to drive high profit for the agency.

Communications planner

Uses consumer data to develop marketing strategies from analysis of consumer behaviours and characteristics. They contribute to creating an effective marketing plan.

Data planner

Add value to a client's portfolio by analysing and evaluating data to make sound marketing suggestions.

Group account director

Provides support, management and advice to the team of account handlers. They develop communication and promotional strategies for clients and create financial reports, forecasting revenue and profit.

Media planner

Works with clients enabling them to meet company objectives by using their marketing budget to create advertisement through appropriate media platforms. Work includes creating a plan to do this. Using above the line advertising methods, media planners are also increasingly having to construct advertising campaigns which target individuals, use digital methods, product placement and new emerging methods.

Promotions manager

Handles all aspects of promoting a product, ensuring they stay within financial and brand guidelines. This work involves below-the-line activities.

Production manager

Has overall responsibility for ensuring a marketing campaign functions smoothly.

Research manager

Identifies the type of information needed for a client's project and sources it, taking into account market trends. A research manager would work in collaboration with the brand planner and client services team. They also take an all round interest in worldwide developments and conduct research into competitors' activity. 

Market researcher / Research executive

Help clients make effective decisions about their product through researching and analysing information about customer opinions. Finding out what the market wants, what people buy, who buys what, when, where, format (quant) and why people choose the brand, why do they buy that product (focus group, qualitative methods). Works with brand strategy, marketing and trend setting.

Typical client side roles

Brand manager / Product manager / Brand planner

Responsible for conveying a positive image and improving the reputation of the brand to customers. Interested in strategy (is it in line with what the customer is after), long term and short term brand marketing plans, implementing events for a specific brand or sub-brand, market data and customer insights.

Campaign manager

Working on a number of campaigns simultaneously a campaign manager needs to be up to date with the company brand, its positioning and how other products and services relate to the brand. They communicate with the research team in order to fully understand the consumer's wants, needs and characteristics. 

Channel marketing manager

Responsible for promoting the brand/product/service to specific trade sectors. Manages the marketing process in order to increase profit within the sectors.

Business analyst

Keeps up to date with movements and changes in the company's business. Tracks information relevant to the industry and encourages company profit and growth through high quality research.

Communications co-ordinator

Manages the communications side of a marketing campaign, which includes writing and getting published news stories about the product, managing online content for the product and a wide range of copywriting duties. They also manage the communications budget and communicate news to colleagues. 

Customer information manager

Responsible for looking at customer data to predict buying trends in order to make suggestions to increase customer satisfaction with a view to improving sales. 

Customer insight manager

A research focused role, the customer insight manager promotes the use of good/innovative research across the company informing their colleagues of the benefits of research. They manage the research agenda across the company and encourage the business to incorporate research into their business plans. They also commission external companies to conduct research (qual and quant) and use this data to evaluate trends and make recommendations. 

Customer relationship manager

Uses cross-selling and up-selling to drive targeted, well-timed marketing campaigns to consumers, using profiles of existing customers to target new consumers. 

Direct marketing executive

Responsible for marketing a product or service to current and potential clients through targeted marketing campaigns and strategies. This role also includes meeting with clients to discuss products and services and ensuring the campaign runs smoothly. They may also manage budgets. 

Digital marketing executive

Digital marketers are involved in developing an organisation's multi-channel communication strategies with a focus on using technology and social media. Key areas include using eg Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to increase customer reach, search engine optimisation (SEO), mobile marketing and pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

Marketing communications manager

With over six years' experience in a variety of marketing roles, the marketing communications manager creates and implements the marketing strategy and develop effective marketing communications. They also manage projects inline with brand requirements and tight deadlines. 

Marketing executive / Sales promotion marketing executive

This role can involve many aspects of the marketing process, including planning, advertising, PR, product development, distribution and research. A marketing executive would be expected to have an overall view of a marketing plan and implement this through liaison with various colleagues and the client. They would also be in charge of devising and coordinating plans for promotion of a product, in order to increase sales.

Marketing manager

Looks after the strategic direction of all marketing activities in the company, ensuring the product matches the brand.