So you’re intrigued by a career in marketing and communications? Here’s a brief rundown of what you can expect, from roles and responsibilities to pay and... parties.
Marketing and communications - or marcomms - can be a fabulously rewarding industry to work in. It’s a discipline that touches every type of sector, every type of audience and every type of communicative medium. From printing toner to prosecco, marketing encompasses every product you can think of.
This expansive nature of marketing as a discipline means there’s huge scope to follow your specific interests and build a career that makes it easy to get out of bed on a rainy Monday morning.
Multiple jobs fall under the marcomms umbrella - from creative roles such as copywriting, illustration and graphic design to analytical positions concerned with plotting consumer trends and studying the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. There are jobs where you have the same responsibilities day in, day out. And there are jobs where every day offers something different. A lot depends on the sector you work in and the type of career you’d like to pursue.
Here’s just a small selection of some of the common responsibilities that fall under the marcomms umbrella.
•Planning marketing strategies and advertising campaigns
•Social media management
•Liaising with clients and briefing creatives - such as copywriters or animators
•Creating PR campaigns and writing press releases
•Acting as a guardian of the way a brand looks and communicates
•Writing blog posts, newsletters and brochures
•Analysing the results of marketing campaigns
•Organising trade shows
•Arranging events and product launches
•Buying advertising space and managing advertising spend
What do you need to succeed?
A selection of some of the skills you’ll need to star in marcomms:
•Effective time management - both managing your daily to-do list and being alert to the timeframes of a long-term project
•Ability to work well under pressure and hit deadlines
•Consumer and product awareness
•Excellent written and verbal communication
•Imagination and the ability to conceptualise and communicate abstract ideas
•Social media expertise and digitally savvy
•Strong attention to detail
•Empathy and the ability to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience
Keen to work in a certain sector?
Every sector needs marketing professionals. Maybe you want to specialise in pharmaceuticals. Or energy drinks. Or the music business. Perhaps you would like to work in the third sector and help to drive the charity donations that change lives. Or maybe you are business savvy and want to specialise in B2B marketing.
When it comes to marketing, let’s just say you won’t be stuck for choice.
Agency, client-side or self-employed?
You have three options when it comes to the type of business you work for. Firstly, you could work for an agency, filled with marketing specialists who look after the marketing deliverables for a range of different clients. The work can be incredibly varied, you will be juggling multiple projects at once and often working under pressure to hit tight deadlines.
Secondly you could work client-side. That would mean working for the business who owns the product or service you are marketing and working in-house to conceive marketing campaigns and brief external suppliers or agencies if necessary. Working client-side puts you a lot closer to the product/services you are marketing and allows you to specialise, but there’s often less variety compared to agency life.
The third option is to become a freelancer and build your own business as a self-employed expert. To be successful you will need strong skills in at least one area - such as copywriting, design or brand strategy. Going it alone can be incredibly liberating and rewarding. But be prepared to put in the hard yards and long hours to build up your reputation and client base while reacting to tight deadlines. Brawny powers of self-discipline are essential.
Working hours and travel
With most marcomm jobs, it’s likely you’ll be sticking to regular business hours: 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday. However, you may sometimes be expected to stay late when there’s a tight deadline that cannot be missed.
Depending on your job title and the brand/service you work for, you could also find yourself regularly attending trade shows and brand events - sometimes during evenings and weekends. There’s also the opportunity for travel, especially when you are associated with global businesses or famous brands.
What will you earn?
As you can imagine in such a varied profession, salaries vary wildly in marketing and communications. Starting salaries range from around £16,000 - £22,000. Senior professionals can earn around £50,000. And if you get to the very top of your profession, you can expect to take home in excess of £100,000.
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