Before you make a move into marketing, get some insight into this interesting profession -it might just be the career of your dreams.
In recent years, the popularity of marketing as a career has increased greatly. More and more people are studying it straight out of high school and are even specialising in specific areas of marketing. If you’re anything like me, you’ve pretended to know what marketing means but you actually have no idea.
So… What is Marketing?
During a meeting with Dom Litkie, EduOne’s marketer, we started talking about what marketing really is. With a smile on her face, she started explaining how many different marketing definitions there are and how opinions differ on the meaning of marketing.
Traditionally marketing is defined as:
“the communication of the product, or service, to a specific audience.”
In Dom’s opinion, marketing is:
“All of the details about your product or service being portrayed are processed by the customer who then forms a perception. The communication that you do behind a product/service and the perception of that product or service needs to line up. Marketing is all about the communication of the product/service and how the customer perceives it.”
Marketing is used everywhere and in every situation. Whether you’re conscious of it or not. A simple example of marketing is this: the way you dress and present yourself to people will show how you want them to perceive you. It’s how you communicate with people without talking to them. If you dress formally for an interview, they will automatically view you in a better light than if you pitched up in gym clothes. In essence, you’re selling yourself to prospective employers or potential friends/partners.
Where Would You Work?
Marketing comes into play in every single department of a company. That’s why it would be beneficial for everyone to have a marketing mindset when it comes to the work they do. That being said, every company has a marketing department. Whether it be one person or twenty. A company needs someone who has the skill and knowledge in communication to help get the company to where they want it to be.
As you may have deduced, marketing is needed in every single business. No question about it. Dom says that marketing is needed to expose your product or service to the consumer. This is so that they can make use of your product or service in the way you intend.
If you’re an introvert and the word ‘communication’ just made you cringe – don’t worry. Introverts can still use their creativity and innovation in marketing. Dom says that anyone can get involved in marketing, as long as they have an interest in people and understand them.
How Would a Course in Marketing Benefit You?
There are various ways in which you can study marketing.
- Postgraduate course
- Short Courses
Dom has completed a postgraduate course in marketing. Despite having a formal qualification in this, she regularly does online courses to keep her knowledge and skills up to date.
With access to online courses being at an all-time high, anybody can do a marketing course. Even a basic knowledge would be highly beneficial to an individual, on a personal level. It can also be great for your business life. It will help you write up reports, talk to outsiders about your company or draft proposals for prospective clients.
Which Type of Qualification is Best?
Dom describes how a degree or diploma in marketing is very theoretical with only small parts of practical work incorporated into the course. Whereas with more practical online courses or postgraduate degrees, institutions will make courses more interactive. They encourage students to practice their skills while learning.
This enables them to have a broad knowledge upon graduation – in a practical and theoretical sense. Students get real-life experience. Nothing beats that, especially in the eyes of a prospective employer.
Find the Right Job
Marketing is a huge industry with many different facets. Due to this, people have started to get involved with more specific areas of marketing. First, you need to decide if you want to work for one specific client or if you would like to work for an agency.
With a client, you would be involved in every aspect of marketing, whether you work in a team or not. In an agency setting, you would be able to have a more specialised skill set that clients would consider valuable.
Some of the specialised fields include:
- Account Manager
- Account Director
- Media Planner
- Copy Writing
- Art Directing
Finding a job, whether it be for a client or agency, is pretty simple.
Meeting new people in the right industries will be highly beneficial for you, personally, or for your company. Go to events, join social networking groups, keep up to date with your qualification and keep in contact with the institution where you obtained your degree.
You can look online for jobs, but with marketing, networking is the best tool.
Keeping It Simple with CTC
Central Technical College (CTC) offers a full-time or part-time National N Diploma in Marketing Management. This qualification is great in the way that it equips you with technical, theoretical and practical knowledge that will benefit you greatly in the workplace. Once you have completed your academic studies, you will be required to complete 18 months of practical workplace learning.
The compulsory 18 months of practical workplace learning is great, in the sense that you will graduate with experience, real-life skill and you will have made contacts through the in-service training at a company. This makes you highly valuable to prospective employers and allows you to network too (and hopefully get a position).
The only requirement for this course is that you have obtained your National Senior Certificate, or the equivalent to that.
The Time is Now
CTC’s marketing course starts from R1 106 a month or R14 409 for a year of studies. The course will take 2 years to complete if studied full-time or part-time. Take the plunge and contact CTC to start applying and get your career going.
Dom’s last piece of advice for anyone interested in marketing (or any other field for that matter) is this:
“Be a curious sponge. Ask a lot of questions and absorb all of the information that you can.”
With all the start-ups taking off and the option of freelancing, marketing would only benefit your skill set. It will provide you with the knowledge too that’ll be valuable in any work setting – whether it be your own business, a large corporate or a start-up.