Marketing is a dynamic field, constantly changing to keep up with consumer preferences and demands. The continual changes to best marketing practices, particularly when it comes to digital marketing, can make it a challenging sector to work in and a vibrant, varied and exciting career choice.
The importance of marketing staff for businesses
Every business and organisation needs a marketing function. Marketing is how potential customers and clients will know that the business exists, what it does and why they should use the services or products offered. Without marketing activity a business is waiting for someone to discover them, instead of putting themselves in front of the customer.
To be effective, marketing campaigns need to be designed to attract the appropriate audience. This can be through traditional media such as print and television, but more and more, the main focus is on digital marketing.
So how can a business know whether their marketing efforts are getting results? It could be as simple as seeing a few more people walk through the door, an increase in phone calls or more visits to the website. However, to really know whether a particular marketing method is working, it is important to measure its effectiveness. With the increase in digital marketing comes a wide range of metrics that can now be used to determine the success of marketing campaigns.
Typical marketing job roles
You can find marketing jobs in a wide range of industries in both the public and private sectors. You could be a Marketing Executive for a high-end retailer or a Marketing Manager for a national charity. The key responsibilities may be similar, but the variety of content you work with in different companies is what makes this an engaging field to work in.
When you start in a marketing career your role will typically be a Marketing Assistant job or Marketing Executive job. After a few years’ experience you can move on to find a Marketing Manager position. With sufficient managerial experience you can go on to become a Head of Marketing and then the final step is generally Marketing Director. Each of these roles have different levels of responsibilities within the marketing department, but they all work together to create and manage the marketing facility for the business.
How is performance measured in marketing jobs?
For the marketing team to assess the success of their marketing efforts they need to be able to measure them. Two main methods can be used:
Quantitative: This will include things such as financial performance, data and analytics and testing results.
Qualitative: This covers aspects like customer feedback and reviews.
As a Marketer it is important for you to measure your marketing campaigns to demonstrate the effectiveness of your work. There are key concepts you need to achieve in order to do this:
- Understand the market of the business and its target audience.
- Follow trends appropriate to the business.
- Continuously explore new directions.
With these in place you can then go on to measuring your marketing operations in the following ways:
- Setting short and long-term goals based on the overall business objectives.
- Determining specific key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, lead generation etc.
- Creating monthly reports to assess the performance of campaigns through the results of the metrics.
- Analyse data using analytical tools to see where improvements can be made.
Measuring your own personal performance in your marketing job is directly related to the success of the marketing efforts of the team, and specifically your contribution. Some key things to consider about your own performance are:
- How involved are you in creating and setting your own goals and those of the team?
- Are you achieving your goals?
- Are you reaching the overall objectives of the role and the business?
There are key performance areas which Marketing Managers and Directors use to assess the success of their marketing teams and individual employees. These can include:
- Metrics - these are quantifiable measures to check if you are achieving your goals. These should be clearly set out on a regular basis and may include things such as meeting KPIs, increasing revenue or increasing newsletter signups.
- Quality - the quality of your work is extremely important for success in your role. Good quality writing, campaign design and customer service will be reflected in the outcome of the metrics.
- Effectiveness and productivity - meeting deadlines and prioritising work are measurable ways to prove your productivity. It is also important to demonstrate your effectiveness by coming up with creative ideas, finding ways to solve problems and continually improving your performance.
- Initiative - showing initiative will indicate to your manager that you are motivated and engaged in the business and its success.
Qualifications, experience and skills for marketing jobs
To get started in marketing you need to have exceptional writing and communication skills, an analytical mind and a hands-on attitude. Having a degree in a relevant subject such as Marketing, Business or Communications is also desirable.
On the job experience is a great way to progress, but in a constantly changing sector it is important to be continually learning and adapting to stay up-to-date. Take advantage of any opportunities to attend meetings and seminars provided by your employer.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is also important for your success as a marketing professional. This can take on different forms:
Active learning - this is a structured form of study such as attending a training course, workshop or conference, or self-study through an online course.
Passive learning - this may be reading relevant articles or listening to podcasts.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has some opportunities for CPD available to their members. You can find more information about their training courses here.
However you learn, it is always important to put your new knowledge into practice through real world experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially in digital marketing where algorithms are constantly changing the playing field. This will enable you to continually evolve and produce the best possible results in your work.
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