Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Industry Profiles - Marketing

2012-11-27 10:39:28

I'm going to start a series on different professional profiles, and I'm going to start with Marketing Managers. There are a lot of undergrads and MBA candidates out there that are getting a degree in marketing and hoping to find a job out of school. In the last twelve months I have hired a General Manager, 2 Directors, three Product Managers and two Marketing Managers, so I am very familiar with the profiles that relate to "marketing". (Keep in mind that this is in the tech sector, so this will obviously have a noticeable effect on what I am looking for.)

So there are a few things to understand about marketing. The purpose of marketing is to use a variety of persuasive mediums to drive interest in sales for products or services (a very basic definition, to be sure). Marketing is very closely tied to PR (Public Relations) on the industry spectrum and those marketers that are on the "creative" side are migrating to PR firms, as pure marketing companies seem to be on the decline. Marketing has moved from being a tactical response to a need to driving strategy, which is a good thing.

So what are some of the trends I've been seeing? Cross functionality is huge, and the role of marketing is starting to change from a purely creative "messaging" identity to more of a data-driven role. The big concept here is "monetization", which is the tie-in with sales; capture and analyze the profiles of your target audience and then zap them with appropriate messaging. Almost all the marketing professionals I have hired in the last year have very strong skills with web analytics, even our MBA grad (she got her experience from an internship.)

Here is a good article from high-level marketing execs with at least a decade each in the industry.

Marketing used to be all about driving customers to the object of the marketing plan. Nowadays, customers define the market and it's all about capturing their attention. Everything has gone digital; any "physical" marketing is generally done in conjunction with digital campaigns. It's interesting, because as a recruiter, I do a lot of marketing (making the right candidate segment aware of our job openings as well as our employment "brand" in general). The way I target my candidate population now is vastly different than a decade ago.

There has also been a fundamental shift in the consumer; they now want the opinions of the masses, trusting other consumers (including but not limited to friends and family) to help them make decisions. There are nowadays professional bloggers...people that make their money exclusively from their blogs-from advertisements that they may or may not have control over but, because they are trusted as a source of information, products on their websites trigger an innate trust in the readers. This ties into that data-driven profiling I mentioned. Facebook does a really good job of allowing marketing to devise extremely targeted campaigns; I've used it myself to look for web analytics managers.

If you are looking to get into marketing, say as a college student, I highly recommend that you learn about web analytics, either in school or on your own. GoogleAnalytics is a reasonable place to start. Some of the other well known tools on the market are Omniture, Catalyst, and WebTrends. (Wikipedia has a pretty good overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_web_analytics_software).

If you have been in marketing a long time and find yourself unsure how to transition from, say, a copywriter or event marketer into a more updated role, I suggest focusing on a specific part of the business like branding or licensing, and start becoming a guru in social media. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Mashable and the up an comer, Pinterest (and if you don't have an industry blog, *start one*!). Read everything you can on how to tie social media into your marketing and branding experience. User yourself as the "brand" and start creating your digital expertise.



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