Ever think about Marketing as a major in college? I know I did and a lot of my friends went that route. My good friend, Geri, works as a Marketing Manager. We giggle with her about the fact that she “sells scissors”, but her job is pretty big. When you are walking through a store and see cutting tools, Geri just might have put that brand on the shelf! Take a look at one example of what you can do in the Marketing world.
Q: What is the title of your profession?
A: Brand Marketing Manager
Q: What do you do?
A: I develop and “market” products. This means I’m involved in everything from market research to product design to advertising and sales. I work for a company that manufactures cutting tools – scissors, utility knives, pruners, snips, wire cutters, etc.
Q: Have you always worked in this field?
A: Throughout my career I have worked with different types of products (briefcases, day planners, school supplies, dinnerware & giftware) but yes, I have always been involved in product development and marketing.
Q: Why did you choose this profession?
A: I didn’t really choose it, it just sort of happened. After college I was offered a position in the graphics department at a particular company and started working on product packaging. From there I was moved into product development and eventually marketing.
Q: Did you go to college or a trade school for this profession?
A: No (I was surprised to hear this!)
Q: How long did you go to school? Where? What was your degree in?
A: I went to college at the University of South Carolina for 4 years. I have a B.A. in Journalism with a major in Advertising & Public Relations and a minor in English.
Q: Do you use your degree in your job?
A: Marketing classes were required for my major so I guess you could say a little. I do work on ad campaigns periodically for the brand that I manage and both my major and my job certainly require a good deal of creative thinking.
Q: Can your degree be used as a basis for any other professions?
A: Yes. My intention was to work in an Ad Agency or P.R. Firm.
Q: Does your job require continued education?
A: No, continued education is not required but I do occasionally attend seminars or take classes that will help to improve my job skills. In the past, I’ve participated in classes about on-line marketing, R.O.I. (return on investment), increasing product profitability, things like that.
Q: What is a day in the life of your job? Does it change day to day? Do you work with the public?
A: It absolutely changes every day. I do not really work with the public but I do have interaction daily with our sales staff and customers. A typical day might involve working with a graphic designer to create a promotional flyer, analyzing costs and creating pricing for a new product, “launching” a new product to our sales team, working with a supplier to solve a functional problem with a product, adding new products to our brand website, designing a new package or analyzing sales to determine which products are no longer performing.
Q: Does your profession require travel?
A: Yes! I generally travel about once a month. This includes visiting the corporate office, seeing customers and attending trade shows.
A: What is the typical schedule/hours?
Q: A typical day is 8:00-5:00 but marketing is not traditionally a job where you just get up and leave at the end of the day. I often work at night and on weekends to stay caught up with my workload.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Well…I guess it would be the feeling of accomplishment or success when after months of development and testing, we launch a new product and it sells like crazy. It’s always about the bottom line.
Q: What do you dislike about your job?
A: It sounds kind of funny because really, at the end of they day, they are just scissors but truthfully, it can be stressful. The company that I work for has a very lean staff so we all wear many hats. My workload is often more than one person can handle.
Q: What advice would you give to a child/student that is considering this profession?
A: In college, study business/marketing. Try to land an internship at a consumer products company where you can gain hands-on experience working on product development and marketing. Learn to like math, even if you hate it. Don’t be afraid to be creative, sometimes the best ideas start out as a joke. To succeed in this profession you need to be a creative and strategic thinker. Every day I multi-task so I would say it is a challenging profession but also fun because every day is different.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you choose the same profession?
A: I think I would. There is still part of me that is drawn to the world of advertising and also a part of me that always wanted to be a Teacher but I think this profession is a good fit for me. Most days I really enjoy the diversity of the work and the challenges that I face.
Q: Is your job regional (ie: found in only certain parts of the country?).
A: No. Obviously there are more opportunities in larger cities where bigger corporations live but you can certainly find marketing positions everywhere.
The Marketing world is huge! Find something you are passionate about and get out there and Market it!