News flash: Marketing is a party! Think: What other profession lets you combine data, creativity, strategy, live events, human engagement, psychology, fun and storytelling … and is changing swiftly enough to render any school curricula outdated thanks to digital technology? What I’m about to expound upon is not new to most of you, but is often taken for granted, and consequently, worth reminding ourselves about. Let’s dig deeper …
Rapid evolution. I’ve been in this field for 9 years now, and after every passing year I’ve been able say things look way different than before. Heck, I don’t think a month (if a day) goes by where my broader marketing knowledge or exposure to new technology does not expand. In fact, I started out tech-illiterate, or at least code-illiterate. Zero background in design, development or any kind of coding. (Full disclosure: I didn’t have marketing experience either … amazing I got hired!) Now, I know enough HTML to be dangerous. Plus, I have no fear of getting my coding hands dirty when necessary. In a sense, my job forces me to stay current with Web technology. Today’s marketer is tech-savvier just by being aware, and we all should not lose sight of how lucky we are to have daily opportunities to develop this crucial business skill.
Job opportunities. Speaking of business skills and potential, with all the changes and new technologies in modern marketing, positions emerge every year or two that didn’t previously exist. And given that all organizations need marketing, the job options are plentiful, as well as the range of industries in which you can ply your trade. Whether you want to go the non-profit route, be the big kahuna for a small brand, a small fish in a huge corporate marketing sea, or an agency player, you have choices. Furthermore, today’s marketing function allows more opportunities to move laterally within one organization than ever. Whether you’re heavy in technology/analytics, a strategist, communications person or more creative type, these roles are in demand. Room for specialization within each of these areas is also great. Consider the burgeoning field of data science alone, where tech-savvy number-crunchers can command a premium like never before.
Psychology and human behavior. Marketers’ jobs fundamentally can be reduced to a simple equation: Inspiring behavioral change. You want your audience to see what you offer, think a certain way, take an action. For all the hype around data and measurement, relating to and connecting with people is still the ultimate measure of your job. If you can’t attract like-minded customers, then all your numbers and technology are meaningless. Here’s a secret: People generally aren’t moved by numbers (unless they come with dollar signs), but they are moved by stories. Fantastic experiences can also inspire, motivate, endear an audience to a brand. This is where psychology reigns, in crafting a narrative or encounter that evokes a visceral reaction and engenders loyalty. You can’t expect to win this kind of support from customers without understanding their minds and what resonates with them.
In the grand scheme of things, no other career field appears to rival the current unique art-science crossover appeal of marketing combined with the high demand for skilled practitioners. So, let’s not forget to enjoy what we do!