Marketing involves identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. Marketing creates the conditions for the sale to take place. Some of the work carried out by marketing teams includes:

  • Carrying out research to understand the needs of the customer and/or competitors.
  • Developing and maintaining the brand for a product/service.
  • Creating the vision for promotional campaigns to raise awareness of goods and services.
  • Devising marketing strategies
  • Social media and digital marketing
  • Planning distribution strategies

Marketing roles tend to be based either in dedicated marketing or communications agencies or in the marketing departments of large or medium-sized organisations. As marketing is considered a core business function, many small organisations will employ someone in a dedicated marketing role too.

One note of caution is that many graduate roles which are advertised as a mixture of ‘marketing and sales’ can be predominately sales focused. Therefore if you are looking for marketing focused roles, is it important to analyse job specifications carefully and ask lots of questions at interviews to ensure the job will help you gain skills and grow experience in the area you are interested in.

Getting into the role

Graduates can generally enter marketing from any degree discipline, but as it is a competitive field, it is usually necessary to gain relevant work experience.

Specialist degrees in marketing, communications or business with a strong marketing component can be an advantage, and are required by some organisations.

Here are some suggestions for how you can demonstrate and get relevant skills and experience:

  • Look for advertised summer placements or contact local marketing agencies directly with a targeted speculative CV and covering letter.
  • Consider volunteering for your local charity to help with their marketing and/or communication needs for example managing their social media.
  • Part time jobs like Student Brand Ambassador are common and give you the opportunity to run campaigns on campus.
  • Develop marketing skills. Planning, organising and promoting events for a student society or charity can demonstrate a lot of transferable skills which marketing job roles will require, such as budgeting, time management, teamwork, communication skills, organisation skills and social media skills.
  • Joining a professional association such as The Institute of Direct Marketing can be impressive to an employer and these often have insider news and job vacancies, as well as providing networking opportunities.

Find out more about marketing careers and jobs