Interacting with young marketing enthusiasts is fun. I’ve met both the kinds – the ones who’d decided they want to dive into the pool of marketing/advertising since they were 15; and the ones who took up marketing because, well, there was nothing else they could think of 🙂 Let’s be honest, there are many who fall in the latter zone, let’s not deny. (I am one too).
The first question that pops up in your head when you’ve finally concluded you want to build your career in marketing is – so what am I supposed to know? Do I learn some books? Do I join an institute? Do I follow someone? While academics does teach you a lot about the fundamentals of marketing, I fear they don’t make a marketer.
Being a marketer literally involves you to be a jack of all trades. No kidding.
You need to speak well, maintain a good personality to get more face time, adapt to forever changing market conditions, understand product/service limitations, work your way around thin budgets (happens to most of us at the start of our careers), take criticism, give criticism, wake up positive after every failed experiment and the list is endless. Well, that can be confusing. What do you give primary focus, while you’re learning the basics and meeting interviewers who seem to fetch a million dollar campaign idea in every interview you give? Here’s my take.
During several years of my career as a marketer and an interviewer, below are the top 4 things I look for in every promising candidate who applies at DigiChefs.
A. Good Communication
The art of communication is the language of leadership. Good communication is a virtue you can’t afford to neglect. While that’s a skill you need to build to help you grow up the ladder in almost every stage of your career, it’s the one that’s most neglected. We’re talking about both – written and oral communication. The way you express your ideas using your vocal skills will take you places, especially in marketing where the line between a good idea & a bad one usually is, the way it was presented – with conviction and promise. At the same time, your email will represent you in your organization, the way you structure your thoughts to elicit your points matters, a lot.
How to improve your comm. skills?
Watch movies/series, read books, follow blogs, express your thoughts on blogs, social platforms
Intent is a strong word and a feeling. Being intent-oriented — not only does it describe one’s personality in the most positive light, but also makes one’s behaviour transparent. Because you can’t fake it! You can’t just say you have intent. It’s a feeling that the opposite person feels over a series of facts and scenarios that you mention in your conversation.
“Why should we hire you?” is one of the questions where you lay your heart out, on why you think you deserve this chance, this opportunity to prove your mettle. The fact that you’ve chosen to go beyond the regular and pick up things in life that weren’t a compulsion but you chose them anyway, to try your hand out and understand yourself better – is an evidence of your intent. The hunger to succeed is conveyed by the choices you make – in your life and in your description of self. Extracurricular activities like conducting events, practising a sport regularly, pursuing a hobby religiously, building additional skills to make yourself employable – are some of the indicators for interviewers.
How to be intent-oriented?
Stop wasting your time. Login to course/academy and learn something interesting. Organize events in your locality or your college or with a local NGO (they always need volunteers). Don’t ditch your favourite sport over a lazy weekend. Get certifications from a nearby institute.
Other vital qualities that a good marketer is supposed to have is to understand human behaviour, the psyche of why people do what they do, think customer-centric. I’ve clubbed all these in one word – opining (holding & stating one’s opinions). You can’t accept the way things are, because someone said it’s true. Question everything. Often, I see people around who get awed by fancy advertorials without thinking much about how much impact it really had. Having a fair opinion involves one to think from multiple perspectives on the topic under observation. It involves you to disassociate yourself from your immediate connection with the issue and patiently understand the sides of all stakeholders in the conversation.
How to build opinions?
Try and think of a movie/situation that is most spoken about recently and put yourselves in the protagonist’s shoe. Try and draw a list of – “things I would have done”. Discuss with peers, debate and establish your point of view. Get into arguments and find your way through 🙂
D. Subject Knowledge
Of course, you can’t be an expert in a domain, right at the start of your career. However, your fundamentals need to be clear. The depth of your knowledge with a logical backing (rather than pure memory) will win you half the game in front of the interviewer. Here subject could mean – the concept of marketing or OOH or digital marketing or social media marketing, basically, anyone topic that you go out and say you have a basic knowledge about and hence wish to apply for. While it can be confusing how much is enough, nothing is too much. Ensuring that you have a basic understanding of the most used jargons within your choice of subject should be a wise decision.
How to attain subject knowledge?
Google your way! Type the subject on Google, and read the first 3 pages. Then click on the links in these 3 pages and likewise, go deep till 5 pages (total 15 pages). That should prepare you for the basics.
These are the top 4 qualities you need to get started in your marketing career! I cannot stress enough on the fact that a marketer learns to be better, by various other virtues – adaptability, analytical ability, creative inclination, ownership & accountability, relationship keeping, to name a few.
Do share in comments what qualities you wish to improve and our cool HR team at DigiChefs will help you get better at the same. Also, share with the world to help us have our voice heard out aloud!
“Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately, it takes a lifetime to master.” – Phil Kotler
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