Marketing practice and thought have been around for a long time, as those who have services or products to provide have always needed to display or advertise them in some way to get customers and keep their businesses going. As times have developed, so have the technology and the methods that are used for marketing something, from word of mouth in-person, to word of mouth in videos online. Here is some basic information on marketing in the modern-day, how it has developed, and how you can be part of the new advancements.
At the most basic level, marketing is the practice of matching a business, service, or product with an audience that is most likely to purchase or use it. There are many methods and processes used to achieve this, often combining creativity and analysis. There are a lot of different fields within marketing and many different roles that you may find yourself working in. With the increase and development of technology, marketing experts have had to adapt to make sure they continue to reach as wide an audience as possible.
Marketing in the modern day:
Marketing today looks a lot different than it did previously, and this is mostly due to the advances in technologies. Modern marketing has a huge focus on digital marketing, including social media, website marketing, PPC (pay per click), email marketing, or affiliate marketing. Many potential consumers will begin their searches with an internet search, and therefore it is important to have a good understanding of the internet, SEO, webpages, and other technical elements such as coding and software.
There are numerous techniques involved in marketing and also different fields in which they are used. Today, a big focus is put on digital marketing, and the industry has adapted to reach potential customers in this way best.
This is a form of direct marketing in which customers who have signed up for email contact are sent emails that keep them engaged and updated with the business or service. This can include using discounts or subscriptions to increase traffic and sales and keep customers returning. Email marketing is a very common technique as it is also cost-effective, but there are often certain regulations involved in email marketing, so it is important to make sure these are adhered to. Furthermore, you do not want to alienate or annoy your audience by flooding them with emails or irrelevant content, which is where the all-important market research comes in.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to ensuring that a website appears high up on the search engine results lists. This can be done in a variety of ways, including the use of keywords, high-quality content, and a well-built website. Over half of the clicks in a search engine result go to the top five results, so ensuring that a business’s website is in this top five can help increase organic traffic to the site and improve and boost sales.
Perhaps one of the most popular and powerful modern marketing techniques, social media marketing involves using these platforms to advertise products and services to users. There are generally five pillars of social media marketing: strategy, content preparation, audience interaction, advertising, and analytics. With a huge number of people having an account on at least one form of social media, they will likely see your marketing if they are in your target audience.
Social media marketing can be used in conjunction with other forms and techniques to boost engagement and traffic. For example, advertising a competition on social media that requires visiting the website or signing up for emails. Furthermore, it is easy for audiences to interact with and share your posts, content, and captions with others.
Traditional marketing techniques
Traditional marketing techniques are sometimes still seen today and include advertising on TV, radio, or print, such as brochures or catalogs. These techniques are less popular as they are expensive, and it is not easy to track their success, but they do have their modern-day equivalents. For example, mail marketing has been replaced with email marketing, which is fast, cost-effective, and easier to analyze.
One older technique that is seeing a resurgence is that of affiliate marketing or influencer marketing. This involves collaboration with an influential person or company who promotes the product or service to their followers to encourage them to use it. The third-party receives compensation for this and is given an affiliate link which their followers are encouraged to buy through. With the huge increase in influencers and social media personalities, affiliate marketing has become incredibly popular and common.
Digital marketing is much more cost-effective than the traditional methods, can reach a larger audience, and is easier to track and analyze. This can also be used by both big and small businesses, where traditional, expensive methods may not have been possible for new, smaller companies. This means that the playing field is more leveled, and smaller businesses can compete with the larger ones, helping them grow and develop and make industries more diverse.
Education and training
There are a couple of different routes you can take to begin to work in marketing. One is to study at the university level for a bachelor’s, and then even an MBA or Ph.D. depending on the role and position you want. Bachelor’s degrees provide you with valuable skills and experiences that you may not have access to outside of an educational environment. They can also help you decide which area of marketing you would like to work in, allowing you to streamline your studies to make this a reality.
Marketing degrees are very common and are offered at a lot of institutions or are offered as part of a business degree. There is also the option to study online, which may benefit those who cannot commit to full-time, in-person study. This could be for many reasons, such as finances or having prior commitments such as a job or family. These online courses are specifically designed to be studied alongside the rest of your life, which also gives you the great organizational and multitasking skills that you will need in the marketing industry.
Career options and outcomes
Working in marketing can give you a wide range of applicable skills in many different jobs and scenarios. There is a huge range of different careers within marketing and plenty of roles that look favorably upon people with marketing qualifications and experience. These can include:
- Web designer
- Media planner
- Event planner
Marketing is a varied career that can be both challenging and rewarding. You will be performing different tasks and working with many different people. You could work within a marketing agency or even decide to be freelance or start up your own agency when you have built up your skills and contacts.
What skills do you need?
To succeed in marketing, you will need a combination of soft and hard skills, and these can be gained and developed through training, study, and experience. Soft skills are non-technical, personal skills that help you excel in the workplace. Hard skills are job-specific skills, so in the marketing industry, these may include things such as computer skills like coding, copywriting, or data analysis. There are many different skills required to work in marketing as it is such a varied profession.
Soft skills that are incredibly useful include:
- Communication- you will need to be great at talking to a wide variety of people, from clients to teammates. Communicating your ideas and listening to others is incredibly important and can help you work better as a team.
- Teamwork- you will be working as part of a larger team, and so collaboration is vital to ensure that all work is completed to a high standard and on time.
- Time management- you will most likely have multiple projects or clients on the go at one time, and each needs to be treated with the same level of expertise and professionalism.
- Adaptability- your clients may change their briefs at the last minute, which means you cannot cling to your ideas too tightly and must be able to problem-solve and adapt when the situation calls for it.
- Creative and critical thinking- being able to solve problems, analyze your work and that of others, and come up with solutions helps you be flexible and work as a team and make sure work is completed efficiently.
When you work in marketing, you will be a very skilled individual with plenty of transferable skills that are used in lots of different industries. Modern marketing has much more of a focus on the digital world, and so it helps to develop great computer skills to understand how digital marketing works, and how to analyze the data you receive. Within the marketing industry, there is such a wide variety of roles and jobs available that you will be able to find a position that you succeed in, and that allows you to use your varied skill set.