What's It Like To Work in Marketing? | Top Universities

What's It Like To Work in Marketing?

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Laura Bridgestock

Updated Mar 20, 2021



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Sponsored by LUMSA

It’s not hard to see the appeal. Marketing is inherently cool: it thrives on change, innovation and the latest technologies. From the outside, it looks like the perfect career for anyone who aspires to work with people and keep their finger on the pulse as a strategist, creative or number cruncher. But what’s it really like?

Of course, your experience of working in marketing will largely depend on the company and the role. It’s a broad church with many opportunities to specialize, whether it’s in events, sports, search engine marketing or social media. Some people choose to join a brand’s in-house department, while others prefers to work on a portfolio of clients for an agency. But whatever marketing role you go for in the end, you can expect your job to give you a varied workday, a great work-life balance, good pay and plenty of opportunities to be creative.

You’ll get into the habit of putting the customer first

One of the perks of working in marketing is that it’s a profoundly human field. Whether you’re working in data analytics, branding or social media, you will have to get into the habit of empathizing with your customer to foster brand loyalty and make a success of your campaigns.

The old cliché that “the customer is always right” takes on a new meaning in marketing where most, if not all, of your work centers on getting inside the head of your target audience. This will get easier as you build experience in the industry. You’ll learn to understand the desires and needs of your customer, discover who they are, what they expect from you and what value you can bring them.

No two days are ever the same

“It doesn’t matter how much I learn, there is always something new awaiting to be discovered”, said Romeo Man, who founded his digital agency last year. “Usually some new tools that you can use to [automate] your process and make it faster.”

There’s never been a better time to pursue a career in marketing. Thanks to the growth of digital platforms and social media, brands have more gadgets and online platforms at their fingertips to market their products to consumers than ever before.

Indeed, the work can be so varied, especially on the agency side where you get to represent clients from all walks of life, that you’ll have to pinch yourself. Ian Lurie, who’s been working in marketing for twenty years, said: “I love it, because I get to make money doing the things I love most: Writing, nerding out over technology and keeping up with the newest stuff. At times, I hate it, because I feel like I'm ice skating uphill against all the people promising quick fixes and spammy techniques. But if you're a creative person with a geeky side, or the other way around, this is a perfect career.”

You can expect a good work-life balance

If you don’t want to take work home with you, marketing’s great for that. On Glassdoor’s list of the best roles for work-life balance, six of the top 25 jobs were in marketing, including SEO manager, social media manager, digital marketing manager, marketing assistant, marketing analyst and content manager.

The odds are that you’ll feel less dissatisfied with your job when you’ve got good job security and a stable income. Unlike many other industries, marketing’s not particularly cut-throat: jobs are plentiful and the work conditions can be pretty cosy. In 2016, the median pay for marketing managers was US$127,560, with as many as 249,600 new job openings in the US. In Europe, a marketing manager could expect to earn a median salary of £32,752 (US$45,400) in the UK, €49,894 in Germany (US$61,130) and €42,105 in Italy (US$51,600), according to PayScale.

It’s one of the few creative industries driven by business

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a creative soul but aren’t willing to compromise on a stable income, marketing might be a good way to use your skills, as it’s one of the few industries that will turn a business idea into original and emotive content.

Michelle Tackabery works as a merchandise manager for DoubleBlaze Consulting. She’s been working in marketing as a ghostwriter and a strategist for the past 18 years, and she particularly enjoys the creative side of her job. She said: “In marketing, you can write every day, across a wide variety of disciplines, and take home a nice check. Your creativity will grow, and strengthen, as a result.”

Convinced? Train for marketing careers at LUMSA in Rome

Their master’s degree in marketing and digital communications is a two-year program fully taught in English. It will equip you will the specialist skills and technical know-how you need to pursue careers in communication and marketing in the public and private sectors, including web marketing and digital advertising, web analytics and data mining, brand management, business planning, events and public relations. The degree also includes the possibility to complete an internship with a business, marketing agency or a non-profit through the university.

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