By Matthew Sorenson
What did you want to be when you grew up? Deciding on a potential career path can be a daunting task. Many of us seek meaningful, challenging work that is valued by the company we are working for. Some seek personal reward by knowing that their work has genuinely helped a customer or influenced a decision in some way. There are even those who have a creative fire that just needs to be let out or a desire to work on and solve complex problems.
What I love about marketing is that it can offer all of these different elements. While I was in my first marketing class in college, sometimes it was difficult to see how all of the individual elements that I was learning would eventually fit into the big picture. Luckily, I always had a knack for looking at things from this perspective and having a good understanding of how things piece together to achieve an end result. This ability is a key aspect to being a successful marketer. Not only must you be able to identify needs and opportunities, you also need to know what tools will get you there and how to use them along the way.
Once you have a grip on the various methods and strategies to market to your customers, you must then develop a strong working knowledge of your product and industry. You must be well-versed in what you do and how it can benefit others. For me, this required a lot of self-study about the IT industry in general along with DirectNetworks' niche within it. I also had to educate myself on all of different products that we offer and how they are designed to meet the various needs of our clients. This can be difficult. In business, things are always evolving. Adaptability is key. Think of it like being a chameleon... you need to be able to absorb the environment around you. Marketing is becoming less and less traditional in the sense that there are so many diverse ways in which people can be reached these days (social media, web, print, TV, etc). It is a constant challenge to accurately identify the best ways to interact with each consumer and how to communicate with them.
However, we must not forget what marketing ultimately boils down to; the people. Understanding people and what drives them is what marketing is all about. Our needs and desires are constantly shifting, therefore staying on top of the latest trends is extremely crucial. Maintaining a strong dedication to customer service has worked wonders for me thus far in my marketing career. I understand that I am the voice of the customer, the channel for their needs and wants to be heard. For me, this is also the most rewarding part of a marketing profession. It's almost like being an anthropologist... studying people and how they think and interact with their most trusted brands. The following quote really sums up this idea:
"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself."
- Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and author
All in all, marketing certainly is a dynamic field. There is no end, no pinnacle, no stopping point to how much we can know and learn. That is what is so great about it. One day you feel like you know it all then the next like a kindergartner at the first day of school. Being a marketer is a challenging and potentially rewarding career path that allows you to problem-solve, think outside the box, and work with people in order to understand what motivates them.