Forging a Marketing Career Path You’ll Love

June 20, 2022

A marketing career path is on the rise, and marketing is one of the only industries that surrounds us 24/7 - no matter where you go or what you do, you are likely to encounter marketing in some form.
Forging a Marketing Career Path You’ll Love

In 2022, the U.S. ad market is forecast to exceed $300 billion and the global ad market over $700 billion. With growth like that, it’s no wonder that you might be considering a marketing career path for yourself!

If you’re not sure where to start on your marketing career path, reach out to our marketing mentors at MentorCruise for guidance, or keep reading to find out more about marketing jobs and how you could land your first role.

What is marketing?

At its most basic level, marketing is the process of gaining interest in your product or service, from potential customers. That process involves many steps, such as competition analysis, marketing plan, and executing on OKRs to achieve the company's marketing goals.

Why choose marketing as a career?

Low barriers to entry

Unlike some other career paths, marketing is an incredibly accessible career without a requirement for a university degree or other qualification. In fact, there are many stories of young entrepreneurs building their own businesses and finding success through a marketing career path.

Evolving industry

In the marketing industry 50 years ago, radio was king, and it was common for businesses to advertise their services in places like the local newspaper.

In 2022, digital marketing is storming ahead as the biggest spender in the industry, and as technology and market research continues to evolve, so too will marketing.

High salary ceiling

If you’re looking for a career with high growth opportunities, then marketing might be the right path for you! In America, the entry level marketing salary is around ​​$41,841 but a VP of marketing salary ranges up to $347,282 on average. Salary.com.

The standard marketing career path

The title of this section is actually a bit of a misnomer, because with such range between regions, types of products, services and companies, and marketing methods, there isn’t really a “standard” career path, but here’s what a common marketing career path may look like:

Step 1 - Entry level

The role:

At this stage in your career you may be freshly graduated from University, or you may be starting out on your own without a formal qualification. This job will be your first step into the marketing industry, and will be your chance to immerse yourself in a company and learn.

Often these roles will stretch across a couple of different areas in the company, and you may get the opportunity to try your hand in a few different departments.

The fantastic thing about this is that you will be able to get hands-on experience to help you decide what role or position is the best match for you.

Are you a bit nervous about your first interview? Our interview coaches at MentorCruise can work with you to develop your interviewing skills and give you the confidence you need to land that job!

Experience needed:

0 - 2 years

Job search tip:

When you’re trying to land your first job, look for jobs with the title “coordinator” like marketing coordinator, account coordinator or project coordinator.

This title generally signals that the role is entry-level, and you can expect to have lots of support and mentorship from your boss and your colleagues while you learn the ropes and excel to the next level.

Step 2 - Mid level

The role:

After your first two years learning the ropes, you may be able to move up into a mid-level position. In these roles you will likely have more autonomy to work on your own, without needing someone to micro-manage your work as much.

Now that you have reached the point of mid-level jobs, you want to make sure that you are heading towards a specialization that you truly enjoy.

If you’re currently working in social media marketing and you would like to move to radio, it’s best to make that jump now before you head too far down one path. Fortunately at this stage there is often still a level of cross-over between different departments.

Experience needed:

2 - 5 years

Job search tip:

At this stage, it’s important to really highlight your expertise on your resume. Time in a role is important, but what you achieved in that role is more important. You might want to ask yourself questions such as:

  • What KPIs did you reach?

  • How did you go above and beyond?

  • What are some examples of you using your expertise for the betterment of the company?

  • What further training did you seek out?

By highlighting answers to questions like the above, you will ensure that your resume stands out from the crowd. Use the STAR framework if you need help crafting the perfect resume.

Step 3 - Managerial

The role:

After a few more years honing your marketing skills and working your way up, you may have the opportunity to move into a managerial role. People in managerial positions often are responsible for creating, executing and maintaining strategies, rather than just performing the work tasks.

This could be the marketing strategy, or other smaller items like content calendars, social media strategy or brand guidelines. Managers will also often work on a broader top-level position, rather than in the nitty gritty details of specific projects.

At this stage you may also begin to have other team members working under you that you are responsible for. If you don’t feel comfortable managing others then it’s important to reach out and find support.

People management is a skill that you can learn just like any other and one of our fantastic management mentors at MentorCruise can help to guide you along the way with regular calls, chats and support sessions.

Experience needed:

5 - 8 years

Job search tip:

At this stage of your career development, results that you have achieved start to become the critical factor in interviews. You will be expected to be able to talk in detail about targets that you have achieved, successful campaigns that you have run or other tangible improvements that you have made for your business.

Step 4 - Chief marketing officer

The role:

Don’t always play it safe – do the unexpected when you can. Your team will be motivated to follow in your steps if they see you leading by example instead of painting a nice picture with words.” - Suneeta Motala, CMO of AfrAsia Bank Ltd.

Once you reach the level of a chief marketing officer, you are at the peak of your marketing career development, and you will be expected to do exactly that - lead by example, do the unexpected and create change.

Your role will no longer be about specific jobs or details of projects, but instead looking holistically at your company's marketing plans, and guiding all of the marketing teams to success.

Experience needed:

15+ years

Job search tip:

When you are at this level in your career your resume and expertise will likely speak for itself, so what becomes important during your job search is whether you are a good match for the company that you are interviewing with.

Do your interests and passions for marketing align? Do you share similar ideas and values around the future of the company? Because you will be creating and shaping the future marketing plan for this company, so knowing these things will help to guide your decision.

How to get a marketing job

While it is absolutely possible to get a job in marketing without a formal education, getting either a qualification or certification in a relevant field will allow you to demonstrate that you have practical knowledge in the field of marketing.
If you need some guidance for your study, our marketing mentors can create a study plan with you, to help you work through content and create an achievable action plan for your study. You could work towards the following certifications and qualifications:

University qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Marketing

  • Bachelor of Science (BSC) in Marketing, Economics or International Business

  • Bachelor Business Administration (BBA)

Certifications

Or, if you feel that you could make it on your own, many young marketers find success opening up their own business. Today online marketing is accessible, and has low barriers to entry, so you could simply decide to venture out on your own.

Start your marketing career path today

Ready to get started? Reach out to one of our talented MentorCruise marketing experts today to get industry leading support and guidance to help you stand out from the competition and achieve your goals.

Our mentors provide ongoing guidance, advice and support with regular calls and chats, fostering close relationships with our mentees and pushing them to achieve to their highest potential. But don’t just take our word for it - read some of our mentees testimonials and success stories to see for yourself!

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