That's what I tell young people in school these days, when I'm asked to talk about Marketing as a profession.
Being a Marketer is not a profession of choice (for most). Most young people enter Marketing after not falling in love with law school of their MBA program. Marketing also tends to be the industry of choice for those who took the more creative route in university but never converted it into a paying/sustainable practice/lifestyle. It's too bad. I love Marketing. I love the challenge of trying to figure out how to get a brand and their message to resonate with an audience. Beyond that, it gets even more challenging when you start looking at real engagement and community/loyalty building initiatives. Marketing isn't easy, and as more and more new platforms and channels enter the fray (think about the Web, Social Media, mobile, etc...), the more crowded the spaces get, and the harder it is to manage both the newer platforms and the ability for the brand to truly resonate.
It's also a lot of hard work.
As Marketing continues to struggle to gain credibility within the corporate structure (too many c-level executives still see their marketing as a cost instead of the value it truly brings to the overall economic value of the business), Marketing tends to be the first area that gets cuts when times are tough (which we all know is a big mistake: Marketing Your Way Through a Recession). As tired and boring as Social Media and Digital Marketing may be to you (if you're reading a Blog, you're already well ahead of the curve and would probably still be considered some kind of "early adopter"), it continues to be a growing and important niche within the Marketing world.
There are jobs (good and great jobs) to be found in Marketing... right now.
Beyond the fact that our agency, Twist Image, continues to grow and that we're constantly on the prowl for smart and informed people to join our team, Google announced the other day that they are looking to hire more than 6000 people this year (currently, they have 300 job openings related to advertising alone). The news (which you can read more about here: Google Aims to Hire More Than 6,000 This Year) weaves an interesting story which begs the questions:
- Do people really understand the amazing job opportunities that exist today in the technology and marketing world?
- Are we doing enough to encourage young people to enter the marketing profession?
- Do executives in areas of marketing that are less popular than they once were (radio, print, etc...) think about transitioning to digital?
- Do potential marketing candidates even understand the size, scope and opportunity of Digital Marketing?
- Are we doing enough to bring analytics and math to the potential professional?
- Are we doing enough to merge computer science and marketing to make this possible?
This is a huge opportunity. Let's not waste it.
I often meet with people (young and older) who are struggling with their career path and personal development. They have the pieces in place to make a transition into this new world of Marketing, but can't seem to see how those pieces of the puzzle come together. Ultimately, Marketing has never done a great job of Marketing itself as a great profession. Pushing that idea further, I don't think that us Digital Marketers (or online marketing professionals) have done anything to truly remedy this critical issue.
Now, it's your turn: how do we get more people excited about the digital space and the many job opportunities that are there for the taking?