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Marketing Industry Essentials

By Rachel Johnson

Here are a few guidelines all marketers should follow throughout their careers.

Talking their ears off: Communicating well with the consumers who'll buy your products is a given in this industry. But you'll also be asked to sell your ideas internally before you even get to the public. For example, you'll have to convince the manufacturing managers that a new feature will add up to a lot of profit, or carefully suggest a new approach to public relations. Furthermore, all marketing work is done in teams, so from your first day on the job until the time you're made boss, you will be in conference, dialogue, and debate. Speaking, writing, and general communication skills -- and your confidence in those abilities -- are indispensable.

Creativity: Ever wonder how Tony the Frosted Flakes Tiger became such a hit? Well, someone behind a marketing desk took a gamble. As a marketing associate or manager, you too will be immersed in a constant stream of new and wild ideas. Of course, creativity only succeeds with the right follow-through: marketing strategists need to get the company's support to back their ideas and act boldly enough to implement them, even when the outcome is uncertain.

Psychology: When the name of the game is getting inside people's heads, understanding how humans think and act is, in a lot of ways, your job. On the research end, this means constantly staying up-to-date with the competition and probing into your target demographics' tastes and values. But it also includes relying on your intuition -- taking the best of what your company has to offer, and couching it in the best possible language, images, and ideas in order to reach consumers.

Variety: Marketing newbies, unlike entry-level workers in other industries, don't start off as number-crunchers. Though it offers only average prestige at first, the job is hands-on and highly dynamic from the start. Combining people skills, research and analysis, creative thought, and teamwork, marketing exercises your versatility. In addition, because marketing is essential everywhere, pursuing it doesn't have to confine you to one specific geographic region or city.

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