Marketing Career: Advice to My Younger Self

How to start a career in marketing

What does it take to make it in the world of Marketing?

I’ve been fortunate in my career because I love what I do.

Marketing is fast-paced and challenging.  I enjoy the creativity and innovation that comes with my role as Vice President, Marketing for C.S.T. Consultants Inc.

A career in marketing is most definitely for the curious minded.  At the very core, is understanding the needs, wants and expectations of the customers you are servicing and figuring out how to enhance the connection between your company and customers.

It’s an industry that crosses so many disciplines: financial planning, technology, the science of targeting consumer segments and even the psychology of what influences consumers’ buying behaviours.

If you are someone who enjoys working in rapidly changing environments and with diverse groups across a broad spectrum of disciplines, then marketing may be the right career for you.  The future is ripe with incredible opportunities in this field as well as many others, which you can learn more about in Careers 2030.

I’ve always been someone who listened to what spoke to me and allowed that to steer me through my career choices.  Here’s what I would tell my younger self about the pursuit of a career in marketing and the key lessons I’ve learned along the way, through trial and error.

  • If you’re just getting started in your career and looking for a way to break into the marketing industry, it may be worthwhile to consider a marketing agency. They service clients across a broad range of industries and typically have extensive expertise in a variety of areas whether it’s digital or creative.  It’s an opportunity to work with a broad range of clients and get some exposure to the interesting business challenges faced by each industry.  You will also encounter subject matter experts within the agency who can share their knowledge about a particular area.
  • The early years are about building your exposure to as many areas of marketing as possible, to help you become a better marketer. Learn as much as you can about the inter-dependencies across different areas that make up the full marketing capability.  This will help you determine what speaks to you and what you may wish to develop an expertise in.  It will also make you a better, more well-rounded marketer in the end.
  • Always set time aside to develop yourself, even on your own time. You and only you are responsible for the trajectory and success of your career.  With the amount of information available through online learning tools and the web – your ability to access and learn quickly is incredible.  No excuses.  You are only stopping yourself from professional development and becoming a subject matter expert in your field.
  • Customer, customer, customer. Never ever lose sight of who you serve.  At the end of the day, the customer will be your true test of success.  Consumers hold incredible power today and they can be incredibly influential in a company’s brand reputation.
  • Have fun. There will always be negative people in the workplace who are challenging to work with.  Don’t let them squash your sense of enthusiasm.  Believe in your work, your contribution to a project and enjoy the journey.  It’s incredible what a team of hard working, positive marketers can deliver.  Absolutely incredible.

Maximize your creativity, meet challenges head on and give it your all.  Dedication and determination can help pave the way to a successful marketing career.

Martha Turner

Martha Turner is Vice President, Marketing at C.S.T. Consultants Inc. She is an experienced marketing executive who is always looking to push the envelope when it comes to marketing innovation. She holds a M.A. from the University of Toronto, was previously an appointed member of the Canadian Marketing Association Executive Council and is currently a Board member of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. Outside of work, Martha is a proud mom, wife, supporter and collector of emerging artists' works, animal lover, and fitness enthusiast.

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