THE BLOG

How to Become a Marketer

10/03/2014 13:23 GMT | Updated 07/05/2014 10:59 BST

"Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation." - Milan Kindera, Author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Have you ever wondered what a marketer does? Often people struggle to see the difference between sales and marketing. As a result, some conclude that a marketer's role is to sell. Unarguably, marketing is closely related to selling, but there are many important differences between these two roles. Marketers act as the communicator between customers and the organisation. They observe consumers, identify their needs and report back to the organisation. They also communicate to customers about what is on offer and create demand to match the supply.

If you wish to become a marketer, you will need two things: qualifications and experience. Marketing is not something that you can learn from textbooks. You need to develop logical thinking, practical skills, networking skills, negotiating skills and creative thinking, all of which comes with experience. While marketing courses teach you the techniques, your workplace is the practice ground.

There are many points of entry for marketing jobs. With a basic qualification like a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Introductory Certificate, you can gain a clerical or administrative marketing job at a basic salary of around £24,708 (Croner Marketing Rewards Survey, 2013). With accumulated experience or by qualifying with a CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing or equivalent, you can aim for a junior marketing manager role at an average pay of £28,500. As you move up the ladder with a Diploma in Marketing such as the CIM Professional Diploma, you can then pitch for a middle manager job with a salary of £35,500. And with a postgraduate marketing qualification, you can earn yourself a promotion to senior management level with a salary of £45,000.

After that, it is all a game of experience and proving yourself. By this time, you will have gained all the knowledge you need about marketing techniques and practices. Your growth at this point will depend on how well you execute and apply theory and show transparent results. As a head of department, you can pocket a salary close to £57,802 and look at a promotion to director level with a take home pay of £75,000.

When it comes to equal pay, we live in a world where equality for women in the workforce is still a long way off, with women on average making 15% less than men in the same role. Marketing, however, is one industry that gets closer to closing this gap. In addition to revealing average salaries for specific marketing roles, The 2012/13 Croner Marketing Rewards Survey revealed a record low gap between the pay received by men and women in the industry. A further study conducted by Brandweek controversially suggests that women may be better at marketing jobs as they "listen" to customers better and understand the significance of "emotional connections to the brand".

Marketing has many specialisations including public relations, product management and campaign management. If you have a love for writing, you can start as a content writer and contribute to popular blogs before you even start your career. Blogging on related subjects definitely adds colour to the hobbies and interests section of your CV. If you have the knack for technology and love to connect with people, you could also look at a career in digital marketing.

By signing up for a course like the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing or the DMI Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, you can set a solid foundation to a career in digital marketing. These courses provide fundamental knowledge on areas such as mobile marketing, digital media management, metrics and analytics. What's more, being a digital marketer, you get to do what others are banned from; play with social media the whole day.

With person experience, I can say that a career in digital marketing is a very rewarding one and allows you to see clear results from your efforts. When I started as a Digital Marketing Manager at London School of Marketing, its Facebook page had 300 fans and an external RSS feeding the wall. Within precisely eight months, I grew the fan base to 4000+ fans and the company now uses Facebook as one of the main communication platforms. We post start dates, deadlines, achievements and feeds from our very own blog and it helps us to connect with our students and support them more closely.

Without marketers, organisations will not know what customers want and customers will not know what the organisation has to offer. As I like to see it, marketing is the heart of an organisation.