Posted On: 2006-01-12Length: 31:27
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And, welcome back ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jared Degnan and you are turned in to the world wide web and 20-Something Marketing Forum, an informative, engaging look at marketing, and of course the lives of 20-something professionals dealing with the reality, and of course the drama of the modern workplace. This is a show for those of us who get up in the morning, gargle with about half a gallon of coffee, and say you know what, mediocrity is not my deal.
Well I want to welcome you guys to the first, I guess what is basically the first normal show of the year, which is absolutely awesome. I know a lot of you guys wrote in to me about last week's episode, telling me what you did and did not like about it. And I have to admit that when it comes down to comedy, I'm still kind of learning the line in what's funny to me versus what's funny to you guys and all. It would have been helpful if I had done that as a vidcast and actually done the screen shots of the SIMS just to make it a little bit more funny, but I do appreciate you guys hanging in with me. And I promise that this week's show is going to be much, much better. Also just because I'm not going to be you know, reaching beyond my means.
Oh gosh! But I do want to say that I am glad to be back on a normal schedule guys. Honestly, it's like, this is the first day this year that I'm actually able to go to the gym. Not because I have been exceptionally lazy, just because I've been sick. And I apologize if you guys hear a little bit of it in my voice. I'm still kind of getting over it. But the fact of the matter is that I'm finally getting back to kind of really hitting the show for all it's worth. And I think you guys are going to find the next couple of weeks pretty exciting. The fact that I'm actually going off an editorial calendar here is absolutely huge, in fact those of you who actually know me, especially my one or two coworkers that listen to this show, realize that as much as I love to do things creatively, I'm not always the best person to plan. I'm the kind of person who dives into things head on and just starts rearranging things, much to the chagrin of sometimes my boss. But the point is that I don't really put that much into planning, and as much as that kind of irks me and my personality, it's good to, planning takes a clean slate. Planning takes that two weeks that I took off with nothing else to do but just to plan. Which is awesome. Which is what it's all about.
So as we go into the new year, what the hell do we want to get accomplished? And I was thinking about that, and I thought that the perfect element for the first show of the year would be to address a question that came my way via Kizo, over in the wonderful world of Oz, otherwise known as Australia, and she posed an interesting question. It's, how do you break into marketing? And I looked back on some of the survey results that I got from the listener survey that I did last year, and it turns out that there are a lot of people out there who do listen to the show who might not know a whole ton about marketing. That's not to say that you guys aren't, or are ignorant to the subject in any way, shape or form. But the idea being that there are a lot of people who listen to this show as a way to bring marketing into an accessible realm, which I think is absolutely awesome. So I thought that I'd kind of center the show around what it takes, not only to make it in marketing, but to break into marketing. What are the career paths? What do you need to do to move up the ladder? What waits for you on the other side of the curtain? And for us pros, just kind of taking a step back to basics. I mean, all of could use a little bit of schooling every once in a while. So I thought it'd be an interesting concept to take a look at kind of where marketers start. Where does marketing start, where do all these other subjects end? Cause when you come down to it, marketing is everywhere. Marketing is sales. Marketing is advertising. And we'll dive a whole lot further into that today. But the question is, I mean, how can we as 20-somethings, we've been brought up in this incredibly commercial oriented culture. I mean there were, I was watching a great DVD the other day, Any Given Sunday, and the coach was remarking that the day the game started going downhill was the day they interrupted the game to go to a commercial. And that really made an interesting concept. I mean, our lives are now so predicated so much on sales. It's predicated on the culture of commercialism that we have built, not only in the USA, but across the world. I mean you look at China and how it's starting to become this huge industrial and commercial power. And you got to think to yourself, what's the next commercial warfare going to be? And I, I'm not saying that we're going to be marching off to war with t-rules and ad copy, but I mean, it's something to keep in mind.
So guys, I want to welcome you to the brand new year. Strap in, get ready. Pull up a cup of coffee. Because I'd like to welcome you to episode #22, aptly named "Marketers Start Here."
You know what, I have been so excited to do this topic for a long, long time. And you know why? Because there's nothing better that I like to do than give advice. And you know what, it's it just absolutely blows my mind to the extent that other people will listen to my advice. For instance, whenever I break up with a guy, it seems like the only reason why they'll ever call me back or they'll ever want to be actually friends, is because they want marketing advice. Quite literally. Another email from another ex today, saying, oh I've got a friend and he wants to break back into marketing. What advice can you give him? And you know it's at those moments that I just want to like turn into Jack Nicholson, going "Sure I'll give you advice. I'll give you all the advice that you want. But you know what? You have to ask me nicely." You see, I eat breakfast four city blocks from 4,000 gay guys who were trained to be ditzy. So don't think for one second that you can send me an email after two months of no contact and make me nervous. You see cupcake, I can stand the bitches and the queens and the fairy princesses. I don't want sex and I don't need you as a boyfriend. But what I do want is for you to stand there in your faggety black leather jacket and with your smug "I can do better mouth," extend me some fucking courtesy. Like I said, you have to ask me nicely.
Anyway, now that we're done with that. The question being, what do I tell these folks? Do I tell them to go fuck themselves? No, because I'm too nice of a guy. And you know what, the hostility will subside, I promise you. And I apologize. What do you need to start a career in any field? Well, the first point is that you need some grasp of what the hell it is. Second of all you need to know the typical job attributes. What do you do from day to day? Does your definition of that particular position match whatever it is the marketplace has set out there? And then third, do you have the requisite qualifications for this? Do you have the right experience? Do you have the right education? And it's interesting because as pros, we need to get back to basics every once in a while and understand that, you know what, as far off as we can go, as great as we can get at our jobs, we're all governed by the same basic principles, and that's just humanity. And that's really what marketing is all about. And no matter how long we've been here, those rules don't change. And it's really kind of funny because when you look around your office place, because there is such a wide range of applicability of marketing, everybody thinks they're a marketer. The CEO's think they're a marketer. CFO's think they're a marketers. I've got, I've got operations people who think they're marketers. And it's really funny to look around my office and just see all the folks who think they can write marketing letters that they think they can view the marketplace, and I'm not saying that they can't, it's just that, do you have what it takes to make those actual decisions, or do you do this day after day after day, and what are your core competencies? Yes, of course I can do my taxes. But you know what, I know that there are better people out there at doing the taxes than I am. Therefore if I ever have an issue with really expertly doing my taxes, and not like, you know, wanting to get an audit, that's, I'm going to go to an expert here, folks. So the imperative for today's show is that you have to ground yourself in the facts. You have to ground yourself in the reality and what's out there. And really understand the basics of marketing and where you're supposed to go in the marketplace.
So, that being said, let's take a look, what is marketing? When you ask a marketer what is marketing, the first thing that they're probably going to tell you, is what's generally known as the four Ps. That's product, price, placement and positioning. Without popping my p's too much. That's what we call the four Ps of marketing. And each of these things is a different aspect of what marketing controls. We control the product because we talk about product extensions. We talk about responding to a demand in the marketplace. We talk about price in terms of how we're going to position it in the marketplace, like in terms of, are we going to make this the low cost option or are we going to make this the high cost option? The placement. What stores are we going to put this in? What channels are we going to advertise in? Where are we going to put our name out? And then lastly, positioning. Where are we gong to place this in the marketplace? We have something called the Boston Consulting Group Model, which is, for those of you who have never seen one, it's basically a grid separated into four parts, and you're talking about the differences between a product that is on the lower end of the sales cycle, or product development cycle, which means it's kind of fading off the market. It's really not making a whole lot of money, and it's not growing very fast. Whereas you have something that is making a lot of money and is on its upward climb. And there are things called cash cows, which are slow-growing products which make shit loads of money for the company. But the fact of the matter is, those four Ps, those aren't a definition. It's a component.
Now if you ask me what marketing is, I'm going to tell you that marketing is more about outreach. And the reason why that people think that they're marketers is because it reaches throughout just, in a large swath of the organization and customer touch points. We're talking customer service here. We're talking business development. Sales. Even administration, you're talking about human resources. Accounting, facilities. Each of these has some sort of marketing component in there. For instance, with HR, let's take a look at Starbucks. I think Starbucks actually takes a very good element to their marketing because they need a lot of people to work those jobs. Therefore they need to have a reputation out in the marketplace, therefore they are going to market their HR practices, the fact that you get part-health, even if you're part time you get health care. And you get like pounds of coffee. It's all about marketing. Also, I mean it gets confusing cause where does marketing squarely rests? Where's the responsibility? Is it with business development? Is it with marketing? And if you don't have a particular marketing department, who's the person best suited in your organization to handle it? And I think that's where a lot of folks are able to break into marketing. Is to find those touch points where marketing may not be exactly identified, marketing might not be well defined, and that's where people find a great way to get in there. But the fact of the matter is, folks, marketing is voice. Marketing is vision. Marketing is voice and the aspect that you are reaching out, you're creating a personality for the organization, and you're reaching out into the marketplace. And it's also vision because you're quite literally saying, ok, this is how our product is perceived now, and these are the actions that I'm going to take to get the product to here, which is my positioning place. And it's kind of interesting cause when you look at marketing, how you get that voice is very, very diverse. It, I had mentioned this beforehand. Marketing really does exist on a spectrum. On one side you have sales, which is very personal, contact-oriented. And on the other side you have advertising, which is very impersonal, very touch and go. But the key point understanding this spectrum is interaction. And it's kind of funny because I watched Kinsey this weekend, and of course everybody knows about the Kinsey scale, where the noted sexual psychologist, Alfred Kinsey said that human sexuality exists on a scale of 0 to 6, 0 being perfectly straight, 6 being perfectly gay. Well I think that very much applies to marketing. And it's a style of interaction, and when you look at how marketing is going right now, you will see that it's really becoming very fluid. And a great example of this is guerilla marketing.
Guerilla marketing is technically a part of advertising. Guerilla a marketing is where you have a subversive person on the street saying, "oh guess what, I really have this deodorant that I love." And it's kind of like, it's starting a whisper campaign. It's out there in the marketplace. When it comes down to it, those tactics are really more sales oriented. You're talking about making personal contact. You're talking about making a pitch. You're talking about a call to action here. And it's really, I mean, it's really interesting because when you say, at first you want to break into marketing, you have to answer the question, what is it that you want to do? And I mean, the answer to that is it depends. You have to decide what matters most to you. Are you really creative or do you like being a control freak? And that's really what's going to determine your path on into the next, the first couple of years. Now when it comes down to it, and I mean, this is kind of weird, the rubber meets the road for a lot of the folks who are entering the marketing job market. It's that entry level jobs in marketing are usually very administrative. Unusually you come into the marketplace. Not a whole lot of people. They may have internships. They may have prerequisite activities. But they usually have no skills. And you have to build it up. Therefore you start out in mostly administrative positions. And I'll give you three different kind of aspects. Going forward into like the three components, or the three different, kind of break down some marketing, but keep in mind there is plenty of wiggle room within these. In fact you can combine them in almost every way, shape and form. But the way that I break it down is: sales, pure marketing and then advertising.
Now when I say pure sales, I mean that's like going out into the marketplace, whether it be inside sales, which is kind of going out and like actually cold calling, or you're talking about like outside sales, which is the typical Fuller Brush salesman, where you go from door to door, you go to business to business and you basically are either asking people to buy your product from you right there. So the entry level job into sales is usually going to be a sales associate. These are the folks who basically stay in the office and support the sales professional. They do a lot of cold calling, they do a lot of research. And I mean, it's kind of interesting just because they're, I started out as a sales associate. And it's really kind of a tough job, but it really does give you a lot of great skills within the marketplace. Now the second component, or the second level would be pure marketing. And that's really what I kind of do now, which is, you've got a mix. It's like direct marketing, you do a lot of direct mail. You might be doing, oh I don't know, you might be doing stuff for trade shows, etc., things where you're kind of crossing the line between personal interaction and then the advertising, the non-personal interaction. But the idea behind a marketing coordinator is that it does a lot more of the administrative stuff. You are putting out bids into the marketplace. You are helping the marketing department develop their actual plans. You're helping strategically market. And it's kind of interesting, because you look out into the marketplace, I'm looking for my notes right now, because I had some great stats on this. But I mean the thing with marketing is there's also like room for really great, just really interesting creative jobs within this. And that's kind of like a marketing copywriter. And what, copywriters who really do, is really a very interesting, it's fantastic. And I encourage you guys to look at the copywriter position because what they do, and I'm taking this directly from Monster Careers, and they talk about, they define a copywriter's job as building a client relationship by providing information in a clear manner. Often times copywriters produce direct mail pieces by creating content, establishing designs and ordering art work. And I mean, copywriting was something that I didn't really think about beforehand. But as I kind of evolved into the role, it really did make a lot of sense to me. And the really exciting part about this is that now is the best time to go into copywriting because they're expecting that the jobs are going to keep on evolving until about 2008 because the advent of so much new online content. So I mean it's a really great way to break into the job, and in fact, when you look at just, I mean, overall marketing jobs, it's a great chance to get in there because the marketing profession is actually going to be increasing faster than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact they're saying that they're going to keep on growing quickly through 2014, mainly with the advent of a lot of different industries, such as scientific professional, computer designed systems, and of course on the flip side of that you're going to see some atrophy on the manufacturing, the marketing and manufacturing services. But the idea here is that it's still just a lot, really great opportunity within the pure marketing sector. And I mean, I'll put some links up on the website for you guys to this information because it's really fascinating to look at.
And then very, very lastly, advertising. Now I have to admit I had to look this stuff up because I'm, advertising is by far the hardest element of marketing to get into. Usually it's like the first thing that anybody ever thinks about when they think about marketing. They think about, oh I want to create the ads. I want to create the radio spots. I want to be the folks who do Super Bowl commercials. And you know, that's great. The fact of the matter is that ad spending is going to be, increased 10% in 2004 and again, with the advent of online content, you're still going to see those, you're going to see those jumps grow. However, when you really look at it, advertising jobs are very, very difficult to get. And I had to get this information from College Journal, which is of course the component of the Wall Street Journal that deals with college graduates. And I mean, I encourage you guys that if you guys subscribe to any service within the Wall Street Journal, do Career Journal cause it's really awesome. And the idea here is that they give some great, some great ideas as to how to break into advertising. Now the one thing you need to understand with advertising is, that it's, you can either have very, very specific, or of course the administrative jobs. Very, very specific would be like graphic design, multi-media, or even like media buying. So if you work for like a newspaper and you were selling the ads, that might be a great segue to get into advertising. Now on the other end, account planning and account management, something that's more of a sales tactic, that could be a great place to get on as well. Now in terms of tips that the Wall Street Journal gives to people who want to break into marketing, they give the great advice of kind of searching nationwide. You really do have to be very, very flexible within advertising jobs. You really can't find the job online because most of the larger agencies aren't going to posting the stuff online. In fact they have a great statistic from Ogilvie and Mather which is one of the biggest and most respected advertising agencies in the world. And they said they receive about 5,000 applications per year, but they only accept about 70 new employees. So that means that competition is fierce. And the best way to win interviews is really networking. And when it comes down to it, that means kind of emailing HR managers. Getting to know them. Constantly emailing them, bugging them up the wazoo, and maybe, just maybe you'll get your resume in there.
Now of course this all is predicated on the fact that you are actually able to have those skills that you need to break into it. And keep in mind that these jobs are not always going to be the dream jobs you expected. Like every other aspect of business, business jobs are going to start in the high 20s low 30s. They're going to be bitch jobs, they're going to have long hours, and you're probably going to be treated like crap. But the important thing you need to know about before you try to break into any of these jobs, is that you need to be willing to juggle two directives. The first of which is just knocking your job out of the park. And second of all, you need to focus on building up your career. And really, because that's what you need. The skills to move up. And I mean, I really do like want to harp on this because it's really important in the marketing industry, that you keep on developing your skills. Cause when you're in your position, you have to develop your skills so you specifically shoot up for different positions. For instance, in sales, you move up to the salesperson from a sales coordinator. In peer marketing you're working your way up to like assistant marketing manager, or marketing manager, for instance. Also in advertising, you're looking for senior designers, senior copywriters, advertising managers, account managers. And it's kind of funny because my title, is technically creative marketing specialist. But what I do is copywriting, and I sometimes resent my title just because it doesn't quite explain what I do. However, it's about building skills and being able to prove that you are ready to step up into that next position. Now the question is, how do you get those positions? For those pros who are already in those positions, what the hell do you do? And as I mentioned this earlier, some great examples would be to do projects, internships or externships. You have to be ready to build the skills up to really be able to identify those skills whether it be writing, whether it be sales, whether it be internal relations. That you have to be creative and execute on all the projects that you are given. And then finally, and not lastly, leastly. Ask. This is the secret to moving up within your organization, folks. That's it. Right here on the 20-Something Marketing Forum. It's ask. Meet with your boss. Meet with your mentor. Meet with the person whose job that you want. Ask them, how do I position myself. Can I get on one of your projects? Can I start doing some networking? And I mean, this isn't the show where I'm going to talk about all this internal movement, but the fact of the matter is that these are great ways of moving up guys. And even if you are those, the professional job title, job sections like myself, it's really a great experience to be able to kind of understand what your next step is. And, I mean, well I guess I don't even call myself pro, but pros like myself, for lack of a better expression, look back on our former experiences, the ones where we were the sales associates, the one where we're the marketing coordinator, or the copywriter or even the ad designer. And we look back and we see them with fond memories. And just because, you know what, it's a shit job. I mean all of us have those positions in which we start off in. We hate them, but they teach us something. And that's really what we want to do. And I think the key thing here is that you've got to want it. You've really got to want it bad and you have to drive yourself to be good, whether you are a pro or you're starting out. You have to drive yourself both creatively and to move up. And honestly, to understand why you want this position. Do you want it because you want to be a person who executes those ads? Or do you want to be the person who gets shit done? I mean, again, it's all about voice. It's about vision. It's about outreach. It's about people. The ultimate reward in marketing is not necessarily huge profits or even gained market share. It's about the process for a lot of us. It's about creation. It's about execution. It's about art. It's about the fact that sometimes even though we might lose sight of the incredible thrill that is marketing, we look back and we understand that this is what we did it for. We're not doing it because we want to make money. We want to do it because we're creating the vision and the voice and the money is just the side comment.
And I mean, let me give you some advice, guys. If you're going into marketing for the glamour, take a gut check. Understand that though it's important to move up and have drive and have ambition, it's also important to know where you came from and why. So, I mean, it's, I might be preaching from the mountain top here folks. But the fact of the matter is if you want to build a job and you want to build a career that really reflects your best interests, do it because you want to. And do it because you want to be great at it.
And of course we are back to wrap up the show with what I affectionately call the game plan, which is kind of the moral of the story, if you will. But in the end it's actual tactics that you can take with you to make your life better somehow. Some way. Well the first piece of advice that I have to give you guys is very closely monitor what happens when you put yourself out on singles sites. Now, a couple of weeks ago I did a nice little interview with Justin over at QJew.com and I had mentioned to him that I had kind of tried to step away from the singles sites. But after I started putting my, my stuff out on his site, I found out that my pictures appeared on a different site, not of my own volition, mind you, but apparently some person took my profile shots off of another web site that I have, another profile site, it's kind of like a social group here in DC. But they took my profile shots and they put it, and now it's being used by this 37-year-old guy in Schenectady, New York. This is just really fucked up. Anyway. So onto the main point of the game plan and advice number two.
Ask. Ask is the advice of the day, guys. If you want something, if you want to move up in your organization, then ask. I can sit here and I can list off a dozen or so great career websites that you can look and find thousands and thousands of jobs on. Many in marketing. Many within the realm of marketing. However, the one piece of advice that no one ever really gives you, and no one really ever kind of teaches you how to do it in college, is how to ask. Quite literally. The majority of the great opportunities that I've been able to get in my life, and my friends have been able to get, are when they just kind of, they ask for it. They go up to one of their superiors, and as crazy as it may seem, they as, you know what, I'd like to learn more about this. I'd like to potentially move up to this. What advice can you give me? What track can I pursue? And the same goes for networking. You go up and you send an email to someone that you've never known before. That's how I get half of my interviews on this show, for crying out loud. Quite literally. I just sent an email out to people and I say, Hi, I'd love to have you on the show, will you come? And you know what? Many times I don't get a response. But the times that I do get a response, it is gold. It's bigger than anything you could possibly imagine. Cause I mean, you ask for it and you shall receive. And I know that sounds corny to you, but I mean, try it today. Just try it. Ask somebody, somebody in your office, somebody you may talk to on a regular basis, maybe you don't. But if you want something, go up and ask for it. Ask for it nicely. Say hey, I know that you've got a busy schedule. I know that you've got other things on your plate, but if you don't mind, I would love to have, maybe about five minutes of your time to talk about this. People love to be, to have their advice solicited from them. So as just kind of a summation point, I ask you guys to go out and ask. Ask for it. If you want success, go out and ask for it.
Well folks. That has been the 20-Something Marketing Forum for this week. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Again, I appreciate all your comments and feedback or suggestions for that matter. Send them on to 20somethingmarketing.com, or you can email me at email@example.com. Also I'm looking for people to interview. I've gotten a couple of great stories in from some folks and I'm kind of compiling into a couple of great online, on-the-air success stories from folks who are going out there and really accomplishing their dreams. But I would love to have more on there, especially if you're in the US. If you have some time to Skype me and talk a little bit about stuff that's going on in your lives, I'd love to do that. So again, email me at Jared@20somethingmarketing.com. That's jared at two zero something marketing dot com. Other than that, I hope you guys have a great week. Take care of yourselves. Remember it's your voice, your vision. And I will catch you all on the flipside.