People working in marketing target the audience of a business or product using different methods, from billboards and posters on the sides of buses, to sponsored Facebook and Twitter posts.

Careers in marketing tend to start within the in-house marketing departments of larger companies. Rather than working on lots of individual projects (like advertising agencies), marketing departments can focus all their attention on a single mission: promoting their own company. They devise the strategy for all communication and sales campaigns, and build strong relationships with their customers.

Jobs in digital marketing

Marketing can take many forms, requiring different methods and skills. Digital marketing for example the role will require you to have a thorough understanding of web browsers, website design, search engine optimisation (SEO), link building and social networking. One other thing worth knowing is that digital marketing teams are expected to work at an incredibly fast pace, usually on multiple campaigns at the same time.

Getting to grips with e-marketing, social networking and website creation is one thing, but it’s absolutely imperative to be in tune with your client’s wants and needs. That’s why the use of ‘web analytics tools’, which allow you to report detailed results back to your client quickly and efficiently, is definitely one skill worth polishing up on. Knowing how to use data is an essential part of e-marketing; and a good understanding of using data in Excel will help.

Jobs in direct marketing

Direct marketing is a completely different type of marketing – one that doesn’t use conventional communication methods to speak to target demographics, such as billboards, TV ads and magazine centrefolds. This means you’ll be expected to come up with new and exciting advertising techniques – anything from online campaigns to traditional, but innovative, door-to-door flier distribution.

If you work in this area of marketing you might be raising awareness of your brand through a variety of different direct marketing channels, such as free samples, discount coupons, competitions and prize draws, or emails that tell people all about new products and deals. You might even be organising one-off events or presentations inside shops.

Jobs in guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing is another form of marketing: if you’ve seen photos online of people getting advertising slogans shaved into the backs of their heads, or you’ve noticed stickers and QR codes on escalators and lamp posts, then you’ve seen guerrilla marketing in action.

It’s low-level but effective, and can totally transform the exposure of a small marketing campaign, optimising a small budget. This unconventional approach involves trying to get the most out something small and creating a lasting brand image in the consumer’s mind. To work in this line of marketing, you will need to be inventive, do the majority of your thinking outside of the box and be able be to work to tight budgets.

Jobs in market research

Market research is another area of marketing. Market research and brand consultancy companies conduct market research on behalf of other organisations to assess the value of their advertising campaigns. They then present their findings to the company and advise them on how their current advertising campaigns can be improved.

Marketing apprenticeships

School leavers wanting to work in this sector could do an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) after taking their GCSEs, and train in roles like event management assistant, junior marketing executive and market researcher.

They could then do an Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in roles like advertising account executive, marketing assistant, PR officer, marketing co-ordinator and marketing officer. School leavers with A-levels could also access these schemes.

There are also marketing Higher Apprenticeships (Level 4), for those with a good set of A-levels/UCAS points or who have completed an Advanced Apprenticeship, in roles such as creative service and advertising account executive.

School leavers could also look at the courses on offer at further education college or university. 

Recruiting school leavers? We can help