Vincent Mullen, Social Media Executive At Uts Engineering And Member Of The Chartered Institute Of Marketing Shares His Thoughts On The Evolving World Of Marketing

Issue 62

My marketing journey started immediately after I graduated. Leaving Northumbria University with a Business Management degree, there were a few avenues I could pursue, with marketing not really on my radar. My first role ended up being Social Media Executive, which was a job description that was too good to ignore.

Starting from scratch, my first years were an intense ‘apprenticeship’ in social media. Whilst I loved university, the world of work has completely different requirements. You learn crucial features in your first years, features of your industry, not just skills and nomenclature but also how your role is perceived, its place in the organisation, and how to succeed. Ups and downs are characteristic of this period, but the payoff of resilience can be huge.

Marketing as a field is fraught with misunderstanding. The field changes rapidly, constantly adapting to changes in consumer behaviour. A great deal of marketers struggle to identify their utility sometimes, so how can we expect the organisation to understand it? The greatest difficulty is that our success is measured by the purchasing decisions of people, and people can be extremely difficult to influence.

Marketing as a science is emerging more and more over time. Of course, international companies have always had the tools and resources to analyse swathes of customer data to a great degree of detail, but now with the rise of so many free analytics platforms, including native analytics, understanding your customers has never been easier.

Which leads me onto why I find marketing so exciting as a career. We are at an incredible stage of adoption of new technologies, coupled with constantly changing consumer behaviours. Every day presents a new challenge, as well as new strategies and tactics to capitalise on these changes. It is a creative revolution at the moment, with the only limitations being how quickly you can put your ideas into practice.

The popularity of many campaigns is attracting the new generation of marketers. Gone are the stuffy days of brands looking ‘professional’ (used by many as a code-word for boring). The new generation accept this. They use this fact to thrive. Brands like Burger King use humour to great effect to attract and engage communities, whilst others like Nike align themselves with social causes that resonate with their communities, building brand advocacy. There are so many routes, directions or strategies to take, the possibilities and the potential is endless.

I find this in my current role more and more. Marketing does not have to be the department that tarts up your photos and throws together another lifeless leaflet. They can be the team that livens up a brand, breathing life and more importantly, personality into brands. When you have the buy in from the organisation, and you have the creative freedom to try new things, potential will materialise into success at some point.

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