Opportunity for creative entrepreneurs

WHAT does a day in the life of a marketing manager entail?

The focus of my daily activities is influenced by what is a priority during a specific week or month. My primary duties entail:

lPlanning marketing campaigns for the organisation's offering;

lAnalysing opportunities or threats that exist within the industry;

lMaking decisions that will result in minimising the detrimental impact of threats;

lDevising marketing initiatives to ensure that the organisation generates revenue from market opportunities;

lImplementing marketing campaigns to build brand awareness and ensure appropriate exposure to targeted market segments; and

lCompiling briefs required to provide information to third party suppliers who assist with the development of promotional and other marketing materials.

These activities entail extensive interaction with other internal departments.

Why did you select marketing as a career?

I spent most of my childhood with my maternal grandfather, a teacher, who also provided music training to his students, and my paternal grandmother, who was a humble entrepreneur in the township.

Being exposed to a combination of arts and entrepreneurial enterprise encouraged me to seek a career path that would equip me with the skills and experience to venture into my own business in the future.

How did you get into the career?

After completing a National Diploma in Marketing at the Vaal University of Technology I started my career as a pricing analyst in the airline industry.

As my career progressed, I assumed roles in strategy, planning and business development, which provided me with the necessary skills to operate effectively in my current role as a marketing manager in the engineering industry.

What kind of person will make it in the marketing profession?

Someone with an enquiring mind, adaptability, the ability to be creative and analytical, an avid reader with an appreciation for various art forms combined with good interpersonal and communication skills.

What are the recommended high school subjects?

A combination of economics, accounting, history and geography. The marketing profession combines commerce, humanities and arts.

What tertiary studies would one pursue?

A marketing degree or diploma, which is offered by various institutions.

What career prospects are there for a marketing manager?

Opportunities exist in various industries. including marketing research, pricing, advertising, brand management, sales or business development.

What is most challenging about the job?

The ability to maintain an in-depth understanding of targeted market's needs and purchasing behaviour, which requires the marketing manager to have a balance between being internally and externally focused. Globalisation and trade liberalisation has also exposed South African companies to both domestic and international competition.

Any change in the economic, social, political or internal company conditions can impact the planned marketing campaign effectiveness. Taking this into consideration, one should be able to adapt when the need arises.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

Marketing offers the opportunity of combining commercial fundamentals with creativity, allowing me to have some fun while being involved in projects that will generate revenue for the organisation. Dealing with the third party suppliers within the communication and marketing profession has exposed me to exceptionally talented people who have inspired me.