You can learn a lot in less than a year working somewhere. I think about Andy in The Devil Wears Prada, and all the hoops she had to jump through and how she changed and turned her life upside down for her job and how it can ultimately change for the best. Luckily, I don't have to jump through crazy hoops and have a Dragon Lady for a boss. I've been very fortunate and get on well with mine and it has opened my eyes into the marketing world and all the tricks you have to pull to get it all done. We are in the middle of our rebrand still, and there is still lots to get on with and I'm so glad I've been able to experience it firsthand in my first marketing job role. And I hope I get to experience so much more.
If for some reason working in marketing fails I can definitely write a screenplay like Parks and Recreation inspired by all the antics that our office gets up to. Parking gate, kitchen magic tricks, the daily 'sick' email and so much more.
A few things I've learnt from working in marketing..
It's not necessarily a glamorous job
Depending what type of marketing you're in or the company it's not a very glamorous job. I think there's a misconception that industries under the arts umbrella are all colourful and sparkly. After all, marketing is nicknamed 'the colouring-in department'. Some parts of my job do sound like it is like when I say we have had a photo shoot in our offices and on location or I've been on a day trip for a meeting in Edinburgh. They are interesting and I like my job but my idea of what it would be like to work in marketing compared to the reality is a little different. You have still got to keep up with the boring admin tasks.
There will always be something or someone that gets in the way
You can plan, organise and perfect a schedule for something but more often than not there will be a little bump in the road. Our key rebrand launch date was the day our new website went live. A date was set months in advance to make sure we had all the content ready, my boss and I worked together to get it all finalised and ready to go on the launch date set. However, the website didn't go live until 11 days later. It can be frustrating when logistics get in the way, especially after working on something for months. That is something you have to consider in marketing, you can be ready to go but look out for that bump in the road that comes out of nowhere.
Ask for samples and colour swatches
We had a little trouble with the new colour that our logo/colour scheme was going to be. The colour that we were presented with was red but as we started to see physical items it did not match to the original concept. We later found out that the colour we thought we were rebranding to and the colour we were given were different. If I ever have to go through a similar process again I will ask for confirmation with swatches. The pantone colour is more important than you will ever believe. The difference a colour can make is incredible, it really does set the tone and feel of the brand.
You get excited by the smallest things
One Monday after we started working on SEO for the website we went from the second page on a search term we were targeting to 5th position on the first page. I never thought I would get that excited about that but it feels good to see proof that something you have worked on has had a positive outcome. When our new parking signs arrived it was another exciting moment. To see the first physical sign with the new logo even brought a smile to our CEO's face. In marketing that's as exciting as it gets sometimes.
Tight deadlines are inevitable
Going back to planning and organising, you can do what you can but a lot of the time you do end up with a tight deadline. All you can do is prepare yourself if something comes up that brings a deadline forward or an obstacle you have to overcome suddenly. A last minute decision was made to exhibit at an event and we had to get all our stands and other marketing material designed, printed and delivered in just a few weeks. In the end you can only do what you can, you must be realistic and decide if the deadline is possible, even if it means staying late and constantly updating your printing company.
I do really like my job most of the time, some days are crazy and some are mundane. I know that everything I have taken from this role will help me with my career in the future. I'm looking forward to seeing where I go and telling people about the bizarre things I encountered in my first marketing role and I'm sure there will be many more to come.