20th February, 2015
Marketing has always been recognized as an important business activity. It is as old as business itself though its shape and form has grown. From the simple act of selling something on offer, to increasingly sophisticated methods of reaching a customer with the objective of selling, the very meaning of Marketing has, and continues to, evolve at a faster pace than ever before.
This change is a function of, and dictated by, leaps in technology and its tendency to equalize among players in the market, competition as it becomes increasingly fierce, and the restlessness that essentially stems from unprecedented ambition.
So, today Marketing as a career is sexy. It offers romance and excitement of a suitor wooing his lady love, and the challenge that perhaps a soldier feels on his way to war. But, once in it, it is serious business. It consumes the largest investment in business with the highest risk. It involves decision making on the basis of the most imperfect data and facts, and without the scientific processes that can link effort and cost with results in a direct, quantifiable and predictable manner. Unlike in Finance, Manufacturing, Purchase and so on, Marketing ultimately relies heavily on the instinct and experience of the marketing man. With all its sophistication today, it is still more of an art than it is a science.
Having said that, and before marketing begins to sound like a game of chance, it must be acknowledged that the whole function of marketing today is quite sophisticated. Every aspect of it has grown to develop a “technology”, a system that guides the process to increase the chances of success.
This is seen in every area of marketing where each is as integral and important to the overall process as any other.
Take Marketing Research. It is vital to understand the immense and ever changing lifestyles, needs and wants, motivations, aspirations and profiles of consumer groups. In fact, the very definition of consumer groups continues to shrink rapidly, requiring the marketing man to wish he could speak almost individually to every consumer. To sell to these very diverse consumers, sophisticated models of “marketing effort” are critical. Hence, continuous study of their profiles, location, habits and drivers is crucial at every stage. Every bit of marketing strategy needs to be pre and post tested for efficacy. It is important to know what will succeed, what succeeded and what failed and WHY.
Thus Marketing Research is today a sophisticated tool in the hands of the Marketing man and offers a specialized career for young business aspirants. Customized and syndicated studies, qualitative and quantitative exploration, Data analytics and Strategy development offer sophisticated, specialized career options with large multinational and specialty organizations. In today’s India, these equally offer opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures.
On the other side, the whole world of marketing communications has become vital to success and offers a wide range of rewarding career options. When you’ve created a great product or service, your consumers need to know about it and want to acquire it. Reaching them effectively has become a very complex task. In an evolving consumer society like ours, no two consumer groups are alike. Without the facility to reach them individually in most cases, sophisticated tools are required to create clusters based on common denominators. Then comes the complex task of reaching them to speak to them in a language and with a proposition that will inspire them to desired action. This requires knowledge of the process, media vehicles, consumer media habits, as much as the skill to communicate with them effectively.
This opens up rewarding careers in Advertising Strategy, Creative, Client Management, Media strategy and negotiating/buying and research, Public relations, Digital communications, Out-of-home marketing, Design, Rural marketing, and so on.
Digital is a new, exciting and rapidly growing medium for reaching consumers. It already accounts for near 30% of all advertising spends in mature markets like the US and still growing. With the proliferation of computers, the internet and mobile phones, this new medium provides immense opportunities for reaching micro target audiences at economical costs with personalized messages. It provides marketers an opportunity to interact with consumers to sharpen their offerings and develop personalized messages for greater impact.
Another developing area in the marketing game is the Out of home media. With the induction of new technology in outdoor bill boards, in-shop videos, merchandising, packaging design and so on.
Each of these areas represent lucrative career opportunities for young professionals. Thus, at Northpoint we run specialist training programs in each of these areas with a view to building actionable knowledge that prepares young graduates to join these industries at managerial levels and hit the ground running.
Northpoint training model is a unique one. All training is done in partnership with industry. Senior leaders participate in the development of the curriculum, deliver the training, put students through extended internships and then recruit them on graduation.
-Mr. Prem Mehta
Northpoint Centre of Learning