Marketing? One of life’s great mysteries – An intern’s perspective by Jamie Frere-Smith, 22nd Jul 2013

When you tell most people that you are doing a marketing placement they look at you with a look of confusion, a rather common response is, “What do you do in marketing?” I have to admit even though I had studied the subject in my business degree (which I found very interesting by the way) I wasn’t completely sure what a day in the life of a marketer looked like.

So I researched some local specialist marketing companies to see if I could gain some much needed experience in the field. It was Nicki Banks at Sugar-Bullet Marketing that was kind enough to give me the opportunity of a placement to find my answer to the question, ‘what do marketers actually do.’

Let’s face it marketing sometimes gets a bit of a bad press. The word seems to conjure up images of trendy attired executives, spouting the latest new-age pseudo psychology, whilst sipping on their frappuccino’s in the latest fashionable coffee house. This stereotype may well have been exacerbated by the popular TV show ‘Madmen’ but this is maybe more of an exaggerated reflection of the crazy world of advertising rather than the more grounded stratosphere of marketing.

To be honest It is no wonder that a lot of people are oblivious to what marketers do, as it is actually a pretty complex discipline, combining both art and science, creativity and analysis, yin and yang. For example one day I would be helping to go through a ‘customer journey’, trying to get myself into the psychology of a consumer and coming up with a tailored strategy from the research findings. The next I would be analysing the results of a strategy on tools such as Google Analytics or Adwords to access whether the current strategy is creating adequate return on investment (ROI).

This diversity of discipline’s means that firstly, the job is never repetitive and dull (well..rarely) and secondly, it requires a broad spectrum of skills. You’ll need psychology for predicting customer perception and behaviour, good written English for copywriting and blog posts, sound maths for monitoring and analysing data, the list really could go on.

I have to admit I have gained a great insight into the life of a marketer through working with Nicki and I have learnt a lot about what goes into making a successful marketing strategy. From the initial research to the implementation of a marketing plan that is both cost effective and targeted, I have learned that successful marketing is no mean feat.  Now when people ask me what marketers do, my response will be, “well...It’s complicated.”

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