Are you a marketing student working away at your degree feeling incredibly nervous about the industry you are about to enter? Do you have about 3 million questions in your mind about what to expect after you graduate? Don’t worry. Not only is this incredibly normal, but you also aren’t alone.
Last month Sr. Brand Strategist Melissa Wong, and Brand Strategist Tessa Heath attended a speed mentoring event where they had the chance to answer questions from the next generation of marketers. This event is hosted by Nabs and invites students from local universities to ask industry professionals questions they may have about the world of marketing.
This event is such a great opportunity to meet and chat with young marketers as they are just starting out. Looking back, I bet a lot of professionals today wish they had the opportunity to ask an industry expert a few questions before they took their first job.
The students asked such great questions that we feel many young professionals may be curious about, so we recorded our favorite 6 questions and had our team answer them.
Q: How are agencies structured? What is an Account Manager/ Account Coordinator?
Most marketing/advertising agencies are separated into these departments: Accounts/Client Services/Sales, Strategy/Planners, Creative/Production/Development, Media/Ad Buying.
In a boutique agency like REX, the Account Manager is the all-knowing keeper of their client accounts. They manage all client communication, strategize for the brand, and work with creative teams to produce the work! – Melissa, Sr. Brand Strategist
Q: What traits and attributes are needed to be successful in marketing?
I think there are traits such as being organized, focused, and creative that are common among marketing professionals, but for me the trait I see most in successful people is drive. The drive to get the best possible result, the drive to always be learning and improving. Often the successful people aren’t necessarily the best at something, but they are working harder than anyone else in the room- Tessa, Brand Strategist
An obsession with people and what makes people feel and act. Too many marketers place too much focus on mastering a marketing skill like digital advertising, for example, but that’s simply a tactic — a mode of marketing. While it’s important to build tactical expertise, really successful marketers focus on understanding the humans in the audience they are trying to reach and find out how to reach them through a variety of tactics. Tactics and technology will always change; you’ll never master them all. But, if you develop the skills and intuition and creative muscle of deep and meaningful communication, you’ll always be in demand. – Allison, CEO/Founder
Q: What is the biggest learning lesson so far in your career?
The biggest lesson I have learned was not checking in on my happiness and what my passions were early on in my career. I was spending so much time trying to be “the best” and not worrying about my own growth and learning. Having a growth mindset, not a goal mindset is a hard transition to make but is much more rewarding in the long run. – Tessa, Brand Strategist
The biggest lesson that I have learned in my career so far is that there is a reason why developing visuals is called a “creative process.” The keyword here being “process”. Sometimes a client may come to you already thinking they know what they want, or you may come up with a decent idea right from the get-go. However, the strongest concepts are for the most part developed by following some sort of process that allows you to explore a wide range of visual possibilities. You have to dig to get to the gold. – Christian, Lead Graphic Designer
Q: How do you deal with challenging clients and what are common challenges that come up?
A common challenge is having different expectations than the client. Make sure your expectations align early in the process and you have a clear plan/layout/content outline that you can refer to throughout the process so that if anything comes into question, you can have a conversation rather than argue. – Brittany, Account Associate
The most common challenges, with clients or team members, always come down to communication. Or rather, miscommunication. The key to success is clarity and understanding your audience. To set yourself up for success, be transparent with your intentions, ask better questions, and focus on listening – not being heard – Melissa, Sr. Brand Strategist
Q: What are some tips for nailing an interview?
- Be 100% clear on the job requirements
- Demonstrate preparedness by going above and beyond with research
- Make a personal connection, while maintaining a balance between professional and personable
- Ask questions that you really care about.
- Have a can-do attitude and demonstrate your eagerness to learn and grow
– Melissa, Sr. Brand Strategist
Bring your enthusiasm and your curiosity! Every good leader/employer is looking to hire people who are jazzed about the vision of the company. Make it your mission to understand it and then share how you’d like to contribute to it – Allison, CEO/Founder
Q: What is the most exciting part of a project for you?
Brand Discovery- Allison, CEO/Founder
Seeing ideas come to life – Melissa, Sr. Brand Strategist
The brainstorming phase – Christian, Lead Designer
Igniting a spark in the client and seeing their reaction – Brittany, Account Associate
Research! When you find data that aligns to your strategy – Tessa, Brand Strategist
We hope these questions can provide some insight for anyone curious about working in Marketing and specifically an agency. Do you have any more questions? DM us on Instagram @startwithrex
Curious about Nabs? Nabs is a unique charity specifically designed to support the health and well-being of all individuals in the media, marketing, and communications industry in Canada. Check out their website to learn more: https://nabs.org/
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