How studying marketing can enrich your life
From career prospects to personal relationships, Roberto explores how understanding marketing can benefit all aspects of your life.
We all like to think we are rational decision-makers. Yet at times we find ourselves unexempt from making foolish purchases; those impulse-driven ones that leave us wondering where our logic was at the time – I’m no different.
But what if I told you that, in a lot of these cases, you weren’t to blame at all?
Unbeknownst to many, the numerous purchase – and even life – decisions we make thinking they were “ours” were already preconceived by someone else. Strategically designed like a web to entice and draw you in, within each glistening strand lies the masterful execution of marketing. And in today’s day and age, there’s no escaping it… marketing is everywhere.
From the vibrant flashing lights of the Las Vegas Strip and New York’s Times Square, the abundant array of nicely displayed products on hangers and shelves, the free cans of energy drinks handed out at universities, down to those annoying pop-up advertisements on social media, marketing is quite theatrical.
My advice? Since it is here to stay, well, might as well enjoy the show.
And for those wanting to take their lives to the next level, I’d recommend studying the art and science behind it. A common misconception is that marketing pertains only to promotions and advertising, but this is only scratching the surface as “communications” is merely one of the many aspects of marketing.
As an MSc Marketing student at the University of London, I can attest that marketing expertise is not only a great investment for dedicated practitioners, but for anyone, as it offers countless benefits that extend beyond the practice itself. In this blog post, I'll explain how a marketing degree can be helpful in everyday life, job searching, and onwards into whatever career path one may embark on.
As already mentioned, marketing is everywhere. By studying its principles, one can better understand the persuasive techniques used by businesses to sell their products and services. This knowledge can be especially valuable as a consumer to make better-informed decisions about what one buys, from whom one buys, and why. Want to know when is the best time to buy an iPhone or book a flight, or why many prices end in a “9”? Business pricing strategy will tell you. Want to know why a lot of companies’ logos are blue, and why food-related companies avoid using it? Consumer and buyer behaviour theory will explain this. Want to know how you receive online advertisements for something you were just thinking or talking about? Digital and Social Media Marketing practices will inform you.
Furthermore, marketing does not only apply to products and services; the very same principles can also be implemented for people. For example, if you find yourself in the middle of a job search, knowing how to “market yourself” will maximize your chances of landing that role you’ve been eyeing. Much like how companies position themselves and design a communications plan based on a carefully selected target market or segment, you can extract a few pointers from their playbooks and job hunt more strategically. In your case, instead of “customer reviews” you’ve got references, instead of “product features and benefits” you’ve got your skills, expertise and how you can contribute and add value to the prospective employer, instead of “product packaging” you’ve got your wardrobe and body language, and instead of “targeted ads” you’ve got networking. In fact, I’d go as far and say that similar principles can be applied to enriching one’s personal relationships and dating life.
Finally, as marketing skills are transferrable to a wide range of industries, possessing them can be a great foundation for a successful career in whatever chosen field. Look at it this way: all organisations require a constant influx of revenue to survive, and tactful marketing both enables and multiplies that rate of income. As Philip Kotler, a well-renowned marketer and economist, said, “Financial success often depends on marketing ability”. So, whether your role involves success metrics such as revenue generation, market awareness, customer attraction, customer happiness, company growth, employee happiness, cost reduction or process efficiency, a knowledge of marketing principles will only boost your capabilities to achieve, or even surpass, those objectives. Alternatively, you can use your marketing skills to start your own business or work as a consultant, helping other businesses develop and execute their plans successfully.
In conclusion, as an MSc Marketing student, I can see how studying the discipline can be a valuable investment for anyone. One who understands marketing techniques is not only a more informed consumer better equipped to make wise purchase decisions, but also a more visible and attractive candidate in the job market, and a more valuable asset to any organisation they join.
Roberto studies MSc Marketing in the Philippines.