Marketing offers the dream career - it's time we shout about it

There a few careers with so many selling points, so we need to ensure young people understand what marketing really has to offer.

Raja Rajamannar
Raja Rajamannar

Imagine: you’re 18 and on the verge of the biggest, most transformational chapter of your life. You’re faced with an important decision: picking your subject at university. You want something that excites you, challenges you and adds purpose to your life. Odds are that you’re not considering marketing.

In my 30-plus years as a marketer, I’ve seen the gravitas of our discipline decline. Not because the field isn’t interesting, but because the perception is inaccurate – it’s been overtaken by other ‘trendy' professions, be it from Silicon Valley or tech. The reality is that there has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer. And I’ll tell you why. 

You can make a difference – and a lasting impression

An astounding 70% of people believe brands should stand for what they believe in. Consumers are willing to change their brand choice based on the stance and actions that a brand takes on various societal issues.

In fact, brands with a high sense of purpose have experienced a brand valuation increase of 175% over the past 12 years, according to the Kantar Consulting Purpose 2020 report. This puts a huge opportunity in front of marketers today to make a difference, not only for their brand and their business, but to the world at large. Very few other fields can claim to play the kind of role marketing can play in shaping cultures and enabling impactful change on a local and global scale.

The possibilities for personal growth are tremendous

Today’s marketers have the incredible opportunity for constant growth and continuous learning. Marketing is one of the only fields that stimulates both the right and left side of the brain at such a high level. 

As one plans to go into the field of marketing, they need to be multifaceted, multitalented, a jack of all trades, a general manager. They need to be conversant with public relations, digital technologies, data science and business financials and models. 

Having a diversified skill set, while also understanding the fundamentals of how to simultaneously build the brand and the business, is the new expectation of marketers today. And that not only enables tremendous personal growth, but also can be hugely rewarding.

The pace is exhilarating

The rise of digital and data has created more change for marketers in the past five years than the preceding 25. Technologies like AI, augmented reality and 5G are opening up new opportunities and dimensions for brand expression and consumer engagement. It’s an incredible time for marketers as they get to play with the newest technologies and find a way to make it work for their brand.

New technologies have supercharged the marketer’s toolset, providing actionable, data-driven insights, allowing for thoughtful planning, execution and, perhaps most importantly, allowing marketers to measure their results with laser accuracy.

So, what is marketing today?

Let’s be frank – marketing is a glamorous field. What other field allows you to see the world, meet some of the world’s most influential people and encourages passion, purpose and pride?

Marketing is one of the rare professions that is much more than a job. It’s more of a mystic art and science that exercises both the right and left brain, a combination of the creative and the analytical, and serves a bigger societal purpose – whether you’re a data nerd or a creative geek – it’s holistic, rewarding and gratifying.

Now, imagine you’re an 18-year-old and someone told you that you could go into a field where you’re constantly playing with the newest technologies, traveling the world, meeting the coolest people, living in a face-paced, exciting environment, experiencing the joy of seeing your work come to life in a very visible and tangible way, building a career in a field where you’re always learning and challenged and have the opportunity to impact people’s lives. That’s marketing today.

Raja Rajamannar is chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, and a member of Campaign's Power 100.

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