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How to make sure you’ve got the skills for marketing

Nothing like Mad Men – how to make sure you’ve got the skills for marketing

Have you ever watched Mad Men, that American TV drama about swish-suited advertising execs schmoozing, boozing and sexing up their secretaries on a regular basis?

If you have, you might be under the impression that joining the world of advertising is as easy as rocking up to the door of a firm with a sharp suit and a raft of motivational phrases. Before you know it, you’ll be handling million dollar clients, downing whisky at midday and guffawing as though you were a veritable kingpin of the advertising world.


No, not exactly. While it used to be the case that someone with no qualifications could break into a variety of different white-collar roles, now the market is too competitive to discern the wheat from the chaff without proper qualifications and experience.

And there’s quite a bit less boozing, schmoozing and sexing up secretaries, too.

More than this, advertising now rests under the broad umbrella of marketing, which can encompass everything from research, sales, public relations and much more. Essentially, you’re going to need a lot more than a set of buzz-phrases to gain a position in the marketing world.

With that in mind, what steps should you take to get your foot in the door?

Get bona fide with a degree

Gaining a marketing degree is one of the most important aspects of boosting your CV and developing the skills you need to compete in this fierce business world. Anglia Ruskin University, for example, report that more than 85 per cent of their marketing graduates move on to employment or further study within six months of completing their marketing degree.

It’s an impressive figure that goes some way to show just how powerful a degree can be, so enrol and improve your chances for a place at the marketing table.

Build up your portfolio

Whether you’re looking to be a copywriter, designer, researcher or sales executive, a high-quality portfolio of your work and past experience is vital to put yourself one step ahead of other applicants.

Make sure your portfolio is logically laid out, showcases your best work and, most importantly, shows diversity and the ability to adjust to different remits. Also, try to flesh out more than one portfolio, making sure you send off relevant examples, rather than a stock set of pieces, to employers.

Develop a broad palette of interests

What marketing execs drool over is the chance to harvest a talent pool that can connect with their desired demographic as easily as breathing. And, how do you connect with a broad range of people? You find a broad range of hobbies.

If you’re open to new ideas, trying out new things and connecting with a hefty cross-section of the population, you’ll be able to impress marketing pros with your uncanny ability to key into the demographic of your choice.