Marketing Career Planning Guide

Marketing is not a one-size-fits all career. There are so many specializations under marketing and marketers with so many different abilities, skill sets and personalities.

That being said, there are certain personality characteristics and traits that better align with certain paths.

I suggest starting out with the (free) 16 Personalities Test if you haven’t done it before. Take 15-20 minutes and do this test to get to know yourself better. 

The results are so accurate that it is almost creepy. I’m an ENFJ-A and the results speak to me as if my therapist was talking to me. 🙂

Once you get your results, you’ll likely want to go through all of it, but for us, the most relevant sections are the summary of your results which will appear on the right side of the screen. Looks like this ⤵️

ENFJ-A personality type

You’ll also want to review your strengths and weaknesses, career paths, and workplace habits. These sections are going to help you get to know yourself better in a professional context.

Homework: Take notes or screenshots as you review your results. You’ll use it later to match it with the different paths and roles in marketing. 

💡 The test is based on the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), which is the world’s most widely used personality assessment test. It is designed to measure personality by evaluating preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions, and it is based on 4 scales: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. 

Now let's understand how your results translate into marketing career paths:

Top 10 Entry-Level Marketing Roles:

Now let’s get a better understanding of the top 10 entry level marketing roles and identify which one (or two) speaks more to you. We’ll look at the key tasks handled by each role, skills required and a recap of who is likely to be a good candidate for this role. 

Jump Ahead

1. Account Coordinator

Account coordinators help in managing client accounts and campaigns. They assist the marketing team to attract potential customers and retain existing ones.

  • Serve as the point of contact between existing clients and internal company teams 
  • Perform market and competitive research
  • Manage client database and updating client account records
  • Research potential accounts and following up on leads
  • Communicate client feedback to account management teams
  • Create promotional materials such as presentations and demos

Recap: You have a balance of interpersonal and organizational skills as you manage the relationship with your clients and the success of their projects. You’re the biggest advocate of your clients within the team. You’re happy to regularly report progress, results and get feedback to communicate internally. You’ll enjoy doing research and putting your findings into sales pitches, decks and creating marketing material.

2. Social Media Coordinator

‍Social Media Coordinators oversee and initiate the growth of a brand or company’s presence across social media platforms. 

  • Monitor social media channels for industry trends and opportunities for growth
  • Develop and curate a variety of engaging content for social platforms
  • Keep track of engagement, and directly engage with followers
  • Analyze trends, campaign results and market research
  • Responsible for brand’s strategy in online presence 
  • Build relationships with influencers (partnerships) to more authentically promote a brand or product.

Recap: An artistic extrovert that acts as an intermediary between creative and account teams. You’re on top of social media platforms, content formats and have a good understanding of audience engagement. 

3. Project coordinator

The day-to-day responsibilities of a project coordinator varies with what the organization seeks to accomplish. But in a nutshell, they create comprehensive action plans concerning resources, budgets and timeframes for projects.

  • Construct detailed work plans that include timeline, scope & budget, and execution
  • Can juggle multiple projects and priorities simultaneously
  • Act as a point of communication between company teams and external resources
  • Report the project’s progress/outcome
  • Manage teams, timelines and resources

Recap: You have excellent analytical and problem solving abilities. You work well with tight deadlines, can create project plans and lead them to successful deliveries. Accountability and detail-orientedness are essential skills.

4. Event Marketing Coordinator/ Specialist

Event Marketing Coordinators come up with ideas for events that meet particular marketing needs, and then make them come to life.

  • Responsible for planning and organizing all aspects of events from venue choice to success metrics 
  • Assist the content development team for event materials
  • Provide support in social media monitoring 
  • Research vendors and platforms (online and offline) and make selections based on creativity, quality, and cost
  • Organize requirements; establish contacts; develop schedules and assignments; and manage mailing lists to ensure event success

Recap: You will need to be people-oriented and really comfortable with digital tools as events have become increasingly more virtual, a good project manager so the different pieces come together to launch a memorable event and a great community manager to keep your audience engaged and nurtured. 

5. Marketing Specialist / Assistant

Marketing assistants support an organization’s marketing team in planning, executing, and tracking the performance of marketing campaigns and programs. 

  • Helping marketing managers plan and implement marketing campaigns
  • Writing content for a variety of platforms including social media, website, and email
  • Analyzing data to track campaign performance 
  • Supporting the marketing team on projects
  • Creating marketing materials 
  • Coordinating marketing events

Recap: You’re multiskilled and a multitasker. You’ll be working on a variety of marketing tasks that may require strong communication skills, copywriting, project management and organizational skills. You’ll need at least a a basic understanding of analytics as well to review results and optimize activities. 

6. SEO Specialist

SEO Specialist implements changes to make the business’s website show up at the top of the search engine results. 

  • Keep up to date with the latest SEO trends, follow and understand algorithm updates, new SEO tools and best practices
  • Assist in developing and integrating content marketing strategies which will increase traffic to a site
  • Knowledge of basic HTML, CSS, and programming language
  • Perform competitive analysis to understand what other’s are doing well in the industry
  • Initiates a complete website SEO analysis on a regular basis and provides recommendations for improvements

Recap: Your strongest skillset is in the technical and analytical side of things. However you also have a good understanding of content marketing strategies and can see the bigger picture to understand how everything ties in together. 

7. Public Relations Specialist/ Coordinator

Public relations (PR) specialists are the connection between organizations, media, and the public. They play a critical role in helping shape public perception, and communicating a company’s brand.

  • Assist in media exposure while maintaining good reputation
  • Track, evaluate, and share results of PR efforts
  • Helps in creating a marketing plan
  • Can express written ideas and thoughts naturally while conveying the voice of the brand
  • Cultivate relationships with media outlets

Recap: You’ve mastered the art of storytelling and you are a social butterfly, confident in building relationships. You have excellent written and communication skills, and have the ability to think both creatively and strategically. You tie the right stories to the right people. 

8. Content Marketer / Copywriter

A Content Marketer  is a natural creative. The core responsibility is having the expertise in designing original and exciting materials that speak to a targeted audience. 

  • Exceptional skill in writing and research that can deliver on a timely manner
  • Undertaking content marketing activities to achieve business targets
  • Can comfortably vary voice, style, and other characteristics demanded by the client, or target audience at hand
  • Collaborating with design teams to produce high-quality content
  • Have (at least) a decent level of understanding around Google Analytics and SEO understanding

Recap: You’re a key player in any modern marketing team. Not only are you a creative and excellent content creator who can get into the minds of the audience, you’re also able to align your craft with business goals to drive impact. 

9. Email Marketing Specialist

An Email Marketing Specialist is responsible for running email marketing campaigns end-to-end: from managing email databases to creating newsletters and automations. They make sure that every approach is cohesive with the client’s brand tone and image. 

  • Design and implement direct email marketing campaigns
  • Proofread emails for clarity, grammar and spelling
  • Create email databases for lead generation
  • Report on sales revenue generated from email marketing efforts
  • Analyze campaign performance and suggest improvements
  • Adept with email marketing software and integrations

Recap: You’re an excellent copywriter that gets A/B testing & email analytics, as well as a good project manager who often works with pressuring timelines. You’ll not only craft emails, but also need to nurture prospects and retain clients through your writing. 

10. Digital Performance Marketer

Digital Performance Marketers focus on designing, implementing and optimizing paid marketing campaigns to drive more likes, clicks, views, conversions and other performance indicators. 

  • Work closely with Marketing Analysts to uncover insights that help them with their campaigns’ content, targeting, budget and more to constantly improve results.
  • Develop and manage digital prospecting and marketing campaigns
  • Initiate strong strategic plans to establish customer acquisition and sales growth
  • Test new channels and trends
  • Allocates budgets in areas with highest returns

Recap: You’re analytical, strategic and confident when you have to make decisions. You’re a numbers and tools person, but also have to be comfortable with working collaboratively as your role requires you to communicate effectively with other team members.

Now that you have a better idea of your personality and the different marketing roles...

You’ve likely realized that some paths speak more to you.

🤔 Think: Did you find yourself nodding your head and thinking ‘yeah, that’s me‘ or ‘I can see myself doing that‘  as you were reading through the job descriptions? Look for the moments when your eyes light up (this is a great cue I learned from Wes Kao). 

📝 Take note of those titles right away!

Next step is going to be getting ready to apply for those jobs by tailoring your resume, cover letter and Linkedin profile. If there are skills you need to develop and build further to be a stronger candidate, that’s also another step to work on!

Final Thoughts

Do you feel you have more clarity after going through these exercises and learning about the skills and tasks for the key entry level marketing roles?

To some, this preparation may seem like a waste of time or something that slows down your job search. But the more you pay attention to self analysis, research and reflection, the more targeted your application process will be. And more targeted applications will bring you more success! 🚀

Now that you have a direction in your marketing career plan, you need to think about the industries, types of companies and work environments you thrive in. Making a list of your target companies is a great exercise to strengthen your plan.

Next step is your professional brand and applications! 

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