Getting a marketing job within sectors such as media, music, film and high visibility brands, calls for more than just product knowledge says Dominic Warman, Manager of the Sales & Marketing Division at Handle recruitment.
While it is true that the recession seems to be behind us and there is certainly a lot more recruitment activity within our specialist sectors of film music, TV publishing and high visibility brands, there is also still a lot of competition.
Interview processes are taking longer and having to prepare presentations as part of interview process has become the norm across all levels- not just the very senior end of the spectrum.
Added to this, there are also more candidates on the market as marketers are more confident about making a job move. However, employers know that there is a choice out there and so will hold out for exactly the right fit.
That means exploring the market – and even starting the recruitment process all over again if they don’t get their ideal person.
So what skill sets are most in demand? Commercialism is absolutely key and creativity on its own is not enough. There is a real emphasis on insight and analysis coupled with creative flair and ‘thinking outside the box’. Employers are looking for marketing professionals who can really add value to the bottom line – and who will provide a measurable return on investment.
There is also a huge focus on communication skills – particularly in the media and entertainment sector where there are some fairly big personalities. Marketers need to be able to liaise with internal stakeholders – senior management and sales teams for example- and really get their buy in.
And what of these presentations? –What do they entail and how do they help the interview process?
Well, it demonstrates not only your understanding of the market but also your own presentation skills and how you can think creatively as well as commercially.
And these presentations are now being demanded not just for permanent positions but for contract roles too. It’s a really important part of the approval process. Let’s take the example of an interview for the home entertainment sector.
A typical presentation will be formed of two parts. The first may be based around a DVD title. You will probably be asked to present your ideas on a strategic marketing plan with a clear communication strategy including defined target audience, media plan, publicity and promotion.
And the second stage will involve a smaller presentation where you will be expected to discuss the home entertainment market in detail – market segmentation, size, potentials etc. It’s really about promoting your worth – and demonstrating that you will be a good investment.
So where are the opportunities – and what’s involved?
The digital space is obviously huge expecially in the entertainment and media sector. For those organisations who have really bought into digital tools such as social media, hiring specialists to help them understand how consumers interact with content, and then building relevant, meaningful relationships with them, is crucial.
The music industry is a prime example of this – all the major record labels are investing heavily in social and community media marketing channels as they look for new revenue streams in a rapidly evolving market that can no longer just be about track downloads.
Strategic and general commercial skills are also in demand. If you take the example of a film studio for example, the marketing manager needs to not only lead the creative aspects of a new release, but will also need to manage the budget, lead the strategic direction – and ensure that the strategy is executed.
This will mean working with advertising agencies and media agencies, production companies and film makers as well as internal stakeholders such as the publicity and finance departments. Consequently, exceptional project management skills are crucial.
In terms of entry roles, they are available but you’ll need some good marketing experience and if you haven’t had direct experience of the brands within media and entertainment you will need to at least demonstrate a real passion, interest – and above all – understanding – of the marketing issues involved.
There is no doubt that from a hiring perspective, it is a very competitive environment out there at the moment. As the recovery takes hold, it may be that clients become less rigid about the list of competencies they require. But until then – make sure that every relevant skill set is on that CV!
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