I started my career as a management trainee in a telecommunications company in the Philippines. As part of the program, I had the chance to do a three month rotation within the company to learn the various functions of the business. In a way, it was a blessing in disguise for a fresh graduate like me because it bought me some time to really figure out which career I wanted to pursue.
After completing the program, I had the chance to handle my own product as a product marketing manager. This is when I realized that marketing is much more complicated than I thought. So much so that I started to redefine my own notions about marketing and its range.
Contrary to popular belief, a marketing job does not just involve coming up with advertisements and promotional campaigns. While the scope of work of a product marketing manager varies from one company to the next, it usually includes an end-to-end process of understanding consumer needs, preparing business cases, developing products, and creating Go-To-Market plans. Marketing requires close collaboration with every part of the business, from finance to sales, customer service, technical, and corporate communication. Marketers definitely do a whole lot of business functions way beyond creating marketing campaigns.
I also hear a lot of people say that marketers do not (or cannot) deal with numbers. One might be surprised with the amount of number-related tasks that marketers have to handle every day. Most of marketing managers are responsible for the profit and loss of their respective brands. In my case, I would typically monitor telecommunication revenue drivers such as, but not limited to, churn rate, average traffic per user (ATPU) and average revenue per user (ARPU). I was also heavily involved in the budget cycle process wherein we would set the revenue targets for the year as a result of a bottom up approach. Lastly, marketing managers compete for the allocation of a limited budget within the company.
One of the most exciting parts of my job is to build business cases. Presenting a business case is pretty much like telling a convincing story on how much capital and resources the company needs to invest, how much revenue it will deliver over time and how will it contribute to the company’s vision.
The challenge for every marketer, especially in a technology-driven business, is to translate the technical benefits into a language that is relevant to consumers. I did not have to be an engineer to carry out my role but I did have to be patient and determined to understand all the technical specifications of our products. Otherwise, I would not be able to come up with marketing materials that would matter to the target market.
The scope of marketing is vast. Its reach is boundless and it is ever-evolving. As a marketer, there are many stories to tell about your product, but it is your role to pick the one truthful, impactful story that will capture your target market’s limited attention.
Isn’t that an interesting and challenging role to take?
Top photo copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo