A job in marketing is a highly attractive proposition for many people, especially those who are creative, and enjoy regularly interacting with a variety of different people. A marketing assistant role is usually an entry-level position, which sees candidates working in conjunction with marketing executives and managers to devise and implement strategies designed to generate new business for the company. This article will provide a brief overview of the responsibilities marketing executives fulfil on a daily basis.

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Key skills

The key skills necessary to make it in marketing include the following:
  • Personal charisma – an ability to charm and connect with people.
  • Copywriting – being able to produce attractive, compelling prose on demand.
  • Organisational ability – managing complex schedules and dealing with several tasks at once.
  • Teamwork – communicating well with others working on the same projects.

Marketing requires a high level of energy and the ability to pull really long shifts when necessary to meet a deadline, but it also requires patience, because sometimes the work can be very routine - it’s not uncommon, for instance, for some days to be all about doing data entry. People who show creative flair, however, will find it much easier to get involved in decision-making and the more dynamic side of the job. The teamwork element of this profession can make it a very friendly and personally rewarding place to work, with teams developing the kind of closeness that comes from pushing limits together.

Day to day activities
Attracting new business is vital for any company that wants to remain viable. The marketing team is therefore tasked with generating leads, and creating awareness of the products or services the company offers. It may also be required to work on the company's branding. The sales team can then act upon this groundwork, turning opportunities into solid sales. Whilst assisting with the creation of effective marketing strategies will be an important part of an assistant's role, they are often required to complete much of the legwork for campaigns. For example, marketing assistants may be required to interview focus groups, conduct surveys, and write reports on a daily basis. Equally, they may be asked to draft the copy for reports and adverts. Recruiters who are looking for people to fill these roles often want individuals who also have a grasp of the financial elements behind a marketing campaign, so they can play an active role in extracting maximum value from the marketing budget. Attending and organising various events to promote the company is also often a key part of a marketing assistant's job.

Variations on the role
These roles and responsibilities tend to vary greatly depending on the company and the size of its marketing team. Large companies are likely to have a number of marketing assistants, who may be required to perform drier tasks, like market research, on a more frequent basis. Smaller companies often delegate more responsibility to their marketing assistants, as they have fewer resources available. This can give marketing assistants more opportunity to be creative in their roles, and to take a front seat in campaign creation. Marketing assistant positions are available at a range of organisations - whether it's working with external clients at a PR company, or encouraging donations to support the good work of a charity.

Salary and perks
The average salary that people in marketing assistant jobs can expect is £18,074, rising to around £30,000 in the best positions, which tend to involve event management. Many people are attracted to it because of the social capital it provides – they may have the opportunity to hear a lot of news before it becomes public or to see creative work before it’s released, even if they are not always allowed to talk about it. They may also get to move in celebrity circles.

The hours that marketing assistants are expected to work are very variable. Whilst many positions are still nine to five, some start earlier to allow teams to get in ahead of the news cycle and others involve a lot of flexible working and shift work. Evening and weekend work is often required.

Working as a marketing assistant can provide a great route into many related careers because of the opportunity it provides to network and make contacts. Many companies encourage this because it’s an asset for them to have staff who have good personal connections and click with useful people. Whilst assistants should only ever be distributing company business cards (though these will sometimes be personalised), it’s usually considered acceptable for them to pass out their personal mobile numbers to make it easier for people to contact them when necessary. Doing too much of this can make it difficult to get proper downtime, but if important people do call, they remain contacts and useful assets to the individual as well as the company.

Growth potential
The importance of a steady flow of new business opportunities means marketing teams usually receive a substantial budget. As a result there are several different positions available within teams, with varying levels of seniority attached to them. Marketing assistants can quickly work their way up the chain, if they prove they have the right abilities. Good decision making skills - and being able to work quickly and effectively under pressure – are key abilities, while showing high levels of commercial awareness and creativity can quickly see marketing assistants earn promotions to job as marketing executives, and beyond that, marketing managers. The best marketing assistant candidates are great communicators, who thrive while working as part of a team and collaborating on ideas.

Long-term options
Most marketing assistants focus primarily on working their way up to become head marketers, designing, developing and leading their own campaigns. In larger companies there can also be the opportunity to become a head of marketing strategy and even have a role on the board. Others, meanwhile, choose to go it alone as marketing consultants, using their acquired connections and expertise to make good money working on a project-by-project basis.

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