The Changing Role of a Marketer





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The Ridge presents an industry feature on marketing in collaboration with PayPal, the leading digital and mobile payments platform for consumers and merchants globally. Curious about how a global company handles their marketing? Interested in embarking on a marketing career? Read on! 

As an industry, marketing is evolving. We expect a company’s marketing person to not only know the products in depth, but also be in touch with the shifting values of society, while keeping up with global trends. Tools that a marketer can employ are ever-improving as well, ranging from analytical to creative. 

Data Collection and use

The popularity of the Data Analytics Professional Certification course launched by Google in March as well as the surge in demand for data analysts clearly signal to us the increasing relevance of the use of data, specifically data analytics today. 

In marketing, data can be used to create an enhanced customer experience with personalised and tailored content and product recommendations. These aspects can save consumers time and money and help brands build loyalty and trust through offering people what they want, when they want it.

Take it from Shane Capron, PayPal’s Global Marketing Director: “A great example of intelligent data usage in action is that of Netflix. Over a billion dollars of Netflix’s annual revenue can be directly attributed to its recommendation engine. Netflix knows that when someone logs in to their account, they have got 30 seconds to get them interested in a particular show. The data has taught them that if a viewer does not choose a show within that timeframe, they might visit a competitor instead like Disney+ or Amazon Prime or go off the idea completely and read a book. As such Netflix uses sophisticated algorithms to understand what each [customer is] most likely to want to watch next and place that in front of them to optimise retention. With data, companies are able to optimise and personalise their services, ensuring [that] they serve up the right content at the right time, to the right customer.”

Speaking to the customers

We remember the campaigns that spoke to us. Data has shown that consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that shares similar values to them, and this has led to brands’ utilisation of greater personalisation and hyper-localisation to ensure that their messages resonate with their target audience.

Shane says: “As an example, to communicate with our audience in Japan we tapped into the local population’s likes and dislikes when it came to sports.Through conversations with our team on the ground we were able to identify that Japan has more marathon runners per capita than any other country in the world. Running is a hugely popular pastime. To reach that audience we partnered with local and international running merchants, industry magazines and a world famous runner as our ambassador.” 

One of the newer aspects of marketing is ethical marketing, which relates to how companies market their goods and services by focusing not only on how their products benefit customers but also   on their social responsibility  and environmental impacts. We can assert that social consciousness has increased greatly, thereby making ethical marketing a segment with significant growth potential. 

To manage large-scale campaigns across multiple channels and markets – with so many differentiated platforms out there – collaboration is key. For Paypal, this means working to what the industry calls a ‘hub and spoke’ model, which aims to conceptualise campaigns that are rolled out across markets, with each team tailoring the campaign to suit the unique needs and wants of their audience.

Embarking on a career in marketing

As an undergrad or fresh graduate keen on embarking on marketing, there are two key factors to consider. The first is the type of organisation. Do you align with their values and their mission? As a marketeer, you will be responsible for marketing that externally – if you aren’t bought in, is it somewhere you really want to work? 

Secondly, those of us who have done internships or part time jobs would know the importance of choosing an environment that is suitable for you. Shane’s advice for those looking for a full-time career in marketing to “future-proof by aiming for industries that are showing real growth – for example, companies in the digital sphere.” Companies in tech and digital industries continue to be the fastest-growing and the hiring momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Also, he reminds us to “make sure the company you are considering advocates for a dynamic working environment”, arguably a necessity in the post-Covid era. 

Marketing is an industry that comprises a variety of people with different specialisations. In our current era alone, marketing is more than just the promotion of a product. The trade has melded many different aspects such as data analytics, strategy and advertising together. Success in such, separates campaigns with colossal impacts from those with tepid ones. Whether you come from a computing, business or design background, the fast-paced and dynamic trade that is marketing is definitely an industry that you can consider in the future.