Marketing is an end-to end process which requires understanding exactly what the consumer wants and satisfying that profitably. It's about finding that perfect paradigm between business and buyer to create enduring brand perception.
Carla Sheridan, 28, is Marketing Co-ordinator/Tourism for Zoos Victoria. A conservationist to the core, she's an active Friends of Wilsons Promontory member who enjoys outdoor activities, netball and trying to outrun her adopted ex-racing greyhound.
In a nutshell, marketing is about increasing visitation or sales and raising brand awareness.
What education and training do you have?
The most helpful part of my degree was really the work year. That's when you get to put the things you have studied to practical use and really relate your learning to the job. The practical year really switched on the light, while the mentoring and leadership programs helped me build networks and gain advice from some of the leaders in the industry. The online course I'm doing at the moment is quite specific to the area I want to stay in and grow in. It's helping me learn skills to better provide strategy advice within the organisation, but will also give me a piece of paper to help me progress my career.
Having a really good understanding of the marketing landscape and the different types of marketing and advertising is absolutely essential. You need to be super-organised and able to work to tight deadlines, because in the marketing industry you have deadlines every single day so you need to be quite timely in everything you do. Being able to think outside the box and having really good communication skills is also extremely important.
Seeing other people's reactions to our products and experiences. I love the animals and love the zoo, but sometimes it does become like second nature. To be able to see it through fresh eyes always warms the heart and remind you why what we do her is so important.
I love the giraffes. Going and feeding them and having one wrap its tongue round my hand and try to lick my phone while I was taking a photo was pretty incredible. Doing the overnight slumber safari down at Weeibee Open Range Zoo and hearing the lions roaring in the middle of the night was wild.
Probably getting the role you want. Marketing is an incredibly competitive industry. A few hundred people applied for my role for example, so you need to be able to stand out from the crowd, you do need to have something special and you need to be really passionate about what it is that the company you are applying for achieves.
Get as much base experience as you can with the product. So, for example, if you are looking at a tourism marketing course, actually work as a tour operator where you are talking to tourists and get to understand their mindset. To have that first-hand understanding of what consumers are looking for really helps when you get into a marketing role. Do as much volunteer work as you can early on. Find volunteer marketing roles on SEEK Volunteer or Pro Bono.
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