Exploring Careers in Marketing: More than Snap, Crackle, and Pop
The marketing industry today involves everything from digital platforms to drones. Learn about new career opportunities from industry experts in this webinar.
Part 1 (1:06-2:38)
Why does the Federal Reserve care about careers in marketing?
Part 2 (2:39-3:30)
What is marketing?
Part 3 (3:31-6:39)
What are some of the career paths in marketing, what educational attainment is required, and how much money can I make?
Part 4 (6:40-7:53)
What can I do now to prepare myself for a career in marketing?
Part 5 (7:54-16:00)
What are some misconceptions around careers in marketing?
Part 6 (16:01-17:29)
What is the American Marketing Association’s official definition of marketing?
Part 7 (17:30-20:12)
What are the core concepts in marketing?
Part 8 (20:13-24:59)
What change drivers impact marketing?
Part 9 (25:01-30:11)
What is your advice for marketing students?
Part 10 (30:12-40:16)
What trends are we seeing in marketing?
Part 11 (40:17-48:41)
What does the future of marketing look like?
Part 12 (48:42-51:36)
Questions and Answers: As educators, how can we prepare students for jobs that haven’t been created yet?
Part 13 (51:37-54:50)
Questions and Answers: How can students “build their brand” as they prepare to enter the workforce?
Part 14 (54:51-58:30)
Questions and Answers: What are the best skills to develop to be successful in marketing?
Part 15 (58:31-1:01:05)
Questions and Answers: What are your favorite questions to ask during an interview and what information are you trying to gather?
Marketers work for companies, but they also work for themselves. As we upgrade our skills, we create more value, we move up, and our responsibilities grow. Hopefully, our titles and salaries grow, too.
This Extra Credit infographic highlights the vital role the arts play in our economy using key economic concepts like gross domestic product and employment. Incorporating data from a variety of primary sources, this infographic strives to capture the economic relevance of the arts in American society.
Many organizations and industries engage in marketing efforts in some shape or form. ll of these marketing needs can be fulfilled by those in various marketing careers. Learn more about those marketing careers and the educational paths to get there.
Amy Vaughn: Welcome to today's Maximum Employment Matters webinar. Our discussion for today focuses on careers in marketing. I'm Amy Vaughn from the St. Louis Fed and I'll be facilitating today's call.
Before we get started, allow me to cover the call logistics. If you haven't done so already, click on the webinar link you received after registering. This option offers a few benefits. You can watch the slides as they are advanced, you can type questions to us, you can download the session material, and you can choose to listen to the audio through your PC. Please note that the webinar performance is dependent upon your connection, so if at any time you're having problems just pick up the phone and dial the toll-free number. To ask questions today you can submit them at any time by clicking on the Ask Question button in the webinar tool and we will get to those at the end. And one additional note, the views expressed in this presentation are those of the presenters and not the official opinions of, nor binding on, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta nor the Federal Reserve System.
Now with all that out of the way, I am happy to turn the call over to the host for our program, Julie Kornegay from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Julie Kornegay: Thanks, Amy. Welcome and thank you participating in today's Maximum Employment Matters. Today we're exploring careers in marketing and we have an all-star lineup for the webinar. I'm excited to introduce our industry experts, Dr. Greg Marshall, the Charles Harwood Professor of Marketing and Strategy at Rollins College, and American Marketing Association CEO Russ Klein. These gentlemen are bringing a wealth of information about the marketing industry today, and I'm looking forward to their presentations. So next slide.
Before we get started I want to provide a brief overview about why these programs are important to the Federal Reserve. Oftentimes when I speak with people they share with me the challenges their industries are facing when recruiting job candidates. And through this webinar series we hope to build awareness of labor trends and career opportunities. This program is at the core of the Fed's mission. The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment. We hope that through programs like these we can inform and better prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
Next slide. By building awareness of industry trends we hope that this will lead to an increase in human capital. This information can be used in education and training to produce more skilled labor. A skilled labor force attracts new industry, which brings with it high-paying jobs and produces more consumer spending and tax dollars, ultimately increasing our standard of living.
And on slide six, before we bring in the industry experts I thought I would take a minute to provide an overview of the marketing industry. Marketing can be loosely defined as the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. This is a pretty bland definition for a fast-paced and dynamic industry, but marketing influences us every day. From the commercials of our childhood that brought us the “Snap, crackle, pop” in our breakfast cereal to today's ads in your Facebook feed, marketing is big business. So whether it's a product launch or understanding who their current customers are, marketing plays a critical role in a business's success.
So as we look at slide seven, this slide is an overview of some of the career paths in marketing. From sales to creative and content, career paths in marketing are broad and offer something for everyone. As you can see from this slide, there are many areas you can concentrate in. Our industry experts will discuss these options in depth in just a few minutes.
So let's see, as we look at slide eight let's talk for a second about what educational attainment is needed. There are opportunities at multiple levels of educational attainment in marketing. Many jobs require a bachelor's degree, but there are several entry-level positions that provide a solid foundation. If you are interested in this area, try looking at some of the jobs that vary and typically involve sales, assisting with research, customer service, and administrative tasks. Once you prove yourself, possible next steps could include assisting with the creative process, presenting reports and forecasts to company leaders, or being put in charge of coordinating a specific event or project. These tasks provide a greater understanding of the industry while laying the groundwork for the skills that will be crucial for long-term career development.
OK, next slide. So you might be wondering how much these marketing jobs pay. If we look at 2016 median pay for various careers in marketing, we will find a wide range of salaries. The orange trend line represents the median annual wage of $30,533, according to Social Security Administration. As you can see, marketing offers many high-paying job options. According to the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics], desktop publishers and web developers are the only two jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree, but this trend is changing to allow mobility through industry certifications and credentials, and I'm going to let our industry experts speak to that and see what they're seeing real time.
So on the next slide we look at tools and technology, and in this area this is where you can put your credentials and your certifications to work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a fantastic resource in their Occupational Outlook Handbook called How to Become One. And this slide is from their resource and provides an overview of some of the tools that you may use in a marketing career. So a CRM or a customer relationship management tool allows you to manage contacts and leads. They also help automate customer communications. Not listed in the graphic, but an important tool for marketers is the CMS or a content management system. This tool helps organize the collection, managing, and publishing of information. In addition to these desktop publishing tools, graphic design and presentation tools are also important to become familiar with.
All right, next slide. One of the most common questions I get when I talk with students is what can I do to prepare myself for a future career? Well, careers in marketing will require you to have excellent communication and writing skills. Take advantage of communication and writing classes while you're in school. Toastmasters is another group that would help you refine your public speaking skills. Find ways to develop your leadership abilities, whether through student organizations like DECA and FDLA [Florida Distance Learning Association] or professional associations like the American Marketing Association [AMA]. And if you're still in school, get involved with maybe, say, yearbook. From developing content and laying out a book to selling ads and meeting deadlines, it's definitely a great exposure and experience. So other options, too, you could find a part-time job or an internship at a marketing field you're interested in. And if you have a charity or nonprofit you're passionate about, volunteer your time and your budding marketing skills to help raise awareness.
So I hope you found this overview helpful and I don't want to take up any more of our time today, I want to turn it over to our first industry expert. Slide 12, please. I'm excited to introduce Dr. Greg Marshall. Thank you for joining us today.
Greg Marshall: Thank you very much, Julie. It's a real pleasure to participate on this webinar. And as you see, I serve as a professor at Rollins College. Rollins is located in Winter Park, Florida. And I'm here in that role, but I'm also here based upon my role in the past as a practicing marketer. I was in industry in marketing and sales for about 15 years, working in the retail industry and in the consumer packaged goods industries. And I think, personally, this is the best time ever for a person to be thinking about a career track in marketing. So let's talk about that just a little bit more.
Next slide, please. What you see here may seem like an odd place to start to discuss opportunities and the career track in marketing, but actually I think I can convince you this is a pretty good place to start, because marketing is a very visible field of work. There's lots of jobs and career tracks out there that are very rewarding and can be tremendous as a career track for any of us, but they just aren't quite as visible as a marketing track.
For example, what we see that we think about as marketing, most of us, is probably advertising. And we all certainly see advertising. I'm sure the last time you were on that website you noted that pesky ad try to float in. And the other thing we see the most is selling. And every single person on this webinar obviously has been sold to, and that is a big part of marketing. Yes, both of those areas, but that's not all of marketing. Those are two great subfields of marketing, but there are many other areas of marketing that are a little bit more behind a curtain, if you will, and we're going to talk about some of those on the webinar here today. But I don't want to discount the fact that if you are very interested in advertising or you think that sales would be a great career track, those are still to this day two of the most robust areas in marketing for folks that are interested in an entry-level position and being able to move up in the field.
Another bit of a misconception, and this is kind of a funny one, is that oftentimes I've had people say, “Yeah, well, marketing is just all logical. All you guys do is create kind of fluffy things about products and services. Where is the substance in marketing?” And all of us that are in the field can attest to the fact that sometimes when people say this or think this it's actually quite a compliment. If marketers that are professionals are able to make it look seamless and easy so that when you see that great Super Bowl ad next January and it just looks like it was natural to create and produce and then push that ad out to market, that's a real compliment to the folks that put that together, because the research and the technology and the talent that it takes to do great marketing—whether it's advertising or selling or any of the other pieces of the field—really has a lot of precision to it. And there's a great deal of substance in marketing because I believe that successful marketers rely on data and insights to make the decisions about the marketing that you all see and experience.
The third bullet here says that marketing, and it's another misconception, is a great deal for people who don't like math and numbers. Wrong-o. Marketing is very importantly connected to information in the form of data. Now that doesn't mean you have to be a statistician to be successful in marketing, that's not what I'm saying. But you do have to be able to have a respect for and understanding of and be able to interpret data, because if you're going to be a marketer you're spending money and making a lot of decisions to try to connect with your customers. And in order to spend that money wisely, we need to do a great job of focusing on those customers and potential customers that we believe are most likely to connect with our product or service. That means making decisions based upon good data and good information.
The fourth bullet is the one that is the most painful for me to have to touch on, because some people think, and maybe it's because they themselves have had a bad experience as a customer, but they will sully marketing as a field that might be inherently unethical or even perhaps unfortunately, they may think it's harmful to society. For example, if someone who's maybe experienced an unscrupulous salesperson or responded to a product claim or an advertisement that they then sort of came to the conclusion that the product was misrepresented, look, every field has its own areas that can become problematic in terms of ethics. Need I say more than just accounting and finance to make that point?
And so in marketing we have very strong ethical standards that are not only embraced, but actually created by the American Marketing Association that holds us as professionals to these very high standards. Will there be rogues? Well, unfortunately, every deal has some people who don't really follow the ethical standards. But the truth is that marketing is very importantly ethical and should be beneficial to society, because just think about what it would be like if you're trying to decide on that next car that you'd like to buy or maybe that next type of shampoo you're going to put in your shopping cart. If you had absolutely no information about either of those products prior to coming in contact with them, and there was no one there to give you that information as a salesperson, it would be very difficult for all of us to make our decisions as consumers.
The next bullet reflects on a very simple fact, which is marketing is not just about us as end-user consumers. Everyone on this webinar is a consumer. We buy goods and services and obviously, that's an important part of marketing. But a lot of marketing is done in a business-to-business context, B-to-B, business-to-business marketing. And in fact, on the web, and you may not believe it but I can tell you this is 100 percent true, when you look at electronic commerce or e-commerce web-based marketing and you see so many different marketers going after you on the web, it's easy to get an impression as a consumer that it's all about us, but far more transactions in dollars are done on e-marketing or e-commerce through business-to-business than are done to us as end-user consumers. It's a huge part of the field.
And the last point, it's really not true that only marketers market, because in any organization it's so important that all of us, whether we're marketing or in some other role, understand enough about the customers that we can really be very customer oriented in everything we're doing within our organization. And so marketing has a role inside the firm to educate our colleagues about the importance of customers.
Next slide, please. I'd like to give you the AMA official definition of marketing. And Julie shared a good one a few minutes ago, and her definition really was quite excellent. It talks about promoting and selling products and services, and I'll come back to that in just a few moments.
But AMA put together and periodically updates this definition. They put together a panel of experts that include industry market leaders, academics, consultants, market researchers, again, of the field. And I like this very much. It's all inclusive in the sense that we talk about marketing as an activity, as a set of institutions, and as processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers as well as for clients, partners, and society at large. So we're doing several things there. It's really largely about exchanging offerings that have value. And those offerings come and are developed in different directions, and the value that we add to customers and to those other targets also can be really quite varied in how we deliver that value. Next slide, please.
I want to drill down just a little more on those terms that were in red for you there. Two core concepts in marketing: value and exchange. So you're a customer, I'm a customer. We've all been the subject of marketing and sales, and from our point of view as customers any time we make a decision to purchase a product or service, what we're really looking for from that purchase are the benefits. What are the benefits that you get or that I get from that offering compared to the costs that we have to invest in order to acquire that bundle of benefits?
So if you put yourself back at the shampoo shelf at Target again, somehow, someway, perhaps you have become brand loyal to a particular shampoo brand, or maybe you're trolling for a change and you've been listening to advertising or being benefited by some social media marketing, and you've come in there and are looking for a particular brand. And that brand might very well be a bit more expensive than some of the others. You can always buy lower-priced products in any product category, absolutely. But if you believe based on your experience and you believe based upon what you have learned about that particular shampoo brand, maybe you're looking for something with anti-dandruff, maybe you're looking for something to make your hair fuller, whatever. The value is in the benefit that that product applies to you on the basis of what you're looking for. And so you may be willing to pay more to receive a certain benefit that's relevant to you. That's value.
Exchange is simply the process of receiving that value. So in the case of Target, you give up money and you put that shampoo on the shelf the next time you're home in the bathroom and you try it out, and hopefully you have a great experience with it and actually do realize the value that you were hoping for. So a popular term in marketing is a value proposition. And as marketers, Russ Klein and myself and anyone who's in the marketing space is very aware of the fact that a value proposition, the bundle of benefits that we promise to deliver to you, the customer, is critical to your making the decision to go with our product or service versus that of somebody else. It's the delivery against our promise about those benefits. Next slide, please.
I wanted to share with you today while we have a few moments together just a few of the reasons why this is an exciting time to be considering marketing as a career. And I've done this through identifying five important changed drivers that are impacting marketing. I've been in marketing for, well, a long time, and I like the field now more than I've ever liked it before because what we're seeing in these shifts is really putting even more focus on the importance of doing good marketing.
So let me quickly go through these. One of the shifts is a change to lots of products and fewer customers to purchase those products. And that's like a glut of products and the customer shortage. It doesn't mean there's less people, that's not what I'm saying. It's the ratio. With the digital era and the type of supply chain that you and I experience now through providers like Amazon and others, all of those things lend to the ability for many, many more products to be placed out in the marketplace, and so those products are vying for a steady pool, if you want to think of it that way, of customers. Each one has to do marketing better to stand out as the top choice, the one that I'm going to purchase.
The second one, I think all of you can relate to the fact that we all have more access to information in our roles, whether they're roles as students or any other role in our lives than ever before. And so customers come to us now with lots more information about our brands, our products, our services than they ever did in the future. This is great for marketers, because what it means is that the marketer can come back and connect in with the information that you've already received either through some sort of encounter on our website or other electronic or digital means, and we can reinforce that in person.
In the past when it wasn't easy to get information a lot more marketing happened on a one-to-one basis. Now it's much, much more efficient, both for us and for you. Many of you on the webinar may be in a younger generation and we're very interested in marketing, in connecting with the different generations' values and preferences. How do you like to shop? How do you like to buy? How do you like to pay? How do you want to be messaged to? All of those questions are really interesting and important for folks that are in marketing careers today.
The fourth bullet is a really important shift from when I started out in marketing, in consumer packaged goods, it was all about the physical product. I've evolved through my career to where now it's really all about the customer experience. And some of that experience is with the physical product, but some of that experience is with us as a firm, with us as a brand, it's how you interact with all of our platforms in which my product is interacting with you through various people or various electronic means. So in consumer packaged goods, take a company like Procter & Gamble [P&G], which has a product like Crest Toothpaste, and that was my industry. You know, we never would have put any thought into what might happen in 2018 with the possibilities of having a whole web presence, not just about Crest on the P&G website, but if you have a child and you're trying to get them to do good oral hygiene, I can tell you right now their website is a great place to start because it's fun, it's interesting, it's engaging, it will help that young child to understand the importance of regular brushing, etc., etc. It's all about the experience today, not just about the purchase of that Crest at your nearby Walgreens.
And then finally, marketing, and this gets back to my comment about that numbers are important to marketing, marketers today are expected to be able to show financial returns on our expenses. And so the return on various marketing investments is a very important aspect of a career track in marketing today. And I'm glad it is, because when I started out we would do marketing plans, and even I lost some products in which the budgets were OK, but we didn't have really good, periodic systematic tracking. Now it's so much better because we're more sophisticated in that respect. Next slide, please.
So I'm going to finish off my part with a little bit of advice for marketing students and then a few tips for those of you who might be entrepreneurs or interested in being an entrepreneur about how marketing can help you. So first, some general advice. I've got five things. First, think of yourself as a brand. If you've never thought of it before, it's an important thing for you to be thinking about. Brand you. Because you are a brand. When a person applies for a job, the person on the other side of that desk is looking at you as a bundle of benefits. Can you believe it? And so you're a bundle of benefits represented by your brand, it's what ultimately is going to convince that person who's in a position to purchase you to make the sale.
Second point is please learn as much as you can about learning data analytics, learning a bit more about quantitative methods. Again, you don't have to be a statistician, but in the, quote, old days, marketers often thought, “Well, I'll go with marketing as a career track because I don't have to deal with the numbers.” Well, you don't have to be a statistician, but you do have to interpret numbers and you will benefit from respecting data analytics.
Third, I want to encourage you to drill down on learning specific marketing skills. And marketing is a great area that provides all kinds of opportunities for individual learning and certifications. The American Marketing Association has a very active certification program that's growing all the time, so I'll put a plug in for it. There are some much more specialized certifications that are out there through Lynda and other platforms, but you're lucky because marketing is a field that has lots of opportunities for you to do individual learning on your own.
Fourth, I want you to get some experience in sales. Sales is an integral part of marketing. It's critically important to marketing success. Most of the people I've known in my career track who have been very successful going up the ladder in marketing, somewhere along the way actually had to deal with the customer and sell them something, and that's an incredibly important connection that I hope you will think about.
And then finally, I don't have to tell many of you that we are in the world of omni-channels. And that's a big word that basically means that many different ways that messaging can occur to you from us and from you to us. And so in the omni-channel world, the younger generation has a real advantage coming into marketing because you have much more of an inherent knowledge and capability in digital social than we did, and that will serve you well in the marketing career track.
Next slide, please. So the final points I want to make today, and I hope this is helpful for a few of you that do have the entrepreneurial bug, is marketing is super important to the success of business start-ups. The Small Business Administration [SBA] has been quoting for years, and I checked on this again just recently, and they still say the same thing. Their data indicates that the single most important, most impactful failure for start-ups is poor development and execution of the marketing plan. Most people might think, “Oh, it's about the financing.” Well, financing is really important, but unfortunately, what the SBA will say is that a lot of well-financed organizations squander that money on really, really poor marketing. And so please have a respect as an entrepreneur for the value of marketing to you.
Second for entrepreneurs, service for a small business is often the key differentiator. If you can provide a step-up in service and a step-up in the customer experience with you, that will be very helpful against larger competitors as an entrepreneur.
Third, in your business, even if it's just you and two or three people or if you've got a larger operation as an entrepreneur, your job as the leader is to cultivate a culture that is always about respect for and valuing of providing an excellent customer experience.
And then finally, not to overdo this idea about marketing return on investments, but even small start-ups need good controls for how their marketing is doing. And so your marketing plan, you need to have a good system for seeing progress and how your marketing investments are paying back to you.
So with that, it's been a pleasure giving you some ideas here and I'm going to send the presentation back over to Julie.
Kornegay: Well, thank you very much. That was wonderful information and some great advice. And I appreciate you bringing your insight and sharing it with us today. So if you have questions for Greg, please click the Ask Question button in the lower left section of the webinar window. We will do our best to get to as many questions as possible at the end of the program. So I'm excited to welcome our next industry expert. Russ Klein is the CEO of the American Marketing Association and he's going to talk with us this afternoon about the trends that he's seeing in the world of marketing. Russ, we're delighted to have you.
Russ Klein: Thank you so much, Julie, it's a pleasure to be here. And hello to everyone out there virtually online. If we could go to the next slide. Like Greg, I've been in the industry for quite a long time and have been by way of background in charge of worldwide advertising for Gatorade and chief marketing officer for Church's Chicken and 7/11, and Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, and chief marketing officer and then president of Burger King. So I've had a considerable amount of fun on the B-to-C [business-to-consumer] side of my career, which is what's behind my love of the field and my passion for the American Marketing Association and the work that we're doing here to advance the practice and to help individual marketers.
And I'm sure Greg would agree that the rate of change that we've both borne witness to—the abruptness of change, the change in direction—has been nothing short of whiplash. And I like to use this X-ray of a whiplash patient to make the point. Fifty percent of the Fortune 500, we always think of as the rock of Gibraltar, are gone since 2000. And in the next 10 years, another 40 percent of the Fortune 500 will fall out of it. So this kind of change is changing people’s lives, of course, and it's changing companies that we perhaps once thought of as fixtures, permanent parts of the corporate landscape. And so this change is seismic in nature.
Go to the next slide to make this point about the rate of progress and change. In Shanghai 25 years ago, it looked like this. Twenty-five years later, Shanghai looks like this. Next slide, please. Quite a difference. Almost magical and certainly by historical standards, a very abrupt upspringing of a city to the magnitude of Shanghai. In the world today, on our next slide, the game has changed in so many ways in the way we think about companies. The largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, has no property. The largest transportation provider, Uber, no cars. The largest retailer, Alibaba, no stores. And the largest media company, Facebook, no content. This is a different model and a different paradigm than existed in the past.
Next slide is sort of a whimsical observation that today's toddlers think a magazine is an iPad that doesn't work. That's the sort of digital first or digital native upbringing now that this generation, of course, is growing up in as some of the later generations are working to catch up in terms of digital fluency.
One of the things on the next slide that we'll talk about, any marketer's first job is to understand the context of the marketplace around them. And usually understanding that context is about using and organizing principles around themes that are both social, cultural, political, regulatory, demographic, the list goes on in terms of all the factors that make our world what it is. And a marketer's job is to sort through this mishmash of trends and issues, and in the next slide, begin to formulate what themes are more important than others.
This is a list. I don't expect you to go through it in detail, but certainly I can make it available. It's what I have listed as the 21st-century values that, again, are the backdrop for any businessperson and certainly a marketer to have an understanding and a fluency of as they go about marketing a product or service. And just a couple examples. For instance, on the left, trust is really more important than loyalty. Brand loyalty's been declining since World War II. And really people move on from one product to another based on its usefulness and its functionality so quickly, a loyalty is very difficult to build in this environment where both instability and even mistrust of just about everything except for our friends and family.
Over on the right-hand side at the bottom, the theme of listening now becoming more important than even viewing. Now, why? Well, because the world is becoming time starved and listening is something you can do anywhere while you're shaving or driving home. These are things you shouldn't be doing anyway in terms of viewing, watching TV during those same periods. So there's clearly a trend and a value system emerging around the power of audio strategies and podcasts and so forth. And so this list has got dozens of what I think are emerging themes that set the palette for a marketer.
In the next slide what you'll also see is that not all values are clarified. And this list is a list of 21st-century tensions. If you ask me, the marketer of the future who wins are going to be the marketers who are able to clarify which one of these themes is going to emerge. For instance, tribalism versus nationalism, or nationalism versus globalism, or collectivism versus individualism. These are important structural factors at work, and this particular list is what I call a list of tensions, because it's not clear to me which ones will win and which ones will lose over time.
So the next slide, though, it points out that we live in a world where it is a superhighway of information in this network-based world that's available all the time. The next slide shows that Greg's reference to the customer journey and the omni-channel world in which they live, the average company competes in about eight channels. Again, that could be an online channel, it could be a drone delivery channel, it could be stores. And omni-channel, it refers both to distribution channels as well as media channels.
So the omni-channel world is certainly a very critical one to navigate, and that's why the customer journey used to be much more linear and sequential. Now that there is social media and customers are as much publishers as they are consumers recommending products to each other, people are self-serving their own shopping experiences, often not even speaking to a salesperson until maybe after 80 or 90 percent of the work has been progressed along their transaction. And so the customer journey, this is something every marketer in every office around the world is looking at with respect to their business, whether it's a business-to-business marketer or a business-to-consumer marketer.
The next slide, however, will show you another important factor that is at work, which is while we are certainly encountering a lot of different interfaces and touch points in our purchase journey, the customer is trying to remove middlemen and intermediaries. And unless you're an intermediary that is adding value to the purchase journey, you will get squeezed out because you're just friction, you're just taking time, you're perhaps costing more money for the end product. And so there's a lot more pressure on the middleman and intermediary today than ever before.
Looking into the future on the next slide, it's often fascinating how fast certain industries are going to be changing because of the digital explosion. The doctor's office that we've all experienced with a friendly receptionist who will come out and say, “The doctor will see you now,” is quickly moving to kiosks, and self-service will contain all of your medical data, and you may be able to look at a doctor's assistant on screen in a Skype environment. And, you know, I quip here that, “The algorithm will see you now,” because this is the future and it's here. I think William Gibson is quoted as saying, “The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed.” And so you see places like this where the future is in clear focus and the world is going to only scale up around more and more of these kinds of dynamics.
Going to the next slide, I like to tell people that these three brands have changed the way people think about products and services forever. They have elevated customer expectations for a friction-free, fast, convenient, amazing experience design, so that whether you are taking the bus to the office in the morning, whether you are buying a shirt in a store or renting a car, people expect it to be as effortless as it is to conduct a transaction on Amazon, Uber, or Apple.
And, of course, part of that spoiled customer that marketers are responsible for supporting on our next slide, part of the reason we can see why is because with search we can now answer every question, how do I? Where do I? Where can I find? What should I do? I want to do this, I want to go here. It is click and search and get. And the advent of self-service access immediacy and context, as I said at the beginning, the importance of understanding context thanks now to the mobile phone, which has become the remote control essentially for customers now, and there's seven billion of them on the planet with those cell phones, and so we see search is going to continue to be an accelerant and a multiplier in terms of changing the transaction.
The next slide, though, tells us that actually there's a very rapid adoption of voice search. So one of the issues there is that voice search only returns one answer as opposed to giving you a page of 10, but nonetheless they'll solve for that. And the fact is that voice search is the next frontier.
And then after that, on the next slide, gestures are the next frontier. You will be able to even just wave at your TV to turn it on or to change the volume. And then the following slide: in the 16th century, Descartes made the point that, “I think, therefore I am.” It won't be long before someone through the use of neural implants (on the following slide) will be able to simply think about what they want to buy, think about what address they want it to go to, and off it will go. Whether it's delivered by a self-driving 18-wheeler and you can keep advancing the slides, a few hours later arriving on a drone, or even a few minutes later being printed on a 3D printer. And the fact of the matter is, all this technology has allowed us to restore the one-on-one customer relationships that were evident in the merchant economy.
You can flip to slide 41, please. On the following slide, the explosion of social media that I referred to. It used to be that a brand was the promise plus the experience. This explosion in social network patents shows the growth of how relevant and pervasive social media is becoming. And let's look at Facebook for an example on the next slide. I don't know how many of you use Facebook. I'm going to guess most if not all. But do you know what makes it go?
On the next slide, what makes Facebook go is the same mathematical concept called Metcalfe's law or the law of utilities, which is why one telephone, if there were only one telephone in the world, would be worthless, but the more people who have telephones the more valuable your telephone is. That's the same dynamic that powers Facebook's billion and a half customers that they have. And the thing about these social platforms (on the next slide) that we're now, of course, facing in the market is knowing that when you aren't paying for the product you are the product. And as the product, there's the privacy issue on the next slide, which we know is kind of blowing up in Facebook's face a little bit.
In the 21st century looking ahead, on the next slide, the job of the 21st-century marketer, some use the old four Ps: product, price, promotion, place. I use these four factors as a marketer. Developing solutions, placing a premium not on price but on time, saving the customer time, competing effectively in an omni-channel world, as Greg mentioned, and becoming an effective storyteller.
But on the next slide, it's important for marketers to know that they cannot fall in love with their product. They have to be focused instead on the solution. And it is the experience design for a marketer and the storytelling as their job to present that solution in a relevant and differentiated way.
And one of the things that I think is changing now, on the next slide, is many marketers, and I think Greg pointed out early on, that many people think of marketing as only advertising or only storytelling. And I believe that there's actually an addiction to storytelling in our profession. It's a wonderful fun part of the business to be involved with. But in my view, it has been overdone.
The next slide, therefore, represents the future of what I believe marketers should be thinking of for the brand. And this is just a mathematical representation. That the brand equals experience to the power of story. And the concept here is simply that you can build a brand with experience only. Take a brand like Starbucks. But you cannot build a brand with story only in this mathematical equation of story where zero experience would still be one. But if experience is zero, of course, you have no brand. I think this is the next frontier for marketers, is experience design and all of the jobs related to the construct and the trade of experience design, which is really design thinking and decision science fused together.
So as we move toward the close here (the next slide), I would propose to you that the reason experience design is such an important frontier for marketers is that people are willing to give a product a second chance. People are willing to have their product replaced or give you your money back, but they are far less willing to relive a poor experience. And so with that, I believe I turn it back over to Julie. Thank you.
Kornegay: Thank you, Russ. That was wonderful. And I am really excited about the experience design ideas and can't wait to go into our questions. So if you have questions go ahead and type those into the Ask Question button in the lower left-hand section of your window. We've got some rolling in. And so I'm going to lead off with the first question. And Russ, we're going to go right to you. As educators, how can we prepare students for jobs that haven't been created yet?
Klein: Well, it's a great question and it may seem like it's impossible to plan for that. But you know, I do think you can't predict the future, but you can predict futures. I think you can look at a lot of the emerging technologies and the emerging spaces and begin to get a sense for the kinds of skills, the kinds of knowledge and fluency and mastery even that will be required to use some of the emerging technology. And I think if you prepare yourself in a way where you're versatile, where you're comfortable with ambiguity, you're willing to be decisive in the face of ambiguity, which is an important skill. And you know, I talk to people now that the old model of Jim Collins’s Built to Last, I believe is an old model. And now companies as well as individuals have to build to adapt. You have to build yourself to be able to adapt to the next thing because we don't know what the next thing is going to be, and that's the best advice I could give.
Kornegay: Excellent, thank you. Greg, do you have anything you want to add to that?
Marshall: No, I think that's extremely wise advice. And it's really going to be important for everyone who's going to be that next-generation marketer to think about what Russ is saying there, because things have accelerated in terms of change so much more rapidly than the past, that's a great thing for us in marketing. But if you can figure out how you're able to make sure your position to stay ahead of that, you're going to be very successful.
Kornegay: Yeah, I don't disagree. And I thought I saw where Harley-Davidson had hired interns for this summer, and they were giving them all motorcycles and a phone to go around and log their experience to your point about going cross country on bikes. And I thought that played really well with what you were just talking about from an experiential marketing standpoint.
So Greg, our next question is for you, and we'll let Russ speak as well. But you touched earlier on the idea of students building their brand. How should students build their brand as they prepare to enter the workforce? Do you want to elaborate any more on that?
Marshall: Yeah, thanks very much for that, Julie. It's a really important area. I'm interested in it from the perspective of kind of, quote, brand you. You can't not have a brand. And so the best advice I think for folks that are thinking of entering the workforce is, first of all, become aware of the fact that people that are looking at you as a potential person to hire are looking at you in the same context as kind of a bundle of benefits. What will you bring to the table that will benefit them and benefit their organization? So to whatever degree that we can all do a nice job of applying some of the basic marketing principles to our own branding is a positive thing.
But there is a downside to this branding part. And probably the most common thing that you'll hear about that is that in the generation of all things social media it can be a real deterrent to your brand if you are out there with things on various social sites, etc., that do not support your brand well. And I think everyone knows what I mean, because anyone by logging in can gain access to just about anything on the social media sphere. And if you have things out there about yourself that are not going to be consistent with a strong, positive brand that you're going to bring to the market, to an employer and so forth, I would think about that twice and think about that now and make sure that you are consistently branding yourself in all of those nooks and crannies where a little bit of you is displayed.
Kornegay: Russ, do you have any thoughts on that?
Klein: Well, on the topic of personal branding, I believe in it, I suppose. I think the most important way to establish a personal brand is by making sure you know what your own values are. Roy Disney once said, “It's easy to make decisions once you know what your values are.” And so I think a mindfulness and a self-examination of the things that are very important to you, that's an important inventory to take for any person starting out or throughout your career is, what are the principles that I am going to operate on as a human being? And that makes a lot of other decisions that you get confronted with easy. Including job searches and including the way you represent yourself in job searches.
Kornegay: I think that's wonderful life advice. That's wonderful, thank you. All right, next question. Could you speak a bit more broadly about the best skills to develop to be successful in marketing? Did you guys have anything additional that you wanted to add?
Marshall: Yeah, sure thing. A lot of marketing nowadays is done in more of a collaborative, open, clearly tame participative environment. And whatever degree that you can pick up good skills on being a successful member of a collaborative team, I'm positive that you will be better off in terms of what you are able to bring to the table as a marketer going forward. That's a big one. The classic skill set in marketing is obviously things like communication. Sometimes we overlook the importance of good listening and having an open window. Marketers many times need to just be quiet and listen and soak in what people are saying. That could be through a focus group, it could be through looking at some data and information to make decisions. But marketing is not a 100 percent correlation to the biggest talkers. Often, listening is a great attribute for folks in marketing, and so developing that is extremely useful as well. Russ, would you like to add others?
Klein: Well, I would certainly add when you spoke about teamwork, the ability to interact with others and have an emotional intelligence where you can read a room and read other people, see how you're making other people feel, be aware of that. That's a critical set of skills there. Empathy is absolutely essential as a marketer because your job is to put yourself in the shoes of other people, in some cases, millions of people; most cases, probably millions of people. And so to be able to develop an empathy for what is the mind and mood of the marketplace, to be able to stay in touch with that and understand how your product figures into that world.
And I would add from an actual discipline standpoint, design thinking, it's been around for a long time, but it has now crossed the boundaries into marketing and has become a fusion into other marketing skills, and design thinking is predicated on empathy, co-creation with your consumer, active listening like Greg just mentioned. And I would encourage anybody interested in any job in marketing and many outside marketing to find a way to learn online or go to a workshop on design thinking, because it's a very different way to go about innovation.
Kornegay: Yeah, I love that feedback. I would also wonder if you would include being organized and aware of deadlines? In marketing there's always a lot of deadlines, and some of them are very firm. So that might be another area where they can practice some skills. And so we are getting really close on our time and I'm going to give each of you just a few seconds to answer the last question. So what are your favorite questions to ask during the interview process? And what information are you trying to gather? Russ, do you want to start first?
Klein: Sure. I ask kind of crazy questions. I like to ask candidates how they pack their suitcase for a trip because I do want to understand their organizational skills and how they plan. And I'm interested in how their attention to detail and the nuances of how broadly they frame that question in their mind. I like to also ask candidates what their critics would say about them. And I also like to ask candidates what's the stupidest thing you've ever done to see if someone has both got a sense of humor and has the ability to recognize that we all have failures and learn from them and someone is willing to share with me a colossal failure of theirs, that says a lot to me.
Kornegay: I'd love to get those packing tips from you, that would be great. Greg, do you want to wrap it up for us? What are some interview questions maybe that you've had in the past or that you've heard of that might be helpful?
Marshall: Yeah. No, I love Russ's take on this. And marketing is creative, marketing is innovative, marketing is outside the box, etc., etc. And so if the interview for a marketer can't be unique, interesting, different, if the person as the interviewee can't come in there and put their hand forward and excite us and help us understand the why of an interest in the career in marketing, and if you can't do a good job of storytelling, it gets tougher and tougher and tougher to be able to say, “Is this person a good fit for the field?” And so I really like his take on approaching these questions.
Kornegay: Excellent, well, thank you so much. And so this wraps up our Q&A portion. And we'd like for you guys to stay tuned for our fall programs. We're working to secure speakers and dates right now for topics like cybersecurity and technology. So if you have suggestions on our feature programs, please include that information in the survey at the end of the webinar. We really do want to know what's important to you.
So next slide. Finally, on behalf of everyone, I would like to thank you for participating today. If you joined us via the webinar tool you will likely see a survey pop up on your screen, so please take a moment to complete that and let us know how we did. We'll also send out a survey via email and you only need to fill out this survey once. The resources mentioned today are linked in the PowerPoint, so make sure to download the presentation or visit frbatlanta.org/education. If you know someone that would find this session valuable, it was recorded and will be archived on our Maximum Employment Matters web page in about two weeks. So bear with us. I'll send an email when that's available. And with that I'd like to, again, a million thank yous to our guests today. Wonderful, wonderful information. I'm officially bringing this session to a close. Thank you for joining us and have a great rest of your day.