What Do Marketing Positions Actually Do?

“I want to work in a marketing-related position.”

This is a sentence that many international students often say when looking for a job. But when you use Recruitery to search for marketing-related positions, you will find all kinds of job titles and job requirements that look dazzling. So what types of marketing positions are there? What does the marketing department do? To answer this question, we need to first know: What is the concept of marketing?

Providing Value for Customers

growth and scalability of the company

The most widely accepted and recognized definition is: Satisfy your customer in a profitable way.

So finding ways to provide value and meet customer needs is what marketing positions do.

For customers, the reason why I choose to use a product is because I feel the value of the product. And value generally falls into two categories:

Tangible Value & Intangible Value

For example, now you want to buy a cup of milk tea, and you choose one of the many milk tea brands to buy. 

The reason why you choose this brand, tangible value is for example: the taste of the milk tea, the price, the amount of pearls, the size of the cup, etc.

And intangible values such as: Why did you choose this one when several milk tea shops are similar?

When you don't know what to drink, you search and find that everyone recommends drinking this milk tea.

Why even if you queue up to drink this milk tea, it's better than drinking those that don't queue up.

And so on, these factors that influence user decision-making are all the work that the marketing department needs to do: create intangible value. So how to make users choose a cup of milk tea because of intangible value when making choices? This is what the marketing department needs to do and think about.

For example, create a milk tea culture, do a large-scale offline free milk tea event, shoot an advertisement for this milk tea brand and launch it among students and white-collar workers, find a suitable spokesperson, participate in milk tea-related topics on platforms such as instagram and TikTok, etc. 

All the work content is centered on letting more consumers accept these intangible values, feel that they have something in common with these intangible values, and then pay for the product because of these intangible values.

Brands That Created Intangible Value

Many products have done a very good job of creating intangible value, 

  • Choosing to eat KFC or McDonald’s for fast food 

  • Drinking Starbucks for coffee is enough petty bourgeoisie

  • giving roses on Valentine’s Day

  • Buying Air Jordans to Wear

  • Diamond rings represent eternity,

In fact, these intangible values are created by the marketing department.

Confusing Marketing Positions

 illustration balancing value and cost

But when you understand the meaning of marketing positions, you will find out why many companies you know, the marketing department, seem not to do this? The reason is very simple, because most companies cannot “create intangible value”, but can only let the marketing department try to sell products.

Many production-oriented companies think that when they expand their production capacity and recruit more workers, they can produce more products, and then the company can make more money. 

Decades ago, many companies did this. When the market competition was small, they could make money by expanding production. But at the same time, a large number of inferior, counterfeit and shoddy products flooded the market, and the user experience was not good. 

Later, some companies began to develop like product-oriented companies, thinking that good products can make money for the company. These companies tend to make the products very exquisite, and they can make money at first. 

However, in order to pursue the completeness or functionality of the product, many functions far exceed the user’s needs, such as installing small games on the driving recorder. But for drivers, it is impossible to play games while driving, so this kind of product, even if the product function is more abundant, cannot bring a premium. So gradually, companies began to realize that they needed special people to sell the products they produced. 

For example, real estate companies, insurance companies, health products, micro-businesses and so on, most of them have a fixed product, and then recruit a large number of sales staff, sell the product and benefit.

After packaging a product with almost the same core, and advertising it on various channels, and finally selling the product and benefiting from it. So when you see that many companies are not setting up marketing positions as mentioned before, but simply producing products and expanding sales scale to create value. 

These companies do not focus on users, but on how much money I can make by selling a product, and the work of the marketing department is only advertising and selling products. Most of these companies, if they do not have top-notch industry technology or national support, will be difficult to last for a long time, and most of the products will suddenly disappear after a while. 

So for international students, they need to distinguish when looking for a job, whether the position I applied for is a marketing department that really creates intangible value for the company, or just a sales position with a marketing department coat, which are very different.

Classification Of Marketing Departments

Group leader leading the meeting to present the growth statistics

So for international students who want to work in marketing positions, they should go to a company that really values marketing and does marketing in a regular way. 

And the real marketing-oriented companies will understand all of the above: The most important goal of the company is to “create and retain customers”, and the most important way is to “meet customer needs more efficiently”. 

So all the work of the marketing department is based on this goal to divide the work scope. According to the general function division, it is divided into three categories: marketing, SEO\SEM, and public relations media.

And within each category, there are some other subdivisions of positions, and we will describe the more specific content and how to enter these positions in other blogs. In actual work, sometimes you will find that your work seems to span several positions. 

So for international students who want to work in the marketing industry, they need to distinguish which module of the marketing position they belong to, what kind of indicators are important for their work, so that they can better put their strength in the right place. 

Unlike operations that pursue direct data results, and unlike sales that pursue sales volume, the indicators that marketing positions need to assess are: How much intangible value did our work create for the product?

We will use the previous example of milk tea:

  • How many people have chosen our brand of milk tea as their first choice?

  • How high is the market share, and how big is the gap between competitors and us?

  • Does the user who drinks our milk tea have a different personal image from others?

  • Does our brand have a high recognition?

  • Does our milk tea brand have the same good performance in health, food, and entertainment fields?

The marketing department creates and provides intangible value, and this invisible and intangible value is actually the company’s important asset. The marketing department shortens the user’s decision-making time and reduces the user’s decision-making difficulty by creating intangible value, thereby bringing benefits to the company.

In Summary

For many companies, the establishment of marketing positions and the work done by the marketing department are also very complicated and intertwined. Different companies have different orientations for marketing work. For international students who want to work in marketing, they must understand what the essence of marketing work is, so that they can better find the positions they want to work in.