Career Story: Marketing Manager For An Office Supply Store

Marketing Manager For An Office Supply Store

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Type of Company: I work for a large office supply company in the suburban Boston area. I work in the retail side of the business, where we focus on generating sales in stores across the country.

Education: BA, Communications, University of New Hampshire

Previous Experience: I started at a large direct marketing and advertising agency and worked my way up through several positions to a supervisor level. The experience I gained working on several different accounts in different industries gave me a strong level of overall marketing knowledge.

After eight years at the agency, I was able to get a job working at a large retail company in their marketing division.

Job Tasks: I work in the advertising division of my company and focus on interactive or digital marketing. This means that I am responsible for placing ads on various web sites, including Yahoo, MSN and ESPN among others. We are given a budget at the beginning of every year that's determined by upper management, and we are then given sales goals to meet that our ads buys should help us to reach.

So over the holidays, for example, we'd take a portion of our budget and buy ads on 10 or 12 web sites that fit our target demographic. Customers we hope to attract would be people looking for technology gifts: MP3 players, computers or GPS's. My job would be to: 1. Determine the right amount of money to spend based on sales we think it possible to generate 2. Give the budget and objectives of the campaign over to our ad agency 3. Evaluate the media plan that the agency creates to see if it makes sense (good sites that fit our target audience, good placements within those sites) 4. Analyze and optimize the campaign as it goes along to improve results 5. Report and analyze the final results

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I am able to work in a part of marketing that is evolving very quickly and can be fairly exciting to follow. Seeing things like social media, mobile marketing, and cool creative banners evolve has been great. It is also great to work with so many different people from our external agency, sales reps from many sites and associates within our company.

The worst part of the job is that the reporting can be tedious, and you have to have a strong analytical mind to make sense of the information.

Job Tips:
1. Take courses or go to conferences that can expose you to the world of interactive or digital marketing.

2. Try to get an internship at an agency that deals with web advertising to gain some entry level understanding of the business.

3. Think about all sides of the industry: creative, technology and advertising to determine which area you like the best before getting into it.

Additional Thoughts: The surprise of my industry has been that the trends just keep on changing! At first it was just web banners. Then came mobile. Then came MySpace and Facebook, and now Twitter. Wonder what it will be in another 3 years?

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