Job Title: Marketing Analyst
Type of Company: My company manufacturers and distributes educational toys to major retailers around the world.
Education: BA, Marketing, UMass-Lowell
Previous Experience: I worked in the insurance business at two different companies before joining my current company in the toy business as a marketing analyst.
Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is keeping track of the products we make -- electronic educational toys -- at both the retailers and at our factories in China. Our biggest sellers are learning laptops sold at Target, TRU and Wal-Mart.
I work with the sales team and provide them with any tools they may need to make sales: images of the products, for example, or sell sheets listing the products' features. Using retailers' databases that I can access over the internet, I keep track of how the products are selling. I try to our match sales trends with days of the week, ads that ran in the media, location of the stores and even weather to see what factors might have affected them.
A lot of our products are licensed (Barbie, Batman & Star Wars) which means that a percentage of what we sell goes to licensing fees. I compile those reports and make sure that the licensing payments are made.
The toy industry has a few trade shows each year. I'm in charge of putting together the booths and displays and arranging for the products to be there on time and for organizing everyone's travel schedules. My company is small enough so that, even though I'm an analyst, I get to do lots of different things. So it also happens that I'm the person who takes care of running the office and keeps an eye on telephones, copiers, supplies and what have you.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I get to wear many hats or do a lot of different things. I work too with a small group of compatible people. And the toy business is fun... I get paid to play with toys!
The worst part of my job is going to trade shows. They're always stressful and occasionally things'll go wrong.
1.) Marketing analysis involves a lot of number-crunching, so be sure you're proficient in math.
2.) Become familiar with all of the Microsoft applications. You'll use them a lot, PowerPoint especially.
3.) People skills are very important as well. Make sure you develop them early.
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