Issue No 48, December 2008
Which brand of jeans did you buy last and why? Perhaps you liked the look, or the advertising appealed - a text
from a billboard you walked past gave you a discount and the advertising campaign showed images of your age
group. Maybe the brand has status, or the ﬁrm says it plants trees and engages in other ‘green’ practices. Whatever
the reason, you need to wear something. Your need for clothing was met by the jeans you chose, but you probably
chose that brand because the marketing of the product also appealed to other needs and wants typical of the target
market the jean manufacturer was selling to. To achieve sales the manufacturers will have employed marketing
professionals to research, plan and implement the strategy that attracted you to buy their jeans.
Marketing is part of everyday life. Every commercial and many engage them in mutually beneﬁcial, sustainable relationships.
non-commercial enterprises engage in some form of marketing, Knowledge of marketing provides a better understanding of
whether it is to competitively position and advertise products the ﬂow of goods and services from producers to consumers in
and services or to communicate a message about some environ- a way that matches supply and demand and accomplishes the
mental or public good aimed at changing people’s behaviour. economic, legal, political, environmental and social objectives
On an international level every country markets its products of society.
and services on the global market.
Frequently referred to as the discipline of the six Ps, marketing
As marketing is everywhere, the graduates who major in this is concerned with product, packaging, position, promotion, pricing
subject and those who combine marketing studies with other and proﬁt. Different operations are needed to achieve the six
majors will ﬁnd they have an excellent selling point when Ps. A strategic marketing plan sets these out: market research,
positioning themselves in the job market. On a personal level, innovative ideas, communications and advertising are a few of
understanding how marketing works also helps individuals the operations.
become wise consumers.
Marketing managers plan and direct the promotion, sale,
public image, development and presentation of an organisa-
tion’s goods and/or services. They may also manage public
A dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative activity, marketing has relations with the media, sponsors, business partners and the
the ability to inﬂuence the behaviour of consumers and guide wider community. Typical tasks involve studying competi-
trends in the marketplace. But it involves much more than tors’ products and services; customer demand and feedback;
advertising, selling and persuasion. When done well and ethi- staying abreast of market trends; identifying and implementing
cally, marketing assists in satisfying both the needs and wants communication strategies such as advertising campaigns to at-
of customers and the objectives of organisations in ways that tract customers; organising and analysing market research and
contribute to society and its wellbeing. surveys plus writing reports on products, services, consumers
Marketing is a vital component of all business in the broadest and sales; using research to develop new products and services
sense. Government departments, not-for-proﬁt organisations, and other responsibilities that revolve around the six Ps of
large, small and medium sized commercial enterprises beneﬁt marketing.
from having a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy helps Topical coverage of career related issues brought to you by Victoria
organisations to research, plan and carry out the various ways University Career Development and Employment.
in which they exchange goods, services and ideas between Areas covered include how degrees and courses
relate to employment opportunities, to life/work
people. planning, graduate destination information and
current issues or material relevant to the
All organisations have customers or target markets, so they employment scene. Your comments and
suggestions always welcomed.
need employees who understand these markets and can
While a manager’s position will be several years away, gradu- Communications is a separate function that has its own
ates can expect to look at entry level coordinator or assistant strategy and may use marketing tools or have a direct link with
positions as they apply theory to practice and learn about the marketers in an organisation. Communications is responsible
company. Duties may involve: providing administrative support for promoting an organisation’s image and reputation to the
such as coordinating travel and meetings, writing agendas, typ- public, as well as informing staff and clients about what is
ing minutes and reports; researching new market opportunities happening within the organisation. In some organisations com-
and determining unmet needs; liaising with customers; assist- munications and marketing roles are combined.
ing with the development, implementation and administration
Public relations is the process by which organisations estab-
of marketing and promotional activities; and managing client
lish and maintain good will and understanding with stake-
databases, promotional stock and information systems data-
holders. PR is a two-way communication process that values
bases. Building experience in areas such as brand differentia-
feedback and seeks to manage public opinion by transmitting
tion, web marketing and social marketing will be useful when
positive information to people the organisation wishes to inﬂu-
progressing to more senior positions. In Wellington the public
sector employs many graduates and this experience is often
sought after by marketing consultancies and other companies Advertising is concerned with the promotion of goods and
that contract to government agencies. services through major mediums including television, radio,
the Internet, cinema, magazines, newspapers, video games,
Market research is primarily concerned with the poten-
mobile phones and billboards. Advertising aims to persuade
tial sales of a product or service. It covers three core areas of
or inform the general public and can be used to promote sales,
investigation. Consumer research is concerned mainly with
increase brand awareness, or enhance product differentiation.
products and services sold to the general public. Investigations
Advertising agencies usually devise an advertising strategy,
assess and measure consumer reaction to pricing, packag-
develop the creative idea and buy the media. Advertising
ing, after sales service etc. Industrial research (business to
may form just one part of an organisation’s total communica-
business) is largely concerned with products and services
tions and marketing strategy. Examples of roles in advertising
purchased for use within industry. Social research investigates
agencies include: account managers who work with clients to
people’s views on economic, social or political issues.
plan campaigns and manage the production of advertisements,
Companies dedicated to the research and analysis side of creatives who come up with ideas for advertisements, copywrit-
marketing often carry out the research for clients both within ers who write the ads, the media team that works out which
and outside the marketing industry. Market researchers gather media to use and buys the best-value space to reach the target
and analyse data so that businesses may reduce uncertainty and audience and art directors who are in charge of graphics.
risk. They may undertake predictive research related to devel-
oping a new product or service, or evaluative research that
assesses the effectiveness of sales strategies such advertising or Data marketing is a type of database analysis that extracts
analyses the appeal of a competitor’s product. Market research- customer information from a database using software that
ers organise research surveys for clients then analyse and inter- can identify previously unknown patterns or trends in large
pret the survey results, write reports, and make recommenda- amounts of data. It can reveal that customers with a shared
tions to their clients based on the research gathered. At entry set of demographic characteristics will purchase like items,
level, client services executives analyse data, look for patterns shop at similar times and frequencies, be equally brand loyal
and advise clients in ways that can be easily understood. They or disloyal, purchase similar groups of items, or respond to a
may also come up with ideas for new products. particular type of promotion.
Direct marketing attempts to send commercial messages
Marketing strategy forms part of the overall business manage- directly to consumers through one medium such as direct mail,
ment plan of an organisation. Marketers interface with a range e-mail telemarketing or texting, and is usually unsolicited. The
of other operations responsible for promoting an organisation message focuses on driving purchases through a “call-to-action”,
and its products and/or services. Marketing studies are very for example asking the consumer to call a free phone number
useful for work in these related disciplines. or visit a website. The direct consumer responses are easily
tracked and measured.
Social marketing is a growing area that utilises the marketing are important, as well as the desire to learn and gain the practi-
principles and techniques of commercial marketing with the cal experience required to bring theory into “the real world.”
purpose of improving the welfare of people and the physical, Being creative and entrepreneurial with good social skills are
social and economic environment in which they live. For exam- also key.
ple campaigns about endangered species, the effects of human
Building work experience, paid and unpaid, during the year
behaviour on climate change, the dangers of drink driving and
and through summer vacations is advisable. This could be
smoking are just a few. Organisations that use social marketing
gained through work in sales and retail, post-production work
strategies include national and local government agencies and
in companies that produce advertisements, even making the
not-for-proﬁts, however this does not rule out the possibility
tea in a marketing or advertising agency. Getting a sense of the
for commercial enterprises to contribute ‘social good’.
world of work through observing and asking questions, making
Services marketing has become increasingly important for contacts and building networks can make the difference when
Western countries with the reduction of their manufacturing job hunting.
industries and increase in their service economies. In New
Once in work job promotion can depend on having the at-
Zealand tourism, hospitality and retail are major service indus-
titude, motivation and drive to learn more and gain results.
tries. A service is the action of doing something for someone
or something. Unlike a product, a service is largely intangible,
perishable (consumed where it is purchased) and cannot be
owned by the consumer. The six Ps of marketing extend to
include those for services - physical evidence, process and As public and private sector operations require people with
people. marketing skills there are plenty of opportunities for graduates.
Marketing combines well with special areas of interest. For
Internet marketing, web marketing, online marketing, or
example marketing graduates with an interest in the arts, ICT,
eMarketing is the marketing of products or services over the
health, education, science, ﬁnance and other areas will ﬁnd
Internet. The lower costs, interactivity and instant responses
roles concerned with the six Ps. A passion for an area is likely
of this broad scope medium are some of the beneﬁts. Spe-
to be a driver for career success. Then there are companies
cialised skills and knowledge are required for the management
dedicated to the many different specialisations within market-
of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship
ing. Advertising, direct marketing, Internet marketing, public
management (eCRM) systems.
relations, sales/brand management, market research, interna-
International marketing involves companies in making one tional Human Resources management, business/policy analysis,
or more marketing mix decisions across national boundaries. export management, communications and more.
At its most complex level, it involves companies in establishing
manufacturing facilities overseas and coordinating marketing
National and local governments plan and implement strategies
strategies across the globe. International marketing is becoming
for communicating messages about government policy. Some
more important as companies outsource overseas and seek new
of these require marketing skills. Where there are marketing
markets and commercial alliances. Cultural knowledge is vital
roles in ministries they work closely with the communication
here as messages may be understood differently across cultures.
teams. A marketing graduate with excellent verbal and written
skills and an understanding of the communication process
may gain a role in communications. These positions are more
prevalent in government. The government often uses market
A degree in marketing gives an excellent introduction to the research to assess public opinion on issues, for example the
various aspects of the discipline. A postgraduate degree allows provision of health services for the future or the impact of
further in-depth specialisation in a particular area. Knowledge government funding on education. And it uses social market-
of business is crucial, along with a passion for something you ing to inﬂuence public behaviour. Examples are road safety,
would like to communicate about or “sell.” health (e.g. smoking), environmental and border control issues.
Marketing professionals in these complex sectors need to be
Industry professionals have identiﬁed particular competencies
politically informed and neutral, and aware of accountability to
they look for when recruiting marketing graduates. A steady
head, common sense and the ability to think outside the square
There are many not-for-proﬁt organisations, not all of which
have a dedicated marketing role; however many have a com-
Graduates always learn a lot on the job so being open to new
munications manager and a fund raiser who have marketing
learning and prepared to ask questions of employers is es-
components to their work. Not-for-proﬁts include organisa-
sential. Degree studies and any work experience gained while
tions that support people with disabilities and medical condi-
studying are good preparation. Networking is often a produc-
tions; parents, children and young people; cultural groups;
tive job search strategy, particularly in the highly competitive
environmental lobbies and many more. These organisations
world of advertising. Used by marketers, communications and
plan and strategise to get their message into the public arena
PR professionals, networking is a skill worth developing early.
through different media channels to run campaigns, grow their
During their degree studies graduates develop both technical
membership base and sponsors, fund research, attract volun-
and generic transferable skills and qualities that are sought by
teers and compete for funding and public support. Not-for-
employers. When writing a CV and preparing for interviews,
proﬁts are accountable to the people who donate money and to
graduates can use speciﬁc examples from course work and
their sponsors and membership.
from paid or voluntary work as evidence of the competencies
Private sector they are offering an employer.
Marketing consultancies, market research companies, adver-
tising agencies and public relations companies contract their
Marketing is a critical business function that utilises a variety of
services to other companies in the private, public and not-for-
activities to identify customer needs and wants. The informa-
proﬁt sectors. Many of these ﬁrms hire marketing professionals
tion is used to create, plan, communicate and deliver value to
to help them carry out their core business. Examples are: phar-
identiﬁed target markets. Graduates who have specialised in
maceutical ﬁrms, banks, insurance companies, professional
marketing learn about the distribution of goods and services,
services such as accounting and legal, utilities, manufacturers,
consumer behaviour, pricing, channels of retail and wholesale
petroleum companies, telecommunications and more. While
distribution, advertising, sales, market research and marketing
the head ofﬁces of many enterprises are in Auckland, Australia,
or Asia they often have a presence in Wellington particularly
where the business needs to maintain a connection with gov- Research skills
ernment ministries. Entry-level positions for marketing gradu- The ability to access and evaluate information is essential in
ates will often be administrative – supporting the marketing a commercially oriented, knowledge economy. Through their
team. At the next level there are advisory positions, and further assignments, students learn to apply a range of strategies and
on other roles of specialisation. For example a product man- tools.
ager will be responsible for product innovation, design, pricing,
getting it out to markets etc or a researcher will do qualitative
Analytical or critical thinking skills are necessary for effective
and quantitative research which feeds vital information to the
decision-making and problem solving. Analysis includes the
product manager. Branding, sponsorship and electronic media
ability to identify a concept or problem, tease out its compo-
are also useful areas to specialise in.
nents, organise and evaluate information and to draw appropri-
Start up business ate conclusions. These skills are acquired through academic
Setting up a business is an attractive longer-term career op- work and are useful in research, policy and business roles with
tion for graduates who are entrepreneurial and have business high levels of responsibility.
acumen. Strong marketing skills are a deﬁnite advantage in
establishing a successful business. There is a lot of information
Getting the right message to the right target market is vital for
available on the Internet and through local government and
business success. The ability to communicate clearly in written
city councils to help people get started including business incu-
and spoken language is essential for a career in marketing.
bators, funding agencies and business networks.
Through their studies graduates learn to present their work
logically and clearly in oral and written forms and to use
language and presentation tools appropriately. Group work also
helps develop listening skills and interpersonal skills.
Computer and technology skills
Electronic technologies such as the Internet, iPhones and mo-
There are many avenues for ﬁnding jobs: networking through
bile phones are increasingly used in marketing strategies as cost
contacts and former/current employers or professional associa-
effective ways of reaching a large number of people. Expertise
tions; searching the Internet for organisational websites (private
in established and up-coming technologies is an advantage in
companies, not-for-proﬁt, government and universities);
the marketing world of today and tomorrow.
recruitment agencies; newspapers; professional magazines.
Relationship management skills
If you want to work in a marketing department, starting in
The ability to manage relationships is key to business sustain-
sales is often the best way to groom yourself for a challenging
ability and success. Business relationships can be complex and
position in marketing. A typical graduate entry-level title is
varied when a number of stakeholders are involved. Marketing
marketing or marketing and communications coordinator/as-
graduates acquire understanding of relationship dynamics in
sistant. Other job titles (below) may require some prior experi-
commercial and non-commercial settings. They apply these
ence. It also pays to keep an eye on developments in technol-
skills and knowledge during projects and group discussions.
ogy as job titles change and new ones emerge.
Graduates develop self-management skills through course work
The Marketing Association has a large membership of potential
as they plan, design, implement and communicate about their
employers. The Association encourages students to contact
projects. Self-management is one of the most sought after skills
them and will facilitate contact with appropriate employers.
by employers in many industries and is critical for successful
Students in their ﬁnal year may be eligible for the Student Mar-
keter of the Year Award sponsored by New Zealand Post.
Web performance analyst
Toby McIntosh Ryan Kuggeleijn
Getting a deﬁnitive answer from I took a very open book approach
an 18 year-old on what they want to my ﬁrst year of university and
to do for the rest of their life is a selected a range of papers includ-
difﬁcult task, but asking them to ing marketing, biology, psychology
choose and invest in papers that and accounting. Like many other
will ultimately dictate their future students fresh from secondary
career – that is a real challenge. I school I had only a vague idea of
faced this prospect before starting at Victoria in 2004, and was what many of the courses involved, but starting from a wide
looking for something that would encompass all of my interests base turned out to be a good idea. At school I had leaned
whilst leaving me open to a range of job opportunities. towards science-based subjects, but as I got into my ﬁrst year I
found the commerce-based disciplines grabbing my attention.
I enrolled in Marketing 101 with a great deal of anticipation
The range of subjects I had completed left the path open for
and was immediately hooked. Here was a subject that chal-
me to continue with either a Commerce or Science degree. I
lenged my understanding of business, encouraged active class
decided to do both and chose majors in marketing, commercial
participation and showed that the depths of marketing stretch
law and psychology. Although this may seem like a strange
far beyond just advertising and promotion. Welcome to the
combination, there has been a lot of crossover between my
world of consumerism, communications, strategic planning,
majors and all have proven useful since I have moved on into
market analysis and so much more. Marketing proved to be
exciting, rewarding and the perfect complement to my Interna-
tional Business and Media majors. This line of study was deﬁnitely useful in obtaining my current
job. I received good feedback from employers about hav-
In my current role at Solnet Solutions I have been involved in a
ing a good range of subjects on my transcript. Since I started
range of activities including event management, website man-
my role with BP in 2007 this has continued to ring true as I
agement, advertising and internal communications. The job not
have worked on a range of tasks including project manage-
only requires a base knowledge of marketing theory, but more
ment, marketing, event planning, strategy development, and
importantly the social and communication skills to work ef-
of course the usual graduate administration tasks. The skills
fectively in a team environment. Victoria’s papers (through both
gained through my marketing study were deﬁnitely worthwhile
their teaching and assessment components) prepared me well
and have proved to be relevant in many of these tasks, often in
for this, and I know the skills I learned will continue to prove
invaluable to my future career progression.
My advice to anyone considering studying marketing is to try it
Marketing does not just hand you a textbook and ask for the
out along with a range of other papers as it combines well with
correct answer. Instead it provides a framework that encourages
almost anything. Another great thing about marketing is the
you to challenge your thinking around a number of contribut-
range of topics it encompasses. As you move into second year
ing factors. So whether you’re looking to major in marketing
and beyond, a range of options spring up including tourism
or just give it a try, approach it with an open mind and enjoy
marketing, buyer behaviour, international marketing, Internet
yourself – believe me you won’t be disappointed.
marketing, social and services marketing and many more. All
Laura Suisted William Neill
I was drawn to studying market- Many people I talk to question
ing because while the subject the need to study marketing.
contains a solid grounding in They ask, “Isn’t it all just about
theory and practical frameworks, the gift of the gab, door-to-door
there’s also plenty of scope for the sales, and annoying telephone
creative application of these ideas. surveys?” Sure, it helps to have
Of all the commerce majors, it’s good communication skills, how-
connected to an industry that has a ever the reality for marketers is far
reputation for fun and variety, outgoing people, TV commercials removed from this stereotype.
and events promotion. Now that I’m in the workforce, I can say
Every marketer could be likened to an explorer of some kind.
that’s true, but you have to earn it. It’s an environment with lots
As markets change so too must marketers, discovering the next
of energy, deﬁnitely great for people who have a work hard, play
big trend or even initiating it. It was this sense of adventure
and creativity that attracted me to the subject of marketing.
What really spurred me on at university was that many of the
When I arrived at Victoria my ﬁrst port of call was Film and
major marketing assignments allowed us to choose our own
Theatre where I learnt about performance and how to translate
scenario or product to apply the teachings to. After giving us
my ideas into forms that others could interpret. While this
a broad structure to work through our thoughts, we were then
study provided a solid base in one creative arena, there were
let loose to develop our own ideas. During the course of my
other ideas that I wanted to explore, particularly in business.
marketing studies, I invented a car that solved all my personal
Marketing was a natural choice and enabled me to take what I
driving dilemmas, explored the burgeoning market for environ-
had learnt in performing arts and translate it into viable busi-
mentally friendly cleaning products, and got to interview a local
music promoter I’d looked up to for years. There are so many
different facets to the discipline – consumer research, new prod- As a result I have a growing interest in emerging creative
uct development, pricing analysis – and the variety of marketing technology, such as geo-caching with GPS and mobile Internet,
papers at Victoria gives a great taster of what’s out there. or 3D newsprint ads that you can only see through your cell
phone. In many ways, the subject of marketing has been the
Doing Honours gave me the opportunity to grapple with the
glue that’s combined three distinct ﬁelds of curiosity for me;
history of marketing thought and the underlying principals of
business, technology and performance.
the subject. Although the volume of work was overwhelm-
ing at ﬁrst, it was a great course for learning how to ﬁnd and When the offer arose to do Honours in Marketing I jumped at
deal quickly with masses of information to get at what’s most the chance and completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Ad-
important. I’m now working for SweeneyVesty, a communica- ministration (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts in Film and Theatre
tions consultancy, and really value the research and critical in 2007. I then started a Masters in Marketing and my interest
thinking skills I developed while studying. My Honours year and enjoyment of the subject has now led me towards a PhD.
especially taught me to be sceptical of stated facts and to always Marketing is a relatively new discipline and the more you learn
try to follow them back to the source, rather than just accepting about it the more you begin to see how it can be applied to
something because it’s written down. other thoughts, philosophies and concepts.
Branding and advertising are some of the most interesting My advice to future students is to give different things a go,
aspects of marketing and much of what I do at SweeneyVesty is don’t just stick to one train of thought or to one discipline.
related to this ﬁeld. I’ve been fortunate to work on projects in- University is about acquiring the ability to learn and to ques-
volving some of the most interesting and well-known brands in tion things. Marketing is a subject that asks many questions
the world, in dynamic categories such as fashion, automobiles, and to my mind, is one of the most thought provoking, chal-
telecommunications and consumables. lenging and ultimately rewarding areas to be involved in.
The Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in Marketing Administration (MCA). Major corporations and government
(BCA) is a three-year degree which links fundamental market- organisations increasingly look for a postgraduate degree for
ing principles, critical thinking, communication, and leader- entry into high-level positions. These degrees also provide an
ship skills to the business world. excellent base for a career as a professional market researcher
or academic. Marketing graduates have multiple career paths
The Marketing domain is a broad and far-reaching area of busi-
and are sought all over the world by business and government.
ness and research. It is not simply advertising or persuading
They can be found at all levels of business, from hi-tech indus-
people to buy things they don’t want or need. All organisations
tries to retail, tourism and hospitality.
have customers, so all organisations need employees who know
how to discover and understand customers, engage them in Programme structure: In the ﬁrst year of the BCA degree you
mutually beneﬁcial long-term relationships, and satisfy their complete a core business programme including accountancy,
needs as well as organisational objectives. Marketing attempts economics, business statistics, marketing, information systems,
to understand the complex relationship between custom- management, as well as government, law and business.
ers, consumers, and suppliers of products and services. The
Your second year provides the foundation courses for the third
diverse areas of marketing include market research, consumer
year marketing specialities. In year two you learn about con-
behaviour research, advertising, public relations, distribution
sumer behaviour, market research and marketing management.
and logistics, channel management, business relationships, In-
Year three provides the opportunity to gain in-depth knowl-
ternet marketing, globalisation, sustainability, social marketing,
edge about a number of specialised marketing areas, including;
services marketing and technological impacts.
marketing communications, social marketing, Internet market-
The staff who teach in Victoria’s Marketing programme also ing and thinking skills, to name a few.
undertake research with organisations in New Zealand and
The BCA in Marketing is structured to allow you to tailor your
around the world. Some of the organisations and research areas
BCA to your interests, and you have the ﬂexibility to complete
include: public healthcare in New Zealand and UK, the Royal
a double major in other areas. Some of the other subjects
New Zealand Ballet, understanding sponsorship, biotechnology
which complement a marketing degree include; Psychology,
marketing, knowledge creation, service recovery, international
International Business, Management, Information Systems,
business environments in Asia and Europe, social marketing,
Sociology, Statistics, Finance, Law and Accounting. In addition,
and marketing law.
Marketing offers distance course options designed for work-
BCA Marketing graduates are prepared to work in a variety ing people who are unable to attend university lectures and
of marketing related ﬁelds, such as market research, advertis- tutorials.
ing, public relations, web design and online strategy, manage-
To enrol in the BCA in Marketing you will need a university
ment, and business. Or you may decide to do further study in
entrance qualiﬁcation, and it is useful to have studied business
marketing with the BCA (Hons) or Master of Commerce and
studies, psychology and statistics.
Special thanks to:
The School of Marketing and International Business in particular A/Prof Val Lindsay, Head of School; Jacqui FitzGerald,
School Manager; Dr James Richard, Lecturer and Director of Postgraduate Programmes and graduates Ryan Kuggeleijn,
Toby McIntosh, William Neill, Laura Suisted; and all those people who contributed to this publication.
Career View is published by Career Development and Employment
Victoria University of Wellington, Te Whare Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui
PO Box 600, Wellington, Tel: 64-4-463-5390 or 64-4-463-5393, Fax 64-4-463 5252