In This Issue:
November is National DECA month. DECA, formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an association of students and teachers that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. In order to celebrate the impact that this club has had on the lives of high school students who are DECA members, Career Fuel is exploring the world of marketing.
First and foremost: Marketing defined. If you take a quick look at the headlines, chances are you will come across the word marketing. A New Jersey sports marketing firm holds an international soccer tournament at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford; Princeton’s Digital Firefly Marketing keeps the lights on during Sandy; East Windsor Regional School District identifies marketing as an important career pathway for high school students.
Marketing often goes hand-in-hand with business. Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, says that marketing is the “fundamental glue” of any business. Marketing, he adds, is “that process by which we communicate and promote our products and brands and services to consumers, and is essential to generating interest, awareness, opportunity to buy and purchase decisions in consumers.” Simply put, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers.
Having experience in the marketing field gives you the opportunity to experience many different jobs. According to Monster.com, hot marketing jobs for the decade are decidedly digital, and include the following:
Read an expanded version of this article by visiting http://www.njnextstop.org, clicking on the Advice 101 column’s “View All” feature and selecting “Marketing Defined.”
Carteret High School, Mount Olive High School in Flanders and John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson are the first schools in New Jersey to offer Principles of Marketing, a 35-week standards-based course that uses current marketing materials and real-world problem-solving exercises to better prepare students for a career or college. The state’s Career and Technical Education Partnership (CTEP, www.ctepmarketingtoolkit.org) developed the course. The pilot program implemented at the high schools is part of an effort to create a statewide model program of study for the Marketing Career Cluster using curriculum that is relevant, engaging and standards-based. The Marketing Career Cluster is divided into five pathways, which include marketing communications, marketing management, marketing research, merchandising and professional sales and marketing.
According to Till Dallavalle, coordinator of the CTEP Marketing Project, nearly one job in ten is marketing-related. Government figures project a 13% growth in marketing employment to over 700,000 jobs through 2018. Edwin Hernandez, marketing teacher in Paterson’s JFK High School, says, “Students will apply what they learn from classes and study materials to their course projects. They can design a marketing plan around any activity they’re enthusiastic about, from a cause they want to support to a business enterprise that interests them.”
Even if your high school is not yet offering comprehensive marketing courses, the Career and Technical Education Partnership Marketing Project website has useful information for students who hope to pursue a career in marketing. For example, the site points out that “Blogs have become the new newsstand for marketers. Newspapers have been replaced with blogs hosted by organizations like Mashable and FastCompany. Trade publications have given way to specialty blogs of all kinds. Blogs are an integral part of every marketer’s daily routine and they are here to stay.” The site then goes on to list “The Must-read Marketing Blogs of 2012.” Some of these include Buffer, Marketing Pilgrim, Marketing Sherpa and The Content Strategist, to name a few. One of the best ways to understand an industry is to follow its trends, insights and ideas.
While marketing is a critical business concept, the benefits of learning how to market effectively can be applied to more than just products and services in the marketplace. As you move through high school and begin to apply to colleges and enter the workforce, it’s important to think about yourself as a brand. What is the marketing message you hope to communicate to potential employers, admissions officers, coaches about yourself?
Brand is closely related to marketing, and is a set of ideas that is associated with a product. “Think, for example, of Apple,” suggests Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. “What comes to mind when you think about Apple products—iPod, iPhone, iPad? Certain things immediately jump to your head, right? [You might associate them with] anti-establishment or hip or cool or sleek products or creativity—these are ideas that make up what the brand means to people. And so, a brand is essentially a set of cohesive ideas or thoughts that define what the product stands for.”
Young fashion blogger Tony Wang, who has made a name for himself at Fashion Week in New York City and around the fashion circuit, has given a lot of thought to building his own personal brand. He recently told Knowledge@Wharton High School, a site that promotes leadership and entrepreneurship, “Building a personal brand is important regardless of what you want to do, whether it is consulting or fashion or media entertainment,” said Wang. “Creating your own personal brand through the professional experiences you’ve had and through the experiences and courses you’ve taken is important. Of course, it begins with things like your résumé, who you network with and what you tell them about yourself. But I think it extends beyond that… I use various social networking tools to create a personal brand. Also, when I meet people physically, when I network with them, I always take care to tell them what I’ve done, why I’m relevant, and I tailor it to them. For example, over Fashion Week, if I meet someone from a fashion brand that works for, let’s say, Louis Vuitton, I tell them something very different than if I meet a student at a social event. What you tell them and how you craft your personal brand is very important because it can help you network, it can help you get a job and it can help you meet more people.”
So, where to start? Think about what’s important to you, what defines you as a person and a professional, and then feel free to share it. If you aren’t great at talking one-on-one, then why not start writing a blog that helps to communicate your interests and your personality? Social media is a great tool for brand development—but be careful. It can also backfire on you if you choose to put the wrong messages out there.
November is National DECA month. In case you’re not familiar with it (and didn’t read the first article), DECA, formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an association of students and teachers that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Career Fuel caught up with Peter Shivery, 17, as he prepared to travel to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 16 to attend the Ultimate DECA Power Trip, a weekend leadership meeting for DECA members to learn in the career areas of marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, management and public affairs. Shivery, a senior at Cherry Hill High School East and southern region vice president for New Jersey DECA, was looking forward to an intense learning experience. “Marriott execs will be talking about Marriott’s marketing strategy,” said Shivery. “National DECA officers are doing a dress-for-success workshop. All these things focus on different areas of marketing. I’m hoping to get some knowledge about brand image.”
Shivery, who has been a DECA member since freshman year of high school when he took an intro to business class, credits the club for much more than teaching him how to run a business, which he says is a misconception about DECA’s focus. More importantly, he says, he has built his leadership and personal communication skills. “Marketing is a really broad term,” noted Shivery, who plans to major in economics and business management in college and go on to law school. “It can be marketing yourself or marketing your business. Specifically, I’ve learned about marketing myself and interacting with others. You get to know about people’s lives through these conferences. One DECA slogan two years ago was “Expand Your Network,” and I believe DECA is an organization that helps you to do this.”
Read an expanded version of this article by visiting http://www.njnextstop.org, clicking on Real People column’s “View All” feature and selecting “Peter Shivery.”