The first employability-focused Marketing Club for this academic year was held on 20th October. Jonny Crawley, CIM Learning and Partnerships Manager introduced the webinar by highlighting the Marketing Club newsletter which students can sign up to receive industry insights, marketing trends and content to support professional development. You can register to receive your copy here.

The first speaker was Pamella Barotti who has worked for a range of start up and global companies, including Amazon, Mastercard and Microsoft. Barotti emphasised the importance of making plans that you can use to achieve your aims, and also suggested that training your mindset to be clear about what you want to accomplish can be really helpful. This included building marketing experience which could consist of seeking opportunities to work for charities or community causes on a voluntary basis in order to develop your soft skills such as communication, presenting and negotiating skills.

Barotti emphasised that gaining experience can enable you to differentiate yourself when applying for jobs, and also advised that it can be beneficial to find a mentor who can provide you with support and guidance about your preferred industry roles. The CIM offer a programme which can help you to find a suitable mentor.

Barotti implied that working for Microsoft has been a positive experience as the workplace culture encourages employees to strive for more and feel empowered, regardless of their background. Barotti closed her presentation by reiterating the importance of continuously planning and taking action to develop your skills and gain experience.

The second speaker was Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of UK and Ireland Hays Marketing. Kemsley introduced her presentation by highlighting that marketing skills are sought after and there are currently many marketing and communications vacancies within the UK.

Kemsley discussed how marketing has evolved from analogue to technological which has altered the skills which many employers are seeking from potential marketers, including the need to understand data and analytics, online media and social. Kemsley emphasised the need for marketers to continuously seek learning and development opportunities in order to stay up to date with recent trends and insights. 

She also discussed the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on marketing professionals such as the need to adapt to changing working patterns, which has demonstrated the necessity for marketers to be flexible in their approach to work. The top soft skills required by employers within the industry are currently the ability to adapt and adopt, problem solving and communication, Kemsley suggested that there are specific courses available through Hays to practise these skills.

In terms of technical skills, employers are seeking marketing professionals who have a good understanding of the whole marketing function, which again stresses the necessity for those seeking a career in marketing to continuously develop their skills through learning and development opportunities. Kemsley also discussed recent research that had been carried out by Hays into the views of some marketing professionals in relation to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the workplace, the results of the surveys suggested that improvements need to be made within several key areas.

Overall, the webinar was an informative and useful experience for both marketing students and professionals interested in learning about the current employment landscape. The event highlighted the necessity for individuals seeking a career in marketing to gain experience to develop skills, to be flexible to changing working patterns and practices and to maintain a positive mindset to achieve aims. A recording of this webinar will be  available on the CIM YouTube channel.