18 Jul The graduate’s guide to the marketing and media space
When we speak to graduates, we take our time to understand your personality, and give you a thorough briefing on what to expect for each role. We also show how your values and personality fit with the company’s culture and team members.
In these conversations, we found that graduates usually have first-hand experience working within social media (hello, meme marketing!), but there are a lot more roles in the world of marketing and media that you may not know about.
So to help you understand the broader roles within each segment of the marketing and media industries, we’ve written a quick guide to help you understand the specific graduate roles within these industries.
Welcome the brave new world of the marketing and media space!
- What these agencies do: Coming up with the big ideas, selling them into the client and more importantly – creating the content, whether it’s shooting a TV ad, designing a print ad or copywriting.
- Your role will involve: Creative roles typically skew either towards Project/Account Management, which typically involve brainstorming ideas, communicating ideas to the client and executing them within the agreed timeframe and budget; or, they could be more specific and focus on one area, such as Graphic Design or Copywriting.
- Who you’ll work with: Clients and external stakeholders to deliver on the concept and completion.
- Companies typically look for a Grad with: A positive attitude. Someone with creative interests outside of work. Art and creativity is hard to judge so there’s no specific type of creative outlet that’s required. It’s more to show that you have a sense of creativity. So if you have a portfolio to share, that’s great! Even university assignments that have been compiled are good to share. They will also typically judge this in a response to brief.
- What you can do to get the edge: Typically it’s a harder industry to get your foot into, as it’s quite competitive. You may look at an internship as way to gain experience at the agency you admire. It’s a way to seek first-hand experience as well as proving yourself and showing your worth. Or you could go all out and be prepared to work hard, but you will be rewarded in the end.
- What these agencies do: What I like to call the business side of advertising. This agency takes care of the final creative (or advertisements) to be distributed to the general public via different formats. A media agency will handle the distribution of advertising across TV, radio, out-of-home (eg. buses or billboards), print and digital.
- Your role will involve: Strategic placement of advertisements. A lot of research, demographic insights and data is considered to carefully select where and when ads are placed. For example, if you hear an ad on the car radio for a fast food/takeaway restaurant on your way home from work, that time slot was likely strategically ‘bought’ by the media agency. You’ll be helping the agency deliver on these placements and report on the results.
- Who you’ll work with: External stakeholders such as publishers and third-party vendors who deliver on the placement of the ad and collect data on the results such as views, listenership or click-throughs.
- Companies typically look for a Grad with: A good attitude. A curious mind and someone with high attention to detail. Someone with a variety of hobbies/interests (shows your ability to multitask and engage in a variety of activities), with demonstrated organisational and communication skills to be able to interpret briefs and data.
- What you can do to get the edge: Read up on successful advertising campaigns to understand the mechanics behind the success. Demographics, placement of the ad and timing of the ad are all important factors in strategic media agency placement. Having a good grasp of this will show your interest.
Digital Performance/ Programmatic Agency
- What these agencies do Digital is vital to marketing and media, and it’s constantly evolving with new exciting tech such as AI. As such, it spans across many different areas. In this case, we’re specifically talking about Digital Performance or Programmatic Media agencies.
- – Programmatic is a relatively new industry, however already very well established. Essentially it’s automated online media buying using the latest technology to narrow down on a client’s requirements.
- – Digital Performance roles can be anything from Social (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), Search (Google Ads) or SEO (Organic Search).
- Your role will involve: A grad role in programmatic or digital performance would usually be a campaign coordinator or executive. Someone who is trained up on all the tools and can set up, optimise and report on campaigns for clients.
- Who you’ll work with: Client and providers of analytical tools such as Google or proprietary software. Plus a wide range of third-party tools that you’ll typically only here about once you’re working in the industry.
- Companies typically look for a Grad with: Analytical and organisational skills.
- What you can do to get the edge: Start using the free tools on social media insights and Google to improve your understanding of reporting and analytics. Getting an idea of the terminology and reading up on the up-and-coming trends in programmatic and digital performance will also help. Some of these include Facebook Blueprint, which offers free online training for advertising on Facebook. Or you can complete your Google Analytics Certification, which is a tool used typically to gain insights into a website’s performance, as well as their visitors behaviour.
- What these agencies do: Marketing roles are usually on the client side, and involve all aspects of marketing – from PR, events, internal branding to newsletters. Typical roles for grads are Marketing Assistant or Coordinator.
- Your role will involve: You will assist in creating the annual/monthly marketing plan, and brief it out to an agency who will come back with a response/plan and then execute it. It all depends on the size, structure and type of company, however a typical marketing role will consist of Digital, Events and PR activity. More often than not, a client will work with a few different agencies to handle other aspects of the media marketing plan (typically the media planning/buying and creative).
- Who you’ll work with: In house marketing roles can either involve actually implementing marketing strategies, or they can involve a lot of agency management. It all depends on the company, but expect to liaise with internal stakeholders and external suppliers.
- Companies typically look for a Grad with: Multi-tasker, great communication skills, cultural fit and a relevant University degree.
- What you can do to get the edge: Research the company or brand you are passionate about and want to work for. Look for opportunities to get work experience or internships in the company or similar industry. Read up on their social media and corporate news pages to understand the culture and direction.
Client Side or Agency Side?
- From our experience, agency side is a great area to start as graduates are typically exposed to a range of different clients, campaigns and tools. Agencies have partnerships with a range of third parties, too, which means you can upskill across the methodologies or tools from these third parties as well. Just being in an environment where everyone is typically doing the same role as you (just with different seniority/focuses) means you’re really in a place where you can grow and learn organically from others.
- Client side is great especially when you’re working for a brand you are genuinely passionate about. The only caveat is that you are typically working with media and creative agencies who will actually execute the work, so with client side roles you won’t be exposed to as many of the tools or the actual implementation of the activity. As such, Client side roles can focus more on project management rather than the implementation of campaigns.
We hope that this short guide has helped you understand more about the agencies and roles within the media and marketing space. We’re here to help, so if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.