Getting Ahead in Your Marketing Career

Marketing can offer a lot in terms of career progression, but these opportunities won’t just be handed to you. Like in any job, you need to prove not only that you’re capable of taking on more responsibility but that you want to get that promotion. There will be a lot of competition when it comes to climbing the career ladder, so making yourself stand as the perfect candidate for more senior roles is key. If you have just started in your marketing career, or feel like you’ve been stuck in the same role for too long, below are some tips that will help you get ahead.

Map Out Your Career Path

The first place to start is sitting down and seriously thinking about where you want to go in terms of your career. Although this may be subject to change, having a clear path mapped out will help you reach your goals, and it’s also something interviewers are likely to ask candidates. If you know you want to end up in an executive marketing role, do your research into how you can get from where you are now to there in the next ten years. Understanding the steps that you need to take will help keep you motivated and give you a better chance of success.

Education and Further Training

Once you have a plan for your career goals, you can start putting them into action. If you have no previous training or education in marketing, consider enrolling in a course that could be useful. Even if you’re working in an entry-level role now, understanding the complexities of marketing as a discipline and industry will help you strengthen your career prospects. If you’re worried about the time commitment of returning to school, there are plenty of online educational courses you could do that provide more flexibility — for example, this course at Emerson College for an MA in Digital Marketing. If you already have certificates of higher education, ask your boss if there are any additional training programs you can do at work that would be beneficial.

Ask for More Responsibility

When considering candidates for positions, employers want to see that they have initiative and leadership skills, particularly if the vacancy is for a senior position. If you want to get noticed by your boss and offered a promotion, ask for more responsibility at work. It might be something as simple as writing some extra content for campaigns or even sitting in on client meetings to shadow the account managers. This will show them that you’re serious about moving up in the company and that you can handle the extra responsibility these roles entail.


Networking is important in any industry, but as marketing is such an essential business service, mixing with colleagues and clients is a must. If you want to get noticed by head hunters, your boss, or a particular client that you can pitch some ideas, networking is how you can make it happen. Look out for different networking events you can attend, and always take some business cards with you. Make sure you look presentable, and although having a glass of wine or two is common at these things, don’t drink too much. It’s still a professional event, after all.

Stay Informed

Marketing is all about engaging with consumers and putting brands in the best possible light. If you want to succeed in a marketing career, you must stay informed about the latest trends and think ahead to what might come next if you want to keep campaigns relevant. Your clients pay you to do this, so if you want your boss to be impressed with you, staying informed is one of the basic things you need to do. Read blogs and articles on marketing trends, but also keep up to date with current affairs because what is happening in the world will have a direct impact on how marketing can be used and what messages consumers want to see from their favorite brands.

Learn How to Market Yourself

When writing your CV and talking in interviews, although you don’t want to seem arrogant, you do need to sell yourself as a candidate. If you want to get ahead in your marketing career, you need to apply your skills and knowledge to market yourself. Keep updating your CV and make sure your strengths are highlighted. Be prepared to discuss where you think you can do better, but make sure your pros shine brighter than the cons. Come up with a pitch for yourself as a candidate and use that to help you in interviews. Think of things you can do outside of work that will benefit your career, such as writing a blog, volunteering to help a local charity promote a fundraising event, or any other activity that might be relevant to marketing.

Be Flexible and Adaptable

Marketing can be a very fast-paced industry to work in, so expect to have to work late to complete a campaign or make changes on the fly. If you want to get ahead in your marketing career, accept that you might have to sacrifice getting home on time or come in to work on weekends occasionally. You might also be asked by your manager to take on extra work last minute or alter the work you’ve already done. While this might be frustrating at times, being able to do these things will show your team leaders that you’re reliable and a strong team player, and this will not go unnoticed.

Manage Your Social Media

Finally, if you want to make a good impression on your bosses, make sure you’re managing your social media accounts. A lot of companies do express concern over employees’ behavior on these platforms, especially if these accounts are made public, as this can reflect on the company as well. If you want to avoid getting into trouble or causing a stir, make sure you’re managing your social media appropriately, particularly if you have a lot of followers and your place of work is listed on these accounts.

If you want to get ahead in your marketing career, use these tips to help you achieve your goals. It will take some hard work, but it will all be worth it in the end.

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