A 16 year old me was dreaming to become a scientist, wearing a white lab coat working in an at least BSL-3 (Biosafety level 3), confidential laboratory somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Doing research on unique and dangerous biological agents in an enclosed facility. And doing all that fun technical scientific stuff the scientists in the Hollywood movies seem to be doing. Yes I did want to be like the microbiologist who would know absolutely everything about geology and forensics and genetics and zoology and physics and would be just the perfect person to contact in case the world is invaded by an Alien life form or a deadly virus, making all the human beings act in a supernatural way. Yes! I would be the one to save the world. And so… I did choose Bioinformatics as my Bachelor’s degree as I was on my way to saving the world. But then! Life happened….
Let’s face it life comes and hits you when you don’t expect it….I grew up! And realized that it isn’t easy getting all the information (you would possibly need to save the world) in my brain so I left the world saving job for Will Smith and Tom Cruise who are much better at it (under the directions of Steven Speilberg) than me.
But I wasn’t going to give up on my dream of wearing a white lab coat. After my bachelor’s degree I wanted to do MSc Biotechnology, but guess what? Life happened! I got married and had a baby and I was a fully dedicated mom, I did not want to miss out on any moment of my baby’s early years.
While I was a stay at home mom I had a lot of time to explore myself and the talents I had been blessed by God. I had always been good at arts and had a flare for makeup which lead me to becoming a professional makeup artist. I started working as a Skincare and Beauty Advisor in one of Britain’s leading stores and that is when I realized my true talent, which was understanding and connecting to the customers. When dealing with my clients, I was always more about listening to them, trying to understand in the best possible way, what they wanted instead of pushing my sales.
It did take me a while and lots of support and great comments from my customers to realize that I was good at Marketing and of course that lead to great sales. The chartered Institute of Marketing describes marketing as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably (CIM, 1976). And so I decided to take my marketing skills to the next level and started my MSc in Marketing.
If you ask me for reasons for choosing Sales and Marketing Management as my career choice I can give you many but the few main are that selling your products has come a long way from just pushing them into your customer’s faces…nowadays its more about the customer and knowing your customer’s needs and wants. Once you can identify them then it’s so much easier to develop your products around them. I like the way Drucker (1973) talks about marketing:
“Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function...It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s view point.”
It has become easier to do a market research for consumer behaviour, to connect to consumers and to target them with timely messages due to standardised globalisation and tools such as GSM (Global System of Mobile Communication) and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) which eliminates the middlemen and connects the end user directly to the producer. But it has also become difficult at the same time as the internet has provided a platform for people to give instant feedback and influence the buying behaviour of the end users. Blog writers, YouTubers and other social media activists are giving out so much information and views which is constantly impacting and changing the customer’s views and their needs and wants.
I feel marketing is a very challenging field of study as it is the study of the consumer psychology and I believe there is nothing better than a good challenge to find out your personal best. So yeah! Sales and Marketing Management as a career, why not?
The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s official definition (1976)
Peter F Drucker, 1973 [Drucker, PF (1973) Management: tasks, responsibilities, practices New York, Harper & Row.]