Introduction to Marketing

Identify the specific type of career you hope to pursue and develop a marketing plan for obtaining your first job upon graduation.

An important starting point is a situation analysis, which involves taking stock of what you have done regarding your career search, where you are now, and where you are headed in terms of your goal/existing plans and the external factors and trends affecting your employment prospects. A SWOT analysis should be used to appraise your personal strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities for and threats (or barriers) to successful employment.

Conduct an internal analysis, ask yourself, what are your strengths and weaknesses in terms of the courses taken and grades received, work experience, extra-curricular activities involvement, honors received, etc. Conduct an external analysis, ask yourself which industries or types of jobs are growing or in demand that may be opportunities. Further, ask yourself what advantages or “points of difference” you have relative to other “competitors” seeking the same job opportunities, such as taking this marketing course, the reputation of this educational institution, etc. Finally, ask yourself what other external forces can impact your job search, for example a downturn in the economy, the need to be computer literate, etc. This type of focused approach helps to define potential market segments that can be targeted.

The next task is to develop your own personal marketing mix.

• What type of “product” do you have to offer?
• What sort of “pricing” is appropriate?
• What “promotion” will be utilized?
• What type of “place” or channel will be used? These include intermediaries such as on-campus career services, networking, and employment agencies.

Using the attached template, develop a comprehensive marketing plan that will secure for you an appropriate career and starting position.


Planning Phase

Situation Analysis
• Internal Assessment: What are your strengths and weaknesses? What can you do to enhance your strengths and minimize your weaknesses? What type of competitive advantage do YOU have? If you don’t have one, can you develop one?

• External Analysis: What are the trends in the environmental factors that could impact your job search and career development? Technological, Regulatory, Economic, etc.

• Competitive Analysis: What type of background, experiences, strengths and weaknesses do your competitors have?

• Market Analysis: What market segments (job opportunities) have you identified as having the best potential? How do you fit into these markets? (This means doing some research!)

Focus and Goal Setting
• What are your objectives? Make them specific and measurable! What is your target market? Examples might be large public accounting firms, business-to-business sales, and marketing research for a consulting firm in Chicago, etc.

Marketing Program
• Product: YOU. Know yourself well. Continually improve yourself. Understand how you can meet the needs of your target market—prospective employers!

• Pricing: What salary and compensation package do you want? What are you willing to settle for? What’s the average salary received by competitors in your target market?

• Promotion: Very important. Think about the buying process. How will you create awareness for yourself? What can you do to “break through the clutter” and get the opportunity for an interview? Your personal selling skills will be important for telephone contacts and face-to-face interviews. Probe to find out about the needs of the organization before that “sales call” and during the interview. Have your questions prepared.

• Place: What channels have you developed to access your target market? Associations, personal contacts, professors, etc. Do some careful research on these. Don’t assume that intensive distribution is necessarily the way to go. Focus your efforts to those target markets that hold promise.

Implementation Phase

Develop a timetable and budget for research, wardrobe, résumés, and travel to carry out your program. Who will you contact in your target market? What follow-up tactics will be used? Remember that looking for a job requires a significant commitment of your time and effort.

Control Phase

How will you use the feedback you receive from rejection letters, interviews, etc? How will you know if you are moving in the correct direction?





Sample Solution