In the modern marketing world, it is necessary for marketers to have a diverse set of skills. This is because marketing is not just about advertising and promoting products. It also includes understanding how to serve the marketplace, product development, social media management plus more. Marketing is a truly diverse field to work in.
Transferable skills are skills that can be applied and utilised in different industries and different job roles. They are usually obtained through an individual’s education, experience, and training. Transferable skills can allow an individual to find a higher salary and better job opportunities. This is because transferable skills have a broader range of uses which makes them more valuable to employers.
Working in retail can provide some of the most sought after skills for product marketers. These include skills such as customer services, merchandising, product promotions and product knowledge.
Stick with us through this article as we discuss what experiences and skills learned from working in retail can support you as you look to make the move into working in marketing.
What is Marketing and How Does it Relate to Retail?
One element of marketing is the process by which organizations try to create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to capture value from customers in return.
For most consumer brands the goal of their marketing is to ultimately drive sales and this is done through retail channels whether it be physical sales in a traditional bricks and mortar store or online via e-commerce channels.
The work done by marketers is what helps the retail industry to succeed. This could be by catchy advertising campaigns that draw people to a retail location to purchase a specific product, or eye-catching packaging and point of sale display stands that make people want to buy a product.
In the modern world of business, marketing is everywhere. Whether it be branding promoting an individual product or a retailer promoting multiple products, good quality marketing is here to support the retail industry.
The retail industry in turn also supports the work done by marketing. Good customer service, knowledgeable sales staff, and clean and well-lit stores are all a part of the customer experience.
What are the Best Marketing Jobs for Someone with Experience in Retail?
The benefits of moving from a retail job to a marketing role are many. You get to work in an exciting and fast-paced environment, you have the opportunity to learn more about the industry, and you get to work with people who are passionate about what they do.
If you’re looking for a career change, then this is it. Marketing is an industry that’s constantly evolving and growing. The opportunities are endless when it comes to learning new skills and developing your career.
As someone with retail experience, you will have valuable hands-on experience with products, having felt them and learned the best ways to display, promote and sell them within your environment.
You will also have valuable experience of discussing the products with the target audience (customers) and learning what they feel about the products, what they value most about them, what their dislikes are and importantly how the products stack up to competitor products.
There are a wide variety of marketing jobs out there, some where your retail experience will come in useful, others not so much. However, that shouldn’t put you off. There are lots of great free and paid for learning resources on the internet for learning marketing, such as:
Google Digital Garage
Also check out our article: How to get into Marketing Without any Experience
Best marketing jobs for someone with retail experience
E-commerce – Online retail is the digital way in which people purchase products and services. Whilst in this area of work it is advantageous to know about web design and web development, it is also important that marketers know how to best display products.
Your experience in retail can help support decisions on how best to show a product to the public and provide insight into what features to promote most.
Like operating a traditional bricks and mortar store, operating a digital shop isn’t just about selling items, it’s about offering customer service and a positive shopping experience. Your skills gained from retail can help in your interactions with customers and working on the layout and navigation of a website.
Product Marketing – Using your experience of products and dealing with the customers who purchase them you can take this knowledge to support you in processes involving the development of products or marketing campaigns.
Having years of experience in marketing is not a negative thing, but sometimes without market research or intelligence, it is possible to get too wrapped up in your own beliefs about a product. Introducing a fresh perspective of someone who has worked hands-on with the product and with the customers can be advantageous to an organisation.
Social media – engaging with your audience is a key element of any consumer brand’s marketing activity. The modern social media user wants more than just informational posts, they look for entertainment and for a brand they feel they can engage with or an ethos they can buy into.
Your time spent working in retail could help you in understanding the types of customers a product attracts and what kind of content they are likely to engage with most.
Events – Events marketing is a big industry and for many brands hosting and attending events can take up a large portion of their marketing budget. For this, results by the way of sales or leads will be expected.
One way to deliver or attend a successful event is to have the location or stand designed and displayed in a way that draws people in. Experience with merchandising in a retail environment can help when it comes to creating event spaces or stands that attract people.
For marketers who are also working the events, experience in working with the public and delivering exceptional customer service is great experience for knowing how to communicate with people and promote a product or service.
Advantages of transferring from Retail to Marketing
Marketing is a career that is in high demand, as it offers a wide variety of opportunities. Marketing professionals are not only responsible for managing the marketing budget and implementing marketing strategies, but they also work with a diverse range of people, including clients and customers.
The benefits of moving into marketing are:
- Marketing professionals have more opportunities to work in different industries and verticals.
- They have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of projects
- The skills learned in marketing can be applied to other professions such as advertising, public relations or business development.
Retail is a popular industry to work in, with skills that you learn that can support you in transitioning to work in marketing. However, before applying for jobs in marketing, look to learn as much as possible about marketing. There are some fantastic learning resources on the internet and some may find they want to go back to school or study part-time whilst continuing to work.
Acquiring work in marketing isn’t just about learning the technical skills, enthusiasm and creativity can go a long way in helping you land your first job in marketing.
Before you go check out our article – Worst Things About Working in Marketing