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How to get an entry-level Brand Marketing job?

Role Basics: What Brand Marketing?

Brand marketing is typically responsible for marketing activities that don’t directly tie to quantifiable user acquisition (which usually fall under growth marketing or performance marketing). This usually includes content, social media, influencer marketing, PR, brand-oriented advertising (including TV, podcast, radio, out of home, and more).

Flavors of Brand Marketing roles: 

Every company will have a slightly different approach to brand marketing. The biggest difference will depend on the type of product (physical product, consumer web, SaaS / enterprise web), and the importance of brand to the product.

Example projects in Brand Marketing:

  • Create an influencer marketing program
  • Manage an out of home advertising campaign
  • Manage a PR agency to get features about the product/company, and create 
  • Create a brand handbook for the company to use when writing or talking about the brand
  • Collaborate with a product manager (and product marketer) to website copy 
  • Manage a creative agency, contractors or internal team to create brand-oriented advertising assets (i.e. graphic or video ads)
  • Develop new packaging for a consumer product 

Common activities in Brand Marketing:

  • Writing and reviewing copy that describes or reflects the brand
  • Managing contractors (e.g. PR, creative agencies, video/audio/display advertising) 
  • Conducting customer research (i.e. focus groups, user interviews, customer journey mapping)
  • Planning and managing brand “activations” – i.e. experiences that engage with customers, earn media, or otherwise build awareness and affiliation with the brand

Brand Marketing metrics: 

Ultimately, brand marketing aims to drive awareness of and affiliation with a brand. As a result, metrics (and even a company’s approach to metrics for a brand team) tend to vary much more than with performance marketing (focused on CAC and LTV) or product marketing (focused on conversion rate), and may vary based on a brand campaign’s goals and design. A few potential metrics include: 

  • Unaided brand recall (this is a more traditional metric, common for big companies – Clorox, Adidas, etc.)
  • Purchase intent / likelihood to recommend (based on surveys)
  • Audience growth 
  • Loyalty (based on surveys)

Brand Marketing compensation: 

Entry jobs often pay $60-80K. But roles requiring several years of work experience for an entry-level position can pay more than $120K.

Brand Marketing career path:

Good. This is especially important at consumer companies, where the brand is very important (think CPG, fashion, subscription, or other consumer brands). 

How accessible are Brand Marketing jobs?

  • Time to learn. 0-1 year. 
  • Selectivity. Moderate. Because brand marketing tends to be less transparent, it depends more on status. 
  • Ease of working remote. Medium. Depends a lot on the team. Often brand teams work with contractors or agencies, which makes remote work easier. 

Job Requirements: What you need to be competitive for brand marketing roles?

Key skills for Brand Marketing:

  • Great writer
  • A good sense of taste 
  • Good at understanding users – asking questions, listening, perspective taking
  • Ability to write, design and implement landing pages (using tools like Unbounce or Webflow)
  • Graphic design is a big plus, especially on smaller / earlier teams

Professional background for success in Brand Marketing:

Often people start with content or social media roles, which typically report to the brand team. Other paths into brand teams include graphic design and working at creative agencies.

Prior accomplishments to be competitive for Brand Marketing jobs:

  • Developing and/or executing successful brand-oriented campaigns
  • Creating and marketing your own brand
  • Managing and growing a social media profile – particularly Instagram – either for yourself or for a small business or consumer product 
  • Any accomplishments from content marketing or social media roles would apply here

Personal characteristics for success in Brand Marketing:

  • If you love writing, find yourself getting caught on the nuance and connotations of words or designs, you’d be at home on a brand team
  • Distinct sense of taste – visual identity is a huge part of a company’s brand, so it’s important to enjoy and have a strong perspective on visual style
  • Generally, you think of yourself as “creative” and enjoy creativity
  • You like creating experiences and meaning for people

How to prepare for and get a job in Brand Marketing? 

Projects to learn and prove yourself:

  • Personal website + LinkedIn + social profile overhaul – if you can’t represent your own brand well, why would someone hire you to represent theirs? 
  • Create a “portfolio” of landing pages – take an existing landing page for a product you like, and show how you’d improve it 
  • Graphic design / branding portfolio – not for everyone, but if you like design and can do it, this would be a big plus! 
  • Grow a social media profile (particularly Instagram) from 0 to 5-10K users
  • Manage a small business’s online presence (i.e. website + social + yelp or other online sites), and increase its revenue by 25% 
  • Create your own brand online, and scale it to $5K revenue per month
  • Create your own blog and scale it to 5-10K visits per month

Any projects from content marketing or social media roles would apply here

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