News & Events

Debunking 5 Myths about a Marketing Career

Aug 18, 2022
Debunking common misconceptions about marketing careers

By Rachael Perrotta

Starting a career in marketing can be intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Kathleen Rall, Associate Director and CMC Coach, and Alex Borowski, Associate Director and CMC Coach at Vanderbilt Business, debunk 5 common misconceptions about a career in marketing.

Kathleen Rall

Myth: You must be visually creative and knowledgeable in design to be successful in marketing

Contrary to popular belief, a background in art and visual design is not necessary to succeed in marketing. Instead, Rall explained that marketing is more analytical, requiring an understanding of data science. 

Borowski added that this myth likely stems from a limited view of the final stage of marketing—the final product. The multi-step process of marketing, Rall said, is fit for people with varying skill sets. 

“As a consumer, all our lives, we see the end result of all these marketing efforts in visual media, so that’s how we’re engaging with it,” Borowski said. “One little sliver of the world of marketing is the advertising and visual media component.”

Myth: A career in marketing is the same as a career in advertising

Alex Borowski

Advertising is a subset of marketing, Borowski and Rall explained. While marketing jobs have varying focuses, advertising careers encompass just one aspect of marketing.

Adding to this distinction, Borowski said it’s important to keep an open mind when searching for a job in marketing. He added that a company’s advertising quality doesn’t necessarily indicate its marketing quality. 

“Many students only want to go to companies that they have seen really cool advertisements from,” Borowski said. “But I think marketing can be equally interesting for basic goods as well.”

Myth: Marketing jobs only work with traditional media.

Stereotypically, marketing takes form as radio, TV, or print advertisements. However, Rall explained that many marketing jobs focus on other mediums, such as digital advertisements and content. 

In fact, she said students in Vanderbilt’s Masters of Marketing program take an entire class on digital strategies for marketing!

Myth: Marketing careers are typically desk jobs.

Corresponding with the layered marketing process, Rall emphasized that marketing jobs can take on many roles, ranging from budget analysis to product development, and settings. 

Borowski described the marketing field as dynamic, interdisciplinary, and personal, often requiring internal and external group collaboration. 

“If you think that marketing is a role where you sit in a cubicle all day you’re misinformed,” Rall said. “If you don’t have that ability to communicate across different teams, it’s going to be hard for you to be successful in your job.”

Myth: Every day in a marketing job is the same.

Aligning with the dynamic nature of marketing, Borowski said no two days in a marketing career are the same. Even while working for one company or brand, he explained that new projects and partnerships frequently arise.  

“You are constantly doing new things or new challenges, or new opportunities for different types of marketing collaboration show up,” Borowski said.

Other Stories

Want to learn more a about Master of Marketing?