What do you actually do on a day-to-day basis?
The main tasks revolve around: - Working on the creative executions of your consumer communication with agencies. This involves writing the briefs (outlining what you want to achieve from the communication and how you want it to appear to consumers), briefing agencies in person and directing & critiquing creative work. This is to media agencies (who direct you on what media to have and around what time to implement it), advertising agencies, PR agencies, digital agencies (for websites) and artwork/design agencies. During the development you are working with internal packaging and artwork, regulatory and medical teams too. Throughout you are constantly working out strategies of how best to communicate with your audience. - Working with medical and regulatory teams on development of your claims - Working with supply chain, to ensure you are not out of stock in the future - Analysing consumer research - Tracking and analysing sales data to work out how well your products are selling and where - Working with the sales team to ensure they can obtain listings in retail outlets. - Working out sales predictions for the future for your existing and new products.
What are the main positives and negatives to your job?
The balance of learning about business whilst also having a lot of interaction with the creative development of your campaigns. A lot of responsibility for either certain projects or in some cases your own brand. The tangible nature of what you work on - you can see your work in the real world. The focus on the consumer. The hours - you are constantly busy and so your days are intense but you can mostly leave at 6 or 7pm
What qualifications and skills are needed to be great at this job?
A minimum 2.1 degree is pretty much essential - although if you come out with lower, it is still worth applying. You really don't need to have been to a top class university - people from all sorts of universities are in the jobs. Business/marketing degrees are favoured and give you an advantage but they are starting to see the value in liberal arts degrees too. Work experience in related industries eg. advertising, PR, sales are all valued as part of an application but are especially important if you haven't done a business or marketing degree. To enter at assistant brand manager level, previous experience in the industry would be needed - either in advertising or in a consumer goods company working in marketing or a related area eg. artwork and packaging or sales). One is usually promoted from a graduate/intern marketing role.
Describe the perfect person for this job
You need to have both strategic/conceptual skills as well as be able to handle maths. Have business acumen but also be able to see everything in light of the consumer and how you are delivering what they need. This is afterall what will ultimately sell your products. You need to be a people person who enjoys interacting with a lot of people and working in teams - you will be working with lots of different areas of the business everyday and external agencies and you need to be able to get on with them and work with them to produce what you need. Organisational skills are essential - you will be working on many different projects at the same time all with different (and very important) timelines. In addition, with most consumer goods companies, you need to be willing to commute to work (they are mainly based near slough). You will also need to be able to travel to certain parts of the country for meetings (these are not too frequent but it will help to have a car for when you do need to).
In what ways has the reality of your job differed from your prior expectations?
You are given a lot more responsibility than I thought I would be given. And there are so many different parts of the job role so you have to develop a large skill set
What advice would you give to candidates applying for a similar role at this company
The pay is good and the work is interesting and stimulating on a day to day basis. In an interview, be honest and rely on your own experience of being a consumer. Think about all four p's of marketing when answering questions about how you would sell a product. Prepare for the online maths tests. Before your interview, research the products of the company before (or the actual product you will be working on if you know) - their ad campaigns, how much they are in the shops, who you think their consumers are, their range of products and how they are unique, what messages/claims they communicate, what their packaging looks like and where they are sold. Deduce from this what they are trying to say to consumers about their brand. In addition do a SWOT analysis for the brand. And do the same for their competitors. The best way to do all this is to go into stores - this is a must before any interview!!!
What hours do you actually work, on average? N/Ato N/A.
With the benefit of hindsight, would you choose to do this job again?
If there is anything else you feel is missing from your job review please add it here...
The job really does give you an insight into how you sell a product and how every single thing you buy has come to the shelf you pull it off! It is invaluable business experience but can also be very fun.