“What does it take to be the next marketing rockstar?” 
This was a question I posed to over 3,000 marketing students at a conference last week where I also had a chance to chat with some of them before my talk. I asked what year they were in and what activities they’re involved with in school, if they knew what they wanted to be when they graduate and what they’re doing now to get that dream job.
I like asking these questions because it helps me understand the perspectives of students and how I, not just as a speaker but also as a mentor-teacher, could connect at a point that is not just at the head level but more powerfully at the heart level. 
I enjoined them to start being active in their school organizations because they need those resume entries to differentiate themselves from other graduates.  The experience they get organizing events especially as leaders or heads of committees could make that difference and as marketing students, they should understand the importance of such differentiation especially when they start applying for jobs. 
During my talk, I shared the different areas in marketing where jobs might be available – at the first moment of truth level that involves trade marketing, shopper marketing, distribution management and retail marketing; at the second moment of truth level that includes new product development, packaging, pricing, insighting, product management, and innovation;  and of course, in  online or digital marketing as the zero moment of truth.
The best way to demonstrate to the young audience what it takes to be the best in these fields was to show some narratives based on experience as spoken by certified marketing rockstars themselves– the Mansmith Young Market Masters awardees.    In the AVPs, the students saw and heard what they could be if they set their minds into it.  I emphasized the need for excellent communication skills that would help them articulate and execute an idea – and yet be grounded by sound business strategies as well as metrics and innovation based on accurate consumer insighting.  Best practice examples in trade marketing and customer development, marketing management and insighting to digital marketing were shared while entrepreneurship was also discussed as another viable alternative to marketing employment.
There were at least six common points that were shared by the Mansmith YMMA awardees in the brief AVPs I showed (Please check out www.youngmarketmasters.com for more case studies and videos on the past and present winners):

1)  The boss is the customer.  To have quality insights, a marketer must know his/her customers very well – their aspirations, their struggles,                 and their habits.  Marketers must spend time with them to know all these.
2)  Have clarity of vision and know your business plan well.  This includes having clear metrics or measures of performance that must be                       constantly referred to as a matter of best practice for monitoring and immediate action if necessary.
3)  Hit the ground running.  The advantage of youth is being young - the young can take risks, can exert more time and effort without the                       distraction of other mature responsibilities.
4)  Find your niche. Differentiate.
5)  Find a good mentor.  To find one, young marketer must be able to “sell” himself as a worthwhile mentee.  Good mentors are always busy                 but will find time for those who show promise, commitment, focus and humility.
6)  Just like entrepreneurs, to be innovative, marketers must be comfortable with the ambiguous or uncertain.  It is belief in one’s self (and                     faith in God) that will make things possible. 

Finally, I also shared with them a list of surprising marketing positions in the future as featured in forbes.com. 
Imagine the following marketing job titles of the future:  transcultural anthropologist (someone who understands for example, the Latino community who loves K-Pop) , truth engineer (someone who knows if wikipedia might be accurate or not), mobile marketing jedi (an invisible force that can influence users), gesture writer (think beyond swipe or shake), casting agent (where HR hires talent using Hollywood techniques), the data story teller (or someone who can read data and tell a story that explains the numbers), and many more.
So I ask again - do you have what it takes to be the next marketing rock star and are you ready to challenge the status quo?

Chiqui Escareal-Go is the CEO and Chief Service Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc.  She will be conducting the 20thDelivering Outstanding Service program on July 21-22, 2016 in Makati.  For inquiries, please email info@mansmith.netor call (02) 584-5858 or (02) 412-0034.