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What is marketing?

Marketing is the overall strategy and process behind raising awareness of and selling products and services. It involves:

  • identifying something that people or businesses want
  • developing a product or service that meets that need and then promoting it
  • working out the details and making sure you're charging the right price for the product or service

(Source: Chartered Institute of Marketing)

Marketing may also include digital marketing, advertising and PR. In smaller companies one department may be responsible for the whole marketing process alongside advertising and PR while in larger organisations they might be separate departments.

For this reason, we have separate sections covering the specialisms of  advertising, PR, and digital marketing.


Employers and roles


The marketing industry is large and diverse. You might be working for:

  • a global agency
  • an in-house department or;
  • a small independent agency.

Many global agencies will engage in all aspects of marketing including PR and advertising, while smaller agencies may specialise in areas such as digital marketing.

Research employers

Design Intellect’s top 50 advertising and marketing agencies

The Drum’s Top 100 independent agencies


Like many industries, marketing is now heavily focused on digital and online content. Job titles have changed immensely to reflect this over the past five years.

Marketing-specific titles still exist, such as marketing assistant, marketing manager, and marketing executive.

However there has also been a rise in specialist roles such as SEO assistant, digital marketing executive and PPC executive which are all considered essential to digital marketing.

Find out about roles

Explore marketing roles on Prospects

Find out more about digital marketing roles


How can I find my first role?

Finding opportunities

Hidden opportunities

Many openings are not advertised so speculative applications are common – you’ll need to do plenty of research first into the companies that interest you.

A good starting point, especially if you are looking for opportunities in a particular town or city is to search the business directory Enter ‘marketing’ into the search box and select your location of interest.

Perfect your CV and covering letter first

Graduate schemes

Graduate schemes do exist, usually with larger companies. TargetJobs has rounded up a list of them.

Hear from Nottingham graduate Evie about winning a place on Boots' commercial graduate scheme.

Further vacancy sources

Campaign Jobs Mad Jobs Marketing Week Onward Search The Drum The Guardian

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies may be able to help you find marketing work. Most agencies will look for candidates with some experience and an up-to-date CV.

For Nottingham-based marketing recruitment agents use

What are employers looking for?

Regardless of your degree background, organisations recruiting to marketing roles will be seeking:

  • excellent communication skills
  • creative thinking
  • a genuine interest in marketing
  • commercial awareness
  • digital skills
  • relevant work experience 

Will I need a specialist qualification?

Graduates from a wide range of disciplines go into marketing. While there are postgraduate degrees in marketing and related areas which will enhance your knowledge and skills, you don’t necessarily need a specialised qualification to get into the industry.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) offers a range of professional qualifications, which may open up possibilities for career progression. You may be able to get employer sponsorship to complete these once in post. 

Top tips for marketing applications

  1. Emphasise relevant experience whether paid or unpaid including membership of student societies
  2. Link to any social media channels you have set up for professional use such as Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn 
  3. Show commercial awareness and knowledge of modern culture and brands. For example, you could practise critiquing how products and services around you have been marketed and prepare examples to discuss at interview.
  4. Come and talk to us about finessing your CV and cover letter to showcase your marketing skills  

How do I get work experience?

Marketing is a competitive industry and work experience can give you a significant advantage.

Unadvertised opportunities

Many agencies do offer work experience and if they don’t openly advertise it you can still contact them to ask about the possibility.

Research which area(s) of marketing interest you, identify relevant employers in your location of interest, and draw up a shortlist to approach.

Check company websites first for work experience opportunities, and if they're not offering any send off a CV and covering letter.


Networking can be a great way to access hidden opportunities and get a 'foot in the door'.

Online work experience

Forage is an online platform providing free access to virtual experience programmes with world leading companies. The virtual experience programmes let you sample ‘life-like’ tasks that provide a better understanding of what it’s like to be a junior employee at that company. They take 5-6 hours to complete and are self paced.


DMA Talent Marketing Challenge

Sources of vacancies

Nottingham Internship Scheme: apply for paid internships with small businesses Prospects: advertises internships and provides advice on where else to look Volunteering: boost your CV while helping local charities Digital Marketing Academy: Starts in the autumn term Part-time work: find paid work that fits around your studies

What can I do at Nottingham to enhance my job prospects?


Explore related areas


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679