Marketing officer

,  10 October 2012

Marketing is about understanding what a customer wants and promoting this product, event or service. It is also making sure the public is talking about a brand, which for the arts sector could be a theatre, museum, art gallery or community arts project.

A Marketing Officer makes sure the theatre sends out the right image to the public.
A Marketing Officer makes sure the theatre sends out the right image to the public.

This article is also available in Welsh / Mae’r erthygl hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg

What is the job like?

A good marketing officer is able to identify a target audience. Sometimes this will take some research. They will then work to make sure this audience is aware of the play, exhibition or event, and attracted to it, even before tickets go on sale. 

Once you know who you are trying to tell about what, then the task is to spread the word by every means available: advertising, posters, mail shots, the internet, social media, promotions and the press. 

A good marketing officer is able to identify a target audience.

Marketing is a broad area of work and can also include public relations (PR), event organisation and fundraising. In a large organisation these will be separate roles. 
PR is about ensuring a good relationship between an organisation and its public. This can involve working with the media to present a chosen image or organising events that show off the side of the organisation you want people to see.  

Some marketing officers deal with fundraising or getting sponsorship from large organisations.

What skills do I need?

It helps to have: 

  • good communication skills – to write brochures, leaflets and website content and to organise events
  • skills in organisation and planning
  • awareness of digital marketing techniques, especially relating to social media
  • creativity to design marketing materials and come up with new ways to attract audiences
  • a real interest in the arts and the organisation you are promoting.  

How do I start a career in marketing?

There is no set career path into marketing. At school/college, subjects such as English/Welsh, IT, business studies and media studies will help you to develop some of the skills you need. 

Build up experience through volunteer work at your local theatre, arts centre or festival and get involved with local arts events and see how these are marketed. Writing a blog or website content can be useful. 

For marketing where written communication is a part of your work, having an excellent CV is vital. It’s your first chance to show employers how you set about marketing something, in this case yourself. 

What qualifications do I need?

Although not essential, many people in marketing have a degree and subjects like English, marketing or media can be useful. Some marketing degrees include a year in industry or gaining professional marketing qualifications.

Alternatively there are Apprenticeships at Intermediate and Advanced level in marketing, and Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships in social media and digital marketing. See the National Careers Service website for details.

It may be possible to start out as a marketing assistant. Retail, sales or office skills will be useful.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) offers courses in marketing. The Level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing is suitable for those wanting to move into marketing and level 4-7 qualifications are available for those already working in the industry.

How much can I earn?

In the arts sector, a marketing officer may earn around £20-36,000 and a marketing manager up to around £40,000. A head of service can earn around £40-55,000 and a top level director up to £100,000 a year. 


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