Most marketing assistants are entry-level workers who offer support services and perform basic analytical tasks for companies, businesses, and consulting firms. The specifics of the day-to-day work vary depending on the work setting — someone in a large marketing firm will necessarily have different tasks than someone working in a boutique office, for instance, and an assistant to a financial corporation will need a different sort of expertise than he or she would in the food service industry — but in most cases the core tasks fall within the same broad categories of monitoring relevant data and market statistics, coordinating financial filings, and conducting basic research. Helping different members of the marketing team communicate with each other is also commonly part of the job.
Keeping track of relevant data and watching different metrics like sales figures, profit margins, and revenue outputs is one of the assistant’s most important jobs in most cases. This can take different shapes, but usually involves monitoring certain figures internally and then comparing these with similar numbers from competitors. An assistant in a clothing corporation, for example, might be tasked with tracking sales of certain garments or sizes over time, then studying those numbers alongside those from previous years and those of similar retailers. Assistants typically then turn these data points into reports for executives or managers.
Market research is similar, but often involves a bit more creativity than simple monitoring. Assistants with research-related tasks typically look for patterns in data sets across time and locations and use this information to make predictions about the future. Developing and updating presentations is often a part of the package, and responsibilities might also include maintaining and managing data and product information, including brand and logo use and physical marketing materials like ads and customer databases.
Financial duties like tracking and approving invoices, reporting expenses, and documenting billing requests are also common. Assistants often start small in this regard, typically handling just one division or product line at a time. The main idea is to get an overview of the money being spent on different advertising campaigns or marketing ventures, which can in many cases help a company or business make informed budgeting decisions.
Strong communication is a key part of the job, too. Someone in this position is likely to be responsible for coordinating details among team members across multiple in-house departments, including the creative, purchasing, and accounting departments, and possibly also with outside vendors. An assistant often tracks the ordering and inventory of print materials and monitors schedules to ensure on-time mail and publication dates for coupons, ads, and reports.
Attention to detail is a key skill that goes hand in hand with many responsibilities, but perhaps meshes most closely with communication. Assistants are often expected to track, schedule, and proof creative content between the writing and graphics departments and identify possible errors or places for improvement. The most effective assistants are able to provide reasoned criticism and offer constructive advice, and will need the confidence to stand by their suggestions and recommendations.
Required Education and Training
Marketing assistants typically need university education; a degree in something like business, marketing, or analytics is often best, but some firms will consider candidates with other degrees. Substantial coursework towards a degree may also be acceptable, and some companies hire people without formal training if they have a lot of on-the-job experience. A lot depends on the employer.
People often take marketing assistant jobs as a way to break into the field, and there is usually a lot of room for upward growth. Assistants who do a good job or who prove their value to their employer are often promoted, and many become managers or are able to leverage their experiences to promotions at larger, bigger companies within a few years.