Hot Off the Press: Brittany Thompson, Marketing Coordinator, Med Health Services
I have always had a deep passion for communications and art. Ever since I was a child I loved to talk, lead, or ask the question “why” a million times, as I always wanted to know more on everything. When I wasn’t communicating verbally I would express myself through my artwork. In high school I decided to focus my trade on commercial art; it was the best of both worlds. It was then that I realized how my desire to communicate, analyze, and express myself artistically could all be one in the same. I enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh where I studied communications and studio arts and obtained several internships in marketing and publishing. I will be completing my MBA with a specialization in Marketing from Capella University this summer. I currently am a marketing coordinator for Med Health Services in Monroeville, PA. – Brittany Thompson
1. How did you get started in marketing and social media management?
Well it definitely took me a few years to get here, but I didn’t give up. I am only 2 courses away from having my MBA with a specialization in Marketing, and I was determined to finally work and do what I love. I took a major leap of faith and resigned from a stable job with good income, to pursue a job in my field. I had nothing to fall back on but I knew without a doubt that I would finally land my dream job. I woke up one day and decided that it really was now or never and took my leap. A few weeks after resigning I interviewed for a Marketing & Social Media Collaborator Position, and ended up starting the job within a month. It was most definitely one of the scariest things I have ever done! But all fear aside, I believed in my own capabilities and my dream so much failing was not imaginable to me; it was time to get a position that utilized my education and passion–and here I am today!
2. What is the best advice you can give students interested in the marketing and communications fields?
The best advice I would give students interested in the marketing and communications field is to get plenty of experience! It is a highly competitive field and the more experience you have the better your chances of landing a great position. So take as many internships as you can, paid or unpaid it will undoubtedly pay off! You have to crawl before you walk so don’t let your ego stand in your way. Also, I would say be confident and allow your inner-self to shine through at your interviews. Whether or not you have experience you have the ability to sell yourself and set yourself apart from all the other candidates by simply believing in yourself! You have to walk in knowing deep inside that you are the best person for that job. You have to display unwavering faith. This doesn’t mean be arrogant or conceited, but more so knowing that you would be an incredible asset to this company, and if they don’t see that well then they are missing out. I was told that out of nearly 100 interviewees that I displayed the most passion and enthusiasm of anyone! Even though I had the education I had years and years of work experience in a different field so they questioned whether or not I would be able to do the job; my confidence, unwavering faith, and determination got me the job.
3. What advice would you give companies that do not have the budget to hire a firm, but would like to market its product?
Even if your company does not have enough money to hire a firm, there are still great ways to market and get the word out about your company that are cost-efficient. Social media (which is, as you know, free) is one of the best ways to market. Nearly everyone has some form of social media site that they use almost daily, so utilizing this free marketing tool with creative yet informative posts will help build an audience whom they can then market too. I think its wise that companies not posts or tweet too much. Especially posting non-stop about your products, it actually drives people away and annoys them. Direct mail marketing, digital newsletters, blogs, and face-to-face interpersonal campaigning are all cost effective ways to get the word out about your companies products. Again, every company right now is seemingly on the prowl to get more business. However, be careful not to bombard your customers or potential target markets with an overload of self-promotional messages. This only leads to them hitting the un-follow, unlike, or delete buttons. I strongly believe that it is not so much how often you communicate with your audience (quantity), but more so the quality of content in the communication being delivered to your audience.
4. What was your most challenging marketing campaign to work on?
The most challenging marketing campaign I have ever worked on would be my last position working at a Tax Resolution Firm. This technically was not an actual marketing campaign, but I was in sales and my job was to market our services to people in serious trouble with the IRS. It was very hard for me the first 6 months because I knew nothing about taxes or any of the IRS laws. The fact that I had no real desire or passion for what I was marketing made this even more unbearable for me. I didn’t have enough freedom to be myself and interact with my clients on a more interpersonal level. I am a communicator and I read people very well. I love interacting with people, and analyzing their verbal and non-verbal communication; it allows me to see what they really want. So not being able to sit face to face with most of my clients was a huge struggle for me and had me completely out of my comfort zone. I did adjust, but it was nothing I ever truly felt in alignment with as far as self-satisfaction. It did however strengthen my verbal skills tremendously!
5. You have held marketing positions in a variety of fields from health to retail. Is there a difference in marketing in each of these fields or is marketing the same regardless of the field?
At the end of the day marketing truly is the ability of a person or group of people to communicate, thoughts, ideas, and strategies that effectively allow businesses to build a relationship with their current and potential customers; no matter what field. However, marketing is always changing. Strategies marketers develop today are not the same as those developed even 10 years ago. There are always new techniques to learn, cases to study, and strategies to research. I feel that successful companies forecast new trends before they come. Successful companies overcome the challenge of growing, changing, and adapting in order to keep up with the evolution of marketing.