Did you know more than 60% of Malaysian consumers plan to buy their flight tickets online? Or that folks in Kuala Lumpur lose between RM10bil to RM20bil every year getting stuck in traffic doing nothing? How about the fact that up to 75% of smartphone users are using damaged smartphones?
The facts above may not make much sense to you; however, for the right marketers, such information can be extremely useful.
If such nuggets intrigue you and you’re interested to know how to make use of such insights, then here’s a guide for you to learn what’s in store for you in a Marketing course.
#1. The Basics of Marketing
a) What is Marketing?
Marketing deals with identifying, creating and communicating value of a product or service to meet the needs of an audience while making a profit.
Marketing strategies are employed by companies everywhere – when you receive an SMS about a seasonal promotion, when you take a free food sample at the supermarket or when you use your loyalty card to collect 10 stamps.
Many tend to confuse Marketing with Sales but the truth is, Sales is only just the tip of the iceberg of the whole marketing process. In fact, Marketing is already at play before a product or service even exists. Sales activities, on the other hand, only begin after a product or service is conjured.
From performing extensive market research and developing the appropriate product or service to choosing the most effective distribution channels and letting the right target audience know of the product or service, marketing is at the heart of them all.
b) What Are the Various Fields of Marketing?
Marketing is a more comprehensive process compared to sales. That’s why as a broad business function, Marketing consists of multiple disciplines.
Here are some of the common disciplines you can find under Marketing.
|Field||What It Is All About
|Brand Management||Deals with the analysis and proper cultivation of the perceived value of a brand|
|Public and Media Relations||Involves managing and working collaboratively with various media agencies to convey important messages to the public|
|Sales||A set of business operations that deals primarily with the exchange of products or services with money|
|Advertising and Promotions||Employs various marketing communication channels (E.g. TV, billboard, Facebook, etc.) to announce and promote a specific product or service|
|Market Research||Involves gathering valuable information from prospective or current customers to facilitate strategic marketing decisions|
#2. Studying a Marketing Course
a) Entry Requirements & Qualifications
Understandably, meeting the minimum entry requirements is a must in order to pursue a course in Marketing.
(i) Diploma in Marketing
A Diploma in Marketing can be a passport for you to join the workforce early. So if you’re planning to pursue a Marketing Diploma, the entry requirements are:
- SPM / O-Level: Minimum 3 credits
A Diploma in Marketing course typically takes up to 2 – 3 years to complete.
You will gain an understanding of general business principles and of course, a solid foundation in marketing concepts and practices.
Upon completion of your Diploma in Marketing, you can then proceed to seek employment opportunities if you desire to join the workplace early or if you want to score some valuable working experience first.
Alternatively, you can also choose to pursue a more comprehensive mastery of the marketing field by taking up a Degree in Marketing.
(ii) Degree in Marketing
You will need to complete your SPM (or an equivalent qualification) and a Pre-University qualification before you can enter a Degree in Marketing course.
The minimum entry requirements for Degree in Marketing are:
- A-Level: Minimum 2Es; or
- STPM: Minimum 2Cs; or
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum of ATAR 50.0; or
- Canadian Pre-University: Average of 50% in 6 subjects; or
- Diploma: Minimum CGPA of 2.00; or
- Foundation in Business or Arts: Minimum CGPA of 2.00
On top of that, you will also need a pass in Mathematics and English in SPM to pursue a Marketing degree.
A typical Degree in Marketing course is 3 years long.
A Marketing Degree will offer you greater insights into the latest marketing trends such as digital marketing and marketing analytics.
On top of that, you will also learn how to develop feasible marketing plans and make strategic marketing decisions to respond to changing market trends, demand shifts and complex business situations.
You will typically be required to carry out a final year project and go for a semester-long internship as per standard requirements of a Degree in Marketing course.
b) How Does Your Education Pathway Look Like?
You can proceed to a Pre-University course or a Foundation course upon the completion of your SPM, or an equivalent qualification. Otherwise, you can also choose to take up a Diploma in Marketing.
Thereafter, you can proceed to a Degree in Marketing course.
Upon completion of your Marketing Degree, you can also choose to pursue postgraduate studies. Pursuing a Marketing postgraduate programme can help you gain more holistic insights on marketing and general business operations, build valuable business networks and avail yourself to more career opportunities.
c) What Will You Study in Marketing?
This is to help you get a general understanding of how a business works and ultimately, give you a stronger grasp of the role marketing plays within a business.
Specifically, however, here are some of the most common subjects found in a Marketing course:
- Principles of Marketing
- Business Law
- Consumer Behaviour
- Marketing Research
- Integrated Marketing Communications
- Retail Marketing
- Services Marketing
#3. Why Should You Study Marketing?
Apart from being one of the more happening business functions (you’ll get to attend events, functions, press conferences, etc.), here are some major reasons why you should consider taking a Marketing course:
(a) You love engaging with people
A lot of things that you will do in the marketing field involves engagement with people.
Whether it’s building trust towards your brand or obtaining feedback about your newly launched product, they are all done through constant and on the ground engagement with relevant stakeholders.
So, if you love interacting with people and loathe a strictly desk-bound job, Marketing is certainly right up your alley.
(b) You want to explore opportunities in various industries
Just like how every business needs an accountant to keep their books in check, marketers are needed to help build brand recognition, convey the value of products or services and encourage people to buy, among other tasks.
If you are still in two minds about which industry you would like to build your career in, then a Marketing qualification can help keep your employment options open.
(c) You love setting and spotting trends
If you’re always the first to come across trending stuff like the Trash Dove and the Pen Apple Pineapple Pen song, you can give Marketing a strong consideration.
Marketers are often on the lookout for the latest trends that they can leverage and launch new marketing campaigns. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gotten that discount from just catching a Pikachu in Pokémon Go.
#4. What Skills Do You Need for a Marketing Course?
In order to do well in a Marketing course, certain qualities and skills are essential. Here are some major skills that you’ll need to perform well in a Marketing course:
(a) Persuasive communication and presentation skills
Marketing is undeniably very much involved in convincing someone to pay for your products or services – an action which requires a good mix of messaging and packaging.
Think about it – if you are looking for a good toothpaste, do you buy one with the right chemical composition? Or do you buy one with key messages like “teeth whitening”, “fresh breath” and “gum protection”?
You will face numerous presentations and simulations in a Marketing course to prepare yourself for a marketing role in the workplace later on.
(b) Strong business curiosity and awareness
Businesses that are adaptable and quick to respond to external stimulus often thrive. And that is also very much the case with a successful marketing student and a marketer.
You’ll be expected to provide real life examples to back your points and arguments in numerous critical thinking questions and marketing case studies.
For a start, you can read business news to keep yourself updated.
(c) Ability to work well with others
Just like any other business function, Marketing requires plenty of collaboration and synergy between departments and teams.
Got a new product idea? Collaboration with the Product Development Team is inevitable. Need a bigger marketing budget? Discuss with the Finance Department. Want to boost sales? Support and work with the Sales Team with relevant promotions and campaigns.
Want a business to thrive? Working collaboratively is a must.
#5. What Career Options Do You Have with a Marketing Degree?
With the right attitude and the willingness to adapt and learn, Marketing graduates should have no problems thriving in different industries.
Here are some top careers that Marketing graduates can typically pursue upon graduation:
- Marketing Executive
- Public Relations Executive
- Brand Executive
- Marketing Consultant
- Advertising and Promotions Specialist
- Customer Relationship Associate
- Business Development Executive
On top of that, Marketing graduates can also try their hands in entrepreneurial ventures (both profit and non-profit), putting their trained business acumen to good use.
#6. Where Can You Study Marketing in Malaysia?
If you think Marketing is right for you, then here are some popular universities to study a Degree in Marketing in Malaysia.
Undergraduate Degree in Marketing
Campus: Philadelphia, USA
Intakes: Jan & Aug
Estimated Fees: USD28,800 per year
Scholarships: Up to USD16,000 tuition fee waiver
La Salle’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Ranked Top 300 US Colleges by the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education College Rankings 2017
Provides various travel / study courses to places like France, Germany and China
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Bachelor of Business (Hons) Marketing
Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM101,734
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Offers dual award degree in collaboration with the Bristol Business School, University of the West of England (UWE) in England
Equips students with relevant industry exposure and skills via the Industry Immersion Programme
Taylor’s Business School students have consistently participated and won numerous international and national business competitions every year
Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (Hons)
Campus: Bukit Damansara
Intakes: Jan, Mar, May, Aug & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM68,100
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Option to transfer to relevant business programmes at the University of Queensland in Australia
Internships and graduate training programmes with leading multinational companies such as Ernst & Young, General Electric, BDO Binder, just to name a few
Dedicated student placement centre which assists and guides students to get into their dream universities abroad