Marketing communicates the value of a product, or brand, to potential consumers and finds ways to direct both a message and product effectively. Marketing can involve sales, public relations, pricing, packaging, and distribution, but above all, it involves understanding consumer needs and habits and imagining how most effectively to interest the consumer in one’s brand or product.
Alumna Tiffany Linzan (2011) explains how she combines technical skills with those she learned in English for a career in Digital Marketing.
What is your job?
I currently work as a Sr. Technical Partner Development Manager where I onboard companies and make sure they have successfully made any necessary changes to their technical infrastructure and/or ability to deploy our company’s Software Development Kit (SDK).
What is the broader field of industry in which this work exists?
Primarily marketing. Consumer tracking and targeting is a big thing nowadays. It’s usually referred to as “consumer intelligence”–being able to track and target relevant ads to the right consumer, at the right time, on the right device…without infringing privacy. Companies like IBM, SalesForce, Experian, Pinterest, and the giants, Facebook and Google, consider this “digital gold”. The amount and type of data collected via device parameters and textual analysis using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze tweets and posts is extremely valuable to marketers and brands.
What, in general, do you do as part of this job?
I write software guides and technical whitepapers for both the company and clients. I work with our engineering team to modify our software according to client needs and industry competition. Lastly, I work with our clients throughout the span of our partnership to address any technical issues or requests.
What are the pros and cons of this kind of job?
- There is always something new to learn.
- A tech/start-up team provides flexibility to contribute and implement new ideas
- You wear many hats. The new, popular tech environment doesn’t stick too hard to official work titles or even job descriptions. Everyone is a team and we help each other out. Sometimes I am working on projects that are sales related or marketing related. The more you help and make yourself available, the more you learn and grow.
- Not enough women in the tech space. I’m the youngest, and also the only woman, on my team. This makes me a target for plenty scrutiny and negative treatment. Many comments/doubts of adequacy: skills, experience, etc.
- Workload can be pretty heavy where you’re working past office hours.
What skills did you learn as an English major that you use in this job?
Research is a BIG one. Being able to apply critical thinking and in-depth analysis is crucial, no matter the area of work. When writing technical material, knowing how to seamlessly code-switch between discourses is a priceless skill.
How have you learned to do this job?
I’ve always had a knack for all things tech. I started off as a computer science major, switched due to a lack of interest in how the program was taught, and eventually found myself back at tech, teaching myself how to code and familiarizing myself with technological advancements by reading papers from conferences, all in addition to attending other programs. Last, I’ve completed my MA thesis on computational semiotics–combining both passions for literature and technology.
Plenty of reading up on the industry in which I work also helped a great deal. Applying that knowledge is another.
How did you get this job?
An Experian HR rep reached out to me. No joke. A well-groomed LinkedIn profile, and a few engaging social media handles, really helped out.
For current students interested in this line of work, do you have any recommendations on what they can do now to start directing their career path?
Read outside of class. Academic journals; subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and other noteworthy publications. Become familiar with work going on in your field, whether it be fashion or space exploration. Follow trends. Cut back on television and steer towards watching major news channels/satire.