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10 things every marketing student must do, to stand out

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

You can also listen to the podcast of this same blog post, here


There is always this thought that crosses your mind when you excel or fail at something.

The thought of whether you are born with the excellence that’s needed to outperform and stand out.


As someone who has always been quite average in academics, I believed this to be true, especially when I saw others in my class score higher.

“Well, she is born smart! There is nothing I can do about it”

I soon realized that I was actually kidding myself, and this concept of being born with intelligence is actually a scam that you tell yourself just to accept your failure.


The same goes in the case of marketing, the likes of David Ogilvy or Seth Godin or Jeff Bezos or any other great marketer, was not born with this talent, they worked and developed the same.

MUST READ: Ogilvy on Advertising- My top 10 lessons from the book

So if you are someone who loves Marketing and has decided to pursue your career in this field, this blog post may act as the stepping stone!

Doing your bachelor's or master's in marketing may surely be a good way to start your journey, but with the ever-increasing competition in this field, how can you stand out?

Watch the YouTube Video

You may not become an amazing marketer overnight, but if you start your journey now, you are already a step ahead!


Here, I present to you my top 10 must-do things for a marketing student to become an exceptional marketer in the future.

So without further ado, let’s get started.


1. Know the answer to ‘Why Marketing’?

I have personally interviewed a lot of candidates for various positions in my organization and one common question I ask to gauge their interest is, ‘why marketing?’.

The most common answer though is ‘After engineering, I wanted to pursue something creative’

Now if your answer is something similar to this, then please change it right away!!

Answering this in an interview is definitely not going to land you a job, may instead put the interviewer off completely.

You need to dig in deeper and understand what marketing entails (not so creative in nature) and then try to mold yourself within.


2. Understand the difference between Marketing and Sales, and be open to both profiles

I have seen so many MBA students being reluctant to join a company with a sales profile.

They need a hardcore marketing job.

Now personally, I never reached marketing through sales, I instead chose the advertising to marketing route.

But for a while now, through a lot of marketing reading I've realized, sales is the building ground to improve your marketing skills.

Most of the students however do not even understand the difference between sales and marketing.

If you are one of them, here’s an article that will help you with it!

MUST READ: Difference between Marketing and Sales

3. Familiarize yourself with beginner marketing concepts

I cannot stress enough on this, the whole point of standing out from the crowd is to know something more than your peers.

Of course, your textbooks may help you with the initial learning, but for you to be different, you must know more.

Take it slowly and start with the very basics, however, note that it would always be better to understand practical explanations as against theoretical ones.

Learn one concept a week and you are already ahead of the rest.

MUST READ: Most important brand marketing concepts

4. Keep yourself updated with marketing news

This is extremely crucial for every MBA marketing student, as a part of your GDPI process, if you aren’t aware of the latest, you might as well skip the interview.

We are in a field that is constantly evolving, and hence staying up to date, goes without saying.

Read up on websites like Brand Equity, Afaqs, etc. on the latest happenings.

Reading a newspaper may not serve the purpose here, because it may get time-consuming and we are only focussing on marketing news.

Alternately, you can also subscribe to The Marketing Empress Newsletter here, and get the top marketing news delivered to your inbox every Monday!

5. Understand how consumers behave

This one is my favorite!

It really is that simple, marketing is so much about understanding consumer psychology, and it doesn’t require you to do a thesis on consumer behavior.

It's just about understanding how people around you behave.

As an aspiring marketer myself, I have spent some quality time analyzing the behavior of how people buy in a retail outlet.

Why do they choose brand X over brand Y?

Give this a try, and let me know what you learned!


6. Familiarize yourself with Data

Give me a hi-fi if you chose marketing/advertising because there are no numbers involved!

But the sad reality is, you may not be able to escape numbers for a long time.

Marketing involves analyzing a lot of data, and if you aren’t best friends with excel yet.

Well, don’t wait for an invitation!


7. Get Digitized

Digital Marketing is the future, and even though print advertising is here to stay, we don’t know for how long, before the scene changes.

Sadly, a lot of marketing courses in India still work with an old syllabus system that is not updated with the latest digital marketing trends.

But that’s exactly why you definitely need to know the basics.

You need to be curious enough to learn some stuff in addition to what is expected out of you.

Digital Marketing is a lot of fun; you just need to get the right resource to learn things at your pace.

MUST READ: Most important Digital Marketing Concepts

8. Improve your communication skills

When I started my career in advertising, I was an introvert, and I soon realized that survival, this way, is impossible!

Your communication skills need to be top-notch if you wish to have a long-lasting career in marketing.

And you need to start working on it right now, best way to go about is adopting English as your most preferred language of communication.

Also, try reading books that talk about better communication skills.

9. Read marketing books/Case studies

Now, this might seem like an uphill task, but it's important.

Here, I am not referring to your regular marketing textbooks but rather marketing books that talk about various other aspects of marketing.

And if reading a bulky marketing book is too much to ask of you, here at The Marketing Empress, we make the job easier for you!

MUST READ: Marketing book summaries with Indian brand examples

10. Believe in yourself

This is so very important because it forms the crux of whether the other points will work out or not.

Believe that you are born to be a marketer, you can look through people’s minds, influence them (in a good way) and manage to sell products!


Do let us know in the comments below, any other points that you feel are crucial when it comes to growing/preparing yourself for the marketing field.


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