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Must Have Skills for Marketing Roles

Shatakshi Sharma, St Stephens College, University of Delhi Graduate, ISB MBA, strategist to government of India, former BCG management consultant, advisor to tony blair institute, ivy league exchange student, LinkedIn Top Voice and co-founder of Global Governance Initiative

Career Insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: the role of a marketing professional


Are you someone who is looking forward to building a career in Marketing? Do you want to know some secret hacks that will help you get started? Then look no further.

A. What do they do?

Marketers are involved in driving sales, which is their yardstick of success- from user acquisition to user retention.

1. Brand Identity

As I start this career insight, I have an interesting question for all of you. Imagine you are at a party and Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Apple are there with you, as people. Now, think of their attire and what kind of walking and talking they are doing.

When you imagine brands as people and can think of their walk, talk and attire- you are building their brand identity.

There are various components of a brand identity and as a marketer, it is your role to define this identity.

2. Visuals

The visuals of brand identity include the kind of colours, themes, etc are you using.

A famous concept is the 4Ps of marketing- Price, Product, Promotion and Platform.

In promotion, you decide on the messaging of the brand. Will the brand ambassador be a celebrity or the CEO of the organisation?

3. Product Offering

You do not just focus on one product. You are also responsible to conduct research to know if a baby product can be made from the parent product.

4. Packaging

As a former consultant, I have been in meeting rooms where the client has asked for my insights on the packaging.

But, in consulting, we learn to not share opinions without the backing of data or experience.

5. Tagline

This is not all a work of creativity.

A lot of research goes behind deciding whether the nature of the product will be utilitarian or emotional.

For example, Nike has taken the whole segment of emotion around sports. Their tagline, “Just do it”, actually does not communicate anything about the product. But, they have successfully captured the motivation and emotion behind sports.

B. Brand Key Components

1. Root Strength

Taking yet another example, think of Apple, what is its root strength?

Some might think it is their appealing design or their exclusivity. It is the role of the marketer to define this.

2. Competition

You have to be very clear on who is your competition and who is not. You have to define clear boundaries for the same.

For instance, is Starbucks a competitor for Pepsi or not?

3. Target Audience

Your entire story starts with deciding your audience.

Is it an urban or a rural consumer? Is it going to be a mass consumer product company like Ikea or the opposite like Vistara?

4. Insights

You are constantly trying to find data that can help you make a product and earn millions of dollars.

Think of Tik Tok. They had a key insight that humans like to swipe up and built an entire product around it. Similarly, Fogg had the insight that people in the rural area preferred volume over fragrance.

5. Benefits

Benefits could range from functional, emotional or sensory.

During my time at BCG, I worked with a client whose consumer was lapsing out because they did not like the sensory feel of it.

At my education venture, we found out that people are tired of constant competition, so we have built a collaborative environment instead.

6. Discriminator

How do you really stand out against your competitors?

What is your point of disparity that makes your product unique?


Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.

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