Fashion Marketing Career – Is It Right for You? | FRA
Is a career in fashion marketing right for you?
Whether you’ve wanted to be a fashion designer since you first discovered fabrics, or fashion buying is a passion that’s evolved slowly over time, there are so many ways you can apply your individual skills and talents to the fast-paced and ever-changing world of fashion.
What many people don’t realise about a career in the fashion industry is just how many diverse options are available to them. You might be choosing and measuring fabrics. You might be analysing last year’s trends in order to predict this season’s key looks. Or, you might have your finger on the pulse of the latest news, and wish to pursue a career in fashion marketing and social media.
What does a career in fashion marketing involve?
Put most simply, marketing is where fashion and business intersect. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of fashion – without it, the end products wouldn’t sell! The fundamental purpose of marketing is to promote and raise awareness. It’s where all of the hard work put in by the design and manufacturing teams first comes into contact with consumers through advertising campaigns, content or social media. It’s where the finished item or range that product designers have worked so hard on finally comes to market.
The products have to be positioned perfectly and make just the right impact at this point in the process. Therefore, a career in fashion marketing involves, among many other duties, devising strategies not only to communicate the core values of a brand or fashion house to intrigue customers, but also to drive sales and boost revenue. Those who work in marketing will also be responsible for tracking consumer trends and habits to inform strategy to boost revenue.
Other duties involved in a fashion marketing role might include social media management, content creation, analytics and advertising. Common job roles in fashion marketing include:
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Assistant
- Market Research Analyst
- Sales Manager
Many people start their fashion marketing career as an intern or assistant, and then work their way up. The average salary for someone working in marketing and PR is around £38k in London (source: http://www.reed.co.uk/average-salary/marketing-pr).
Why should you consider a career in fashion marketing? Firstly, products will always need to be marketed in the fashion industry – so you can be assured that it is a stable career to pursue. Secondly, fashion marketing can be challenging – but also a great way to exercise your creativity and business skills. It’s highly satisfying work, where you can see the direct impact of your efforts on the success of a fashion house or brand.
What kind of skills do I need to get into fashion marketing?
While working as a designer or visual merchandiser relies a lot upon your visionary talent and ability to understand the latest trends and interpret them in a unique way, a career in fashion marketing requires all of this – and a lot more! It’s a job which requires you to be strong across a number of different fields, rather than focusing all of your strength in one area. Here are just some of the key traits you might need to become a successful fashion marketer.
A good head for business
One of the most important qualities you need in order to succeed in fashion marketing is business savvy. You’ll need to be able to understand – and eventually devise – sales and marketing strategies that convince consumers that yours is the brand for them. Marketing involves a lot of analysing metrics and results to decipher what worked and what didn’t, allowing you to strategically apply these learnings to consequent efforts.
All of the best marketers fuse this logical approach with a generous burst of creativity.
There’s more to marketing than strategy and analytics. In order to come up with a marketing campaign for a brand, you’re going to need to flex those creative muscles! What is going to capture the attention of your target audience? What tone of voice should you use? How do you talk to them across various digital marketing channels, and how can you stand out in the extremely competitive fashion industry? All of these challenges require thinking on your feet, originality and daring to go outside of the box.
A good work ethic
As is the case with many careers in the fashion industry, fashion marketing can be highly competitive. To land the job, go the extra mile to prove you’re the right choice for the role – having a fashion blog or relevant extra-curricular activities will show that you’re serious about a career in fashion marketing. If you land that sought-after role, you need to work hard to keep up with the pace and fight off the competition!
You need to be hungry for information, an early adopter of new trends and always have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion world. And not only that – fashion is one of those rare aspects of our lives which is so closely fused with other cultural aspects – music, celebrity and arts being just a few – so an interest in current affair and pop culture will help inform your work and make you stand out.
A human touch
Finally – you need to be personable. People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to, so you need to come up with a strategic way to position your product without alienating or irritating your target audience. This is an underrated skill, which is so important in digital marketing.
Does this sound like you?
Before you go applying for all of those promising-sounding fashion marketing roles, it is worth really taking the time to really evaluate whether it is the right role for you. Let’s find out from some of the people out there doing these roles right now what it really takes to succeed in a fashioning marketing career.
According to Marketing Manager at Elle, Patrice Batson, the most important trait you need to get ahead in fashion marketing is curiosity. “Curiosity will help you to gather knowledge that make a product better or launch a new fashion campaign.”
She has some rather unusual advice for prospective marketers: “I find that people who have the most ridiculous ideas make the best marketers. These kinds of people think outside the box and don’t care if their ideas get laughed off the table because once you’re done laughing, they’ve already thought of a new idea for you to consider.” It seems that tenacity, as well as fearless thinking, are pretty important in marketing roles. Don’t be afraid to suggest slightly unorthodox strategies – remember, every great idea has to start somewhere. (Source: http://theeverygirl.com/marketing-elle-magazine)
Sophie Lockard, Marketing Manager at Boohoo.com, stresses moving with the times. “Anyone who can show they have a sound knowledge of social channels will definitely set themselves apart. If you have a fashion blog that will help too, as it shows you have a committed interest in fashion.” Again, it seems that extra-curricular activities like a blog provide an employer with a great place to see your writing and marketing skills in action, and also proves to them that fashion is an important part of your life. (source: https://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/marketing-advertising-and-pr/advice/320071-get-into-fashion-tips-from-the-online-marketing-manager-at-boohoocom)
So, how do I get into fashion marketing?
Fashion marketing is a competitive field, as are most careers in fashion. A qualification or degree in a relevant field will set you head and shoulders above other applicants.
Here at the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) our diverse range of courses has been specially designed to give you the specific skills you’ll need to succeed in your chosen area of the fashion industry. And for a career in fashion marketing, our L4 Fashion Retail for Marketing and Business or L4 Digital Marketing Fashion courses offer a good place to start.
As you know, we live in a world that is becoming more and more digitised. At the FRA, we’ve recognised the huge demand within the fashion industry for graduates with digital skills. Both of these courses are full time and take place over a year, delivered in classes two days per week. This is the perfect course for you if you’re looking to combine an existing part-time job with a nationally recognised qualification, and put yourself streets ahead of the competition when it comes to going for those all-important fashion marketing roles. If you want to get there quicker, both courses also come as fast tracks (delivered over 22 weeks instead of a year) for students of 19 and over
The FRA’s highly specialised courses are designed to help you gain employment. But don’t just take our word for it. A massive 90% of our L4 graduates go onto job roles within the fashion industry. Our courses also include a hugely beneficial three week work placement to help you get a taster of what to expect when you graduate. According to recent graduate Abbie Hanson, the course provided the step she needed to get her dream role: “Without L4 Fashion Retail, I never would have found the path to go down to get my job as an MA at ASOS.”
What will we cover in L4 Fashion Retail for Marketing and Business?
While this course is highly specialised, it also covers a wide range of topics to help prepare you for a real-world job. There is a strong focus on building and developing marketing skills; skills that will make you competent in generating and maximising sales through marketing, copywriting, advertising and social media. Among many other invaluable techniques, you’ll learn the following:
- All of the factors affecting today’s fashion retailers
- An overview of all aspects of store operations, from retail analytics and digital skills to buying and visual merchandising
- The life cycle of a products from the initial stages to the shop floor
- How to devise and implement a solid marketing strategy for a brand
- Consumer segmentation and understanding what your ideal audience profile is
- How to create a promotional strategy to reach your audience
- How to measure the impact of your efforts and use your learnings to drive revenue in order to launch your own small business
Most importantly, the course combines theory with hands-on practice. Many of our students have quoted the three week work placement with an established high street fashion brand as being particularly beneficial. This exercise will help show you real-life applications for the skills you have learned and cement the knowledge the course has given you.
Find out more information about our L4 Fashion Retail for Marketing and Business and L4 Digital Marketing for Fashion courses including what you’ll cover in a typical day, details about your placement and how you can apply.
We are also launching our first Marketing & Communications for Fashion Degree for September '17!
If you have any more questions about any of the courses on offer at The Fashion Retail Academy, give our team a call on 020 7307 2351 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.