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SermonOfMockery

so i changed my major to marketing

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i'm 28 now and had 3 years left for my design degree. i will get a BA in marketing in about the same amount of time. i am working in industrial design/product development right now (although we do a lot of animation and stuff- luckily i don't have to do much of it myself though).

 

the reason i switched is because i'm realizing that designers are really fucking low on the totem pole. they get no respect and get paid very little (for the most part), and ultimately have very little ability to make a difference in terms of creating meaningful consumer experiences, products, brands, and so forth. they are usually subordinate to engineering or marketing.

 

finally, i think that the set of problems that interests me is really more part of the domain of marketing than design. for example, i'm working on some brand revisioning stuff for a procter & gamble product. they're focusing on the design of the bottle, when in reality that has almost nothing to do with the problems facing this particular brand- i'd argue that the aisle it's currently merchandised in is the culprit, but that's not on the table for discussion because thats not what designers do.

 

i think marketing people in general make more money, come into companies higher on the totem pole, and have a much higher ceiling than designers. school will also be way, way easier in marketing i think- design schools are in general pretty brutal and mine in particular is very intense, so it will be nice to have it easy for the next few years.

 

i certainly think my design background will be useful. marketing people often end up as defacto creative directors anyway, since design projects often come out of the marketing budget, and whoever is writing the checks calls the shots. problem is, they're usually horrible at managing creative projects. so that's somewhere i could be really effective.

 

just thought i'd share.

Edited by SermonOfMockery

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i got a couple of friends that just graduated with a marketing degree. some are telemarketers, some sell cell phones, and some are unemployed.

 

i read ur blog, ive seen ur work, and i think you have better places to put your talent.

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the marketing departments of big companies are like Logan's Run...it is hard to find someone over 30 years old

 

that means you've got 2 good years before you think "what was I thinking!" and fire up AE

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yes, i definitely think design and marketing need each other- neither one can solve the problem on their own. a lot of what i do right now is more the domain of marketing than design anyway (brand architecture, consumer profiling, etc).

 

if i need to get my hands dirty and fire up AE, i'll do what i have to do- i'm not afraid to take one for the team, but only when i need to.

 

also, i'm a huge asshole, so i'm sure i'll fit in just fine with marketing people.

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The phrase "meaningful consumer experiences" says so much about U.S. culture.

 

Anyway, congrats on knowing what you want to do and going for it. Don't forget how much fun designing is, no matter where you are on the totem pole.

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Hey Sermon good luck in whatever decision is the right one for you. Sometimes creative lulls can cause people to think about things differently not that it's the case here but I say if marketing interests you then go for it. I've seen your work on those skate dvds and I know whatever you decide to do you will be good at. People have to persue what they feel will make them truly happy.

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the reason i switched is because i'm realizing that designers are really fucking low on the totem pole. they get no respect and get paid very little (for the most part), and ultimately have very little ability to make a difference in terms of creating meaningful consumer experiences, products, brands, and so forth. they are usually subordinate to engineering or marketing.

 

have you read 'Perverse Optimist'?

http://www.amazon.com/Tibor-Kalman-Pervers...r/dp/1568982585

(Justin, I picked this up after you referenced it once way back)

 

It's really quite an interesting read, and has really interesting writing on how the designer's role in the process of brand engineering, consumerism, etc is not set in stone. Kalman himself is an example of the ability to do almost whatever you want as long as you have something that people want.

 

In any case, you'll definitely make more money in the long run. I wouldn't agree with 'higher up' on the totem pole. Most junior ad agency creatives work 12-14 hour days. I'm certainly not working that much... and they only get like 70 for that. Maybe 80. Good luck!

Edited by mete_shop

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I'm studying marketing too (one year to go, yes!).

 

I figure, if you ever want to get behind a computer a whip up something cool you'll be able to, a degree makes no difference. But a marketing degree carries weight in the corporate world. At least something good to fall back on.

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Guest Sao_bento

I seem to be in an 8 month cycle of alernating jobs. Now I'm a producer - the Robert Evans of user experience design.

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I seem to be in an 8 month cycle of alernating jobs. Now I'm a producer - the Robert Evans of user experience design.

 

I think I might be following in your footsteps here, except on longer intervals:

 

- High-end retoucher

- Set Production Assistant

- Web Designer

- Video Post Production Tutor

- ?

 

I'm just wondering what's next. Maybe I should take bets...

 

 

Sermon, if you've got the calling for something else then go for it. The worst that can happen is you end up hating it or changing direction - neither of which is necessarily that bad because you get a better sense of what you want. Either way, if you're not happy then you should move on. Your past experience can only make you more valuable overall. The last thing you want is to be one of those people who can't enjoy their job and are just waiting to die.

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Is it as easy to get into marketing as changing majors?

Don't you have to bite the head off a puppy and have your tear ducts drained or something?

 

I know it's old, but I guess I share Bill Hicks view. I've never met anyone from marketing that I've liked... perhaps you will be the first.

 

:)

 

-m

Edited by the_Monkey

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I think you'll be really good in marketing - your design experience will add a lot like you said. You'll be one of the few (only?) marketing people that knows what's really involved in making it happen.

 

I understand the decision totally. Designers are the low man. Not only that, but you're pretty much not even recognized as having a real career outside of the creative industry. You're somewhere below insurance salesmen.

 

I think you can have influence if you reach "designer celebrity" status, like you become a Paul Rand or something, and clients start taking your ideas as gospel truth, but that's not a very realistic goal. And hell, even Paul Rand gets thrown out the window when some schmuck decides there's not enough swoosh in their logo... (see UPS).

 

Good luck man.

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guys, i think i'm seeing something here that's all too common, which is a false dichotomy between design and marketing. they should work together. design needs marketing to give their work strategic meaning, and obviously marketing needs design as good creative is the key to making their ideas actually happen. there is a lot of crossover between the two worlds, as i've found recently from doing brand strategy for consumer packaged goods so much.

 

problem is, design is usually brought in at the last minute, after the strategic decisions have been made. the first time this light went off for me was about 5 years ago when i was working on a website for this skateboard race that Red Bull sponsored in Seattle every year (i think they've since canned it). i asked myself "so who's the person that decided to sponsor a downhill skateboard race? this cost a lot of money, i think i could have spent on sponsoring something a lot more credible in the action sports scene." of course it was far too late to think about that, though, so i just finished the site.

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even if you're working in at the agency level you're still a slave to the client and your (and their) focus groups... in this kind of situation you once again need to achieve legendary status before you can start deciding the direction of anything.

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even if you're working in at the agency level you're still a slave to the client and your (and their) focus groups... in this kind of situation you once again need to achieve legendary status before you can start deciding the direction of anything.

Oh, I got it!

Why don't we all quit and go be clients!

 

:D

 

-m

Edited by the_Monkey

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focus groups suck, but believe it or not, most clients know better than to rely on them too heavily. at this point i think everybody knows they're flawed and you have to take them with a grain of salt. they're good to do, but you can't take them at face value.

 

i think ethnography is a better route for getting consumer insights, supplemented by one-on-one interviews for feedback. focus groups usually get dominated by one or two assholes that drown everyone else out.

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the best mkt research you can do is be part of the market...

make sure your employees live and breathe the same thoughts, actions and movements as the industry your selling in.

 

sermon, i know you will make a great mkt manager (probably before i will hahaha) you have great design knowledge and are picking up the mkt essentials quickly. Design needs marketing and vice versa.... its amazing how much stronger a campaign works when you include the designers in from the start.

 

dont work for a mkt agency either - you will fast become dog shit.... they are all fools... much better to work for the mkt dept of a company (whether it be hersheys, GAP, quiksilver, whatever) and make sure your very hands on all the way thru the campaign.

 

two (very jetlagged) cents.

 

 

Lincoln

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