For some, working in the fashion industry is the ultimate goal; fast-paced, glamorous and exciting. There's much more to the fashion industry than just fashion designers and models. There are lots of different opportunities available for those looking to work in fashion.
Fashion marketing is a great option for those who want to combine the creative world of fashion with business. Fashion marketing is a constantly evolving industry, combining areas from events and PR to social media and advertising.
A sometimes challenging role, fashion marketing can be incredibly rewarding, allowing you to see the direct impact of your efforts.
WHAT IS FASHION MARKETING?
Fashion marketing is the process of advertising clothing and accessories to the desired target audience. It's here where fashion and business intersect. One of the most important aspects of fashion, marketing helps boost sales and profits as well as build brand awareness and alter consumer perceptions.
Through marketing, brands are perceived in a certain way e.g. luxury/affordable, tailoring/streetwear, mature/young. Fashion marketing encompasses a wide range of mediums including magazines, social media, billboards, events and more. Consistent brand messaging across all of these mediums is key to making sure a brand has the maximum appeal to its target audience.
Fashion marketers may be required to promote a whole brand, a collection or even just a single product. The products must be positioned perfectly and make the right impact in the process.
Marketers will work with many different departments to get this process right. In fashion, you may work with visual merchandisers to present products in a specific way, as well buyers, merchandisers and designers to ensure the correct products are available for sale.
WHAT DOES A FASHION MARKETER DO?
Fashion marketing is a broad term covering everything from copywriting to social media management. Whilst some fashion marketing roles involve a bit of everything, there are many specialised roles out there. It’s important to think about which areas of marketing appeal to you before applying for a role.
Generally, there are a number of responsibilities that most fashion marketers will be required to perform on a day-to-day basis.
A marketing strategy helps a brand to map out where they want to be and how to get there. As a fashion marketer, you will be expected to put together comprehensive strategies to help brands reach both their short-term and long-term objectives.
Different marketing strategies for different aspects of a brand may run alongside one another, whilst others may encompass the whole company. The ultimate aim of a marketing strategy is to communicate brand values to consumers in order to drive sales and maximise profits. This may be done through a brand awareness campaign, product launch campaigns and more.
Provide consumer insights
Working as a fashion marketer, you'll have to use analytical skills to track the success of campaigns. This gives you insights into your consumers that can be applied to business decisions.
Analysing marketing campaigns can help brands to understand what resonates with their target audience, how their consumers like to communicate (e.g. which marketing channels are most effective), as well as which products/areas should be focused on in future campaigns. These insights can be shared with the whole business.
Fashion marketers may also carry out market research prior to launching campaigns or products to understand how consumers feel before refining their ideas further.
Creation of marketing materials
Creating marketing materials could refer to a wide range of mediums, from creating copy for magazines and online marketing channels, to overseeing photoshoots and events to make sure they deliver the desired brand messaging.
As a fashion marketing manager, you'll play a key role in the creation of all marketing materials, whether this is through directly making them or overseeing their production. You'll also have to create a plan for their implementation, deciding where marketing materials will be displayed, when they will be launched and how to track their success.
Develop brand image
Brand image is the key to market positioning. It's responsible for attracting the right consumers (your target market) to your brand. As a fashion marketer, you'll have to consider brand image in every decision you make. It's the job of the marketer to integrate all departments to make sure there is a consistent tone of voice across all channels.
Sometimes, you may be tasked with altering brand image. A brand may be looking to target a new market segment, or consumer perceptions may have shifted slightly. Fashion marketers will work closely with designers and other departments to create new assets and campaigns to portray their new desired message.
Predict and track trends
Fashion marketers need to have their fingers on the pulse at all times. They need to understand which products should be front and centre of their marketing campaigns, and which products and themes should be phased out. Being able to predict the next big thing in fashion is key to getting ahead of the competition and cementing your brand as a market leader.
You would work alongside designers, buyers and merchandisers to inform new collections, quantities and styles, as well as stylists and visual merchandisers to present priority products to the consumer.
Maintain marketing budget
Working within a fashion brand, marketing managers will be tasked with ensuring associated activities fall within budget. As a fashion marketer, you'll be responsible for determining the most cost-effective marketing strategies in order to drive profits. To do this, you'll need to consistently assess the success of campaigns to determine Return on Investment (ROI), learning what works well to maximise future marketing spending.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD FASHION MARKETER?
The role of a fashion marketer is extremely varied, so you'll need a range of strengths across different fields. Not only do fashion marketers need to be highly creative but they must also be business-minded.
Working as a designer or visual merchandiser relies a lot on your visionary talent, and your 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!
FASHION MARKETER SKILLS
One of the most important qualities you need to succeed in fashion marketing is a business-savvy mindset. The ultimate aim of marketing is to generate sales. You’ll need to recognize the link between marketing and revenue and understand how to create marketing strategies that convince consumers you're the brand to spend their money with. 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 the best marketers match this logical business approach with a generous burst of creativity. There’s more to marketing than just strategy and analytics alone! Fashion is a highly creative and competitive industry, so you’ll need to think outside of the box to reach your target audience.
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. Patrice Batson (Marketing Manager at Elle)
You‘ll need to think about what’s 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 these challenges require thinking on your feet, originality and the courage to go against the grain.
Tenacity, as well as fearless thinking, are important in marketing roles. Don’t be afraid to suggest slightly unorthodox strategies; every great idea must start somewhere.
Like many careers in the fashion industry, fashion marketing can be highly competitive. As a fashion marketer, you are in competition with other brands in the space. You must be reactive to the industry's landscape, identifying and capitalising on given opportunities.
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. Sophie Lockard, Marketing Manager at Boohoo.com
Fashion marketing roles can also be extremely competitive. To land the job, you’ll need to go the extra mile to prove you’re the right choice for the role. Show you’re serious about a career in marketing by having a fashion blog or other relevant extra-curricular activities.
Those extracurricular activities give an employer a great place to see your writing and marketing skills in action. And it shows them that fashion is an important part of your life!
Fashion marketers need to be research-driven in order to get the most out of campaigns. You need to be hungry for information, an early adopter of new trends, observant and always have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion world. Fashion is closely linked to other industries like music, celebrities and the arts, so an interest in current affairs and pop culture will help inform your work and make you stand out.
According to Patrice Batson, curiosity is the most important trait you need to get ahead in fashion marketing. "Curiosity will help you to gather knowledge that makes a product better or launch a new fashion campaign," she said.
People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold to. As a fashion marketer, you need to be personable, appealing to the human side of your consumers, and sell a lifestyle rather than a product. You need to come up with strategic ways to position your product without alienating or irritating your target audience. This is an underrated skill that is very important in digital marketing.
You'll also work with many other departments when carrying out the day-to-day duties of your role. You'll need to build effective working relationships and inspire a shared vision across teams to make sure brand messaging is consistent.
FASHION MARKETING SALARY
Specialising in fashion marketing, you could earn around:
- Marketing Assistant: £20,000 - £26,000
- Marketing Executive: £26,000 - £35,000
- Marketing Manager: £37,000 - £45,000
- Senior Marketing Manager: £50,000 - £70,000
- Marketing Director: £90,000 - £120,000+
HOW TO BECOME A FASHION MARKETER
If you want to work in marketing for a fashion brand, your first decision is whether you’d like a more general or specialised marketing role. You could choose to specialise in areas including social media, digital marketing or PR.
Alternatively, you could take a more general role to try out different areas and then specialise further down the line.
Like most careers in the fashion industry, fashion marketing can be a competitive field. A qualification or degree in a relevant field will set you apart from applicants.
At the Fashion Retail Academy, our diverse range of courses are specially designed alongside our industry partners. They teach you the specific skills you’ll need to succeed in your chosen area of the fashion industry.
For example, we live in a world that’s becoming more and more digital, and there is huge demand within the fashion industry for graduates with digital skills. Our highly specialised courses are designed to help you gain employment; 91% of our students are in employment or further study within 6 months of completing their course.
For a career in fashion marketing, our Level 4 Digital Marketing or Level 4 Fashion Retail (with Marketing) diploma courses will get you qualified for an entry-level role in the industry in just one year.
You could also study our BA (Hons) in Marketing & Communications for Fashion undergraduate degree. Our degree programmes are condensed over two years, saving you time and money, and getting you into the industry faster than your peers at traditional universities.
Internships and Work Experience
Gaining practical experience in a fashion marketing role can help you to stand out in a competitive job market. Taking on real-world responsibilities and challenges helps you to develop fundamental skills for fashion marketing.
Work experience can also give you invaluable insight into the inner workings of the fashion industry, boosting your CV and confidence in the process.
By choosing the Fashion Retail Academy, you can gain experience alongside your studies. Our courses include a hugely beneficial three-week work placement to give you that vital practical experience. We also work with over 140 retail partners, setting live briefs throughout our courses, allowing you to work on real-world challenges.
There are also a number of internship opportunities out there. Whilst interning in a fashion-related role would be beneficial, experience in a marketing agency would also be great! Be proactive in your approach, contacting marketing agencies specialising in your area of interest to ask about internship opportunities.
Think fashion marketing is right for you? Take the first step to your dream career and study with the Fashion Retail Academy.
If you have any more questions about any of the courses on offer at the Fashion Retail Academy, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
[Originally published: 2017]