How To Answer “Why Marketing”?

As a B-School fresher, it is commonplace for one not to know which specialization to pursue. In the first couple of months, however, we end up developing our favourites. For those of you who have Marketing in your consideration set for the summer internship, this article will help you structure the most essential question asked in a marketing interview: ‘Why Marketing?’

There are two essential things that an interviewer gauges in a potential marketer:

  • The Art of Storytelling: Marketing entails you to ace the art of storytelling. As a marketer, you would be required to pick up insights from consumer connects and to crafting engaging propositions and communication briefs; all these activities place storytelling at the fore. Therefore, at all points of the interview, you need to sound interesting. The best way to do this is to narrate personal experiences.
  • The 5 Standards Of Leadership (SOLs): As a prospective marketer, you are expected to exhibit the following five SOLs. The interviewer tries to gauge these through the what and how you answer to a particular question, case or situation. Here are the SOLs:

1.  Growth Mindset – competitive leadership.
2.  Consumer and Customer focus – purpose-driven leadership.
3.  Bias for Action – action-driven leadership.
4.  Accountability and Responsibility – performance-driven leadership.
5.  Building talent and teams – people-driven leadership.

Have examples and stories ready for each of the aforementioned SOL. Examples that testify that you have exhibited these SOLs in your past undertakings and that these are a part of your persona.

Having understood the core skills that need to be exhibited in a marketing interview, let’s look at structuring the “Why Marketing” answer. The following four points will help you drive your answer to this question. Frame your answer around these four points, substantiate each point with an example. In short, add a personal touch to each of the four points and there you have your answer ready. Here it goes:

(a) An Open Arena: 

“What interests me the most about marketing is that unlike finance or other domains it has no set rules to follow, we have an open arena to innovate and pour in all our creativity. It’s like a blank slate and it’s up to the marketer to employ his creative genius and craft the most compelling proposition.”

(b) Demand Never Slumps: 

“The marketing industry has existed right from the time humans decided to brush their teeth, wash themselves, wash their clothes, groom themselves, clean their homes, and since then the demand has only grown. Talking of the FMCG industry alone, the FMCG industry is growing at approximately 15%, with changing lifestyles of the consumers and the untapped potential of rural markets, it is bound to grow even more in future. This disproportionate growth opportunity intrigues me.”

(c)  Directly Impacts the Way People Live: 

“There’s a constant interplay between marketing and societal changes. The potential of marketing to adapt itself to the changes in the society at times, and to change the society itself the others is what excites me to be a part of this change. It enables you to directly impact the way people live, dress, communicate, among so many other aspects. ”

(d) Constantly Innovate & Learn: 

“Marketing entails immense learning opportunities as you get to work at the grassroots with the customers, trying to feel their pulse and understand their psyche. Moreover, the consumers and their consumption habits change dynamically, therefore, it requires you to be on your toes always and keeps you reinvigorated with constant change to innovate and change.”

While these are excerpts from the various Marketing Interviews that I have come across, you can most definitely personalize your answer around these points and add relevant examples and stories to make it intriguing. If you have any further query or want to get your “Why Marketing?” answer reviewed, feel free to buzz me. Let me know how you like the article in the comments section.

May Kotler be with you.
Good Luck!

Pratik Ranjan

Pratik is an MBA candidate at IIM Lucknow. He is an ardent aspiring marketing strategist. His passion for marketing multiplied multifold post his internship with Unilever, where he was conferred with a PPO. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug & seized by afflatus to read, write & explore, this twenty-something believes in the power of dreaming with his eyes open. He is a columnist in various newsletters and is up for any discussion that involves the nuances of marketing and strategy. P.S: He's charged by the fuel of caffeine.