Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to be a professional Marketer in Sri Lanka?

This is the first article for this site by a guest writer from our renowned panel of professionals who support this worthy cause. Author of this article is Mrs Shalini De Alwis who is an expert in Marketing. She obtained her Bachelor of Business degree from Monash University Australia and completed exams in Chartered Institute of Marketing UK (CIM). Currently she is handling the marketing and product development for a blue chip company in Sri Lanka.

How to be a Marketing expert in Sri Lanka?

Author - Shalini De Alwis

If you would like to become a marketer you should have the passion for it. Many become marketers simply after they fail in what they have studied previously. Even if this is the reason still a person should have the interest and passion to be a Marketer. Most importantly marketers should have good Public Relations skills and need to be very enthusiastic in what they do. If you have the right attitude and you are serious about becoming a marketer then there are varied marketing professions that you could specialize and become a recognized marketer. However If you don’t have the right attitude then marketing is not the ideal profession for you. In this article, we will be discussing the role of a marketer in Sri Lanka and how to be an expert of Marketing in Sri Lanka.

What ‘WAS’ the Role of Marketing in Sri Lanka?

A few decades ago Marketing was not very recognized in Sri Lanka and people’s perception towards marketing as a profession was limited only for Sales.

What ‘IS’ the Role of Marketing now in Sri Lanka?

Steadily but surely this perception has changed and people have become more aware of different areas of marketing and specialized areas of marketing professionals. Hence it’s important to identify the changing role of marketing and its affects on Marketers.

Understanding the Role of Marketing in Sri Lanka

This article has identified the changing role of Marketing and skills that future marketers need to adopt in order to be successful in their career. In my personal view marketing is one of the most significant helping arms of any business.

Who is the Marketer?

There is this an saying that, a good marketer should be able to sell 'Ice' to Eskimos !!!. Its all about that.

Marketers are the people

• Who understand customer needs and wants

• Develop attractive products and position products

• Among focused customers segments

• Whilst creating the brand identity

• Conduct continuous promotions to encourage repeat purchases.

Why the role of Marketers becoming very strategic?

Currently the role of marketers has become very strategic, due to

• Technological advancements;

• Increased competition and

• Affects of modernize customer needs and wants.

These impacts have led to frequent changes in Market conditions.

How to be a Marketer in Sri Lanka?

There are many ways to be a professional marketer in Sri Lanka.
1. By completing a degree on Marketing.

2. Becoming a member of CIM - UK (Chartered Institute of Marketing – UK)

3. Becoming a member of SLIM – SL (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing)

Having a degree plus a professional qualification from a recognized local or International institute is an added advantage for potential marketers.

There are many internal and external degrees for Marketing. We will provide a list of degrees for marketing conducted in Sri Lanka which is approved by the university grants commission.

If you are selecting a foreign degree or an online degree on marketing, always check the rank of the university, courses they offer, subjects, research facilities and of course the scholarships.

4. Know your customers. Read as much as possible. Talk to people as much as possible. Listen to them. Log in to Internet and read every other strategy. You should feel by heart

This is an important article which I think you should refer to.

Practical experience required to be a professional marketer.

There is a saying that the single best way to become a marker, is to “MARKET”. It is in fact very interesting job to do.

How to select an organization to start with the career?

To be an expert Marketer you need not start your career with Unilevers. But you have to start with a proper place which cater the objective and which gives you the ability to perform and guidance to develop.

Is English a must for a Marketer?

My answer is No. It just knows your market is knowing how to deal with it. However fluency in English is a definite advantage in order to gain professional qualification and to build a better career in marketing. Unless you really have a thrive to learn English, please do not enter this field. You will end up selling goods at streets.

What’s the new role of Marketers ?

Due to constant changes in market conditions and varied customer demands; organisations business strategy and the orientation of the business also has to be changed. Accordingly the role of marketing changes in the sellers and buyers markets. For instance in the sellers markets; marketing was mainly used for sales support. And buyers markets encourage marketers to focus more on customers.

However the current role of marketing requires marketers to convince organization’s management to deliver products and services that exceeds customer expectations. In order to ensure that the organizations achieve these objectives; marketers have ended up engaging in a more strategic role. The new role of marketing is all about sustaining competitive advantage. Hence marketers have focused on customer insights and they are responsible to use their expertise to retain customers.

Further the new role requires marketers to make decisions based on increased objectives and detailed analysis. Marketers are required, to understand insights regarding what customers and other stakeholder’s needs and values. This strategic role will assist marketers to focus on wide understanding of Organization interests by focusing on building long term shareholder value.

What does the current market demand from Marketers?

The new role of marketing will be repositioned. It could be repositioned as the value driver or (as the strong force) for any business, since the new role requires marketers to work closely with professional colleagues of internal divisions and external parties in order to make sure that the all aspects of the offers or products and services are aligned to deliver customer and share holder value to achieve the ultimate objective of gaining the competitive advantage.

As per the new Strategic role marketers are required to:

  •  Engage in research and external environment monitoring
  • Prioritize tasks
  • communicate effectively in a convincing manner
  • be customer experts
  • lead and manage projects

Hence the present and future marketers need to be aware of these skills in order to brand themselves as expert marketers. On the other hand many organizations which have not been aggressive in marketing in the past are pushing to develop their marketing capabilities in order to defend their existing customers as well as potential customers against existing and new competitors. For instance; in Sri Lanka the Telecommunication industry has become extremely aggressive in marketing due to increased competition and threat of substitutes. Similarly various industries have become aggressive in their marketing approach. As a result it’s important for marketers to build the mentioned above skills since steadily but surely marketing has shifted from mass to individual and relationship building marketing. As identified earlier this shift has resulted mainly to gain a competitive advantage in the long run.


Due to changing market conditions and increase of customer and shareholder expectations and values; presently marketers have to play a strategic role in order to satisfy organization’s stakeholders and sustain a competitive advantage in the long run. Marketing acts as the driving force of the organization. Hence marketing has become very significant in Organizations senior managements’ strategic planning. As a result existing and new marketers have to adapt new skills to achieve strategic planning objectives. Marketers have to focus on performance oriented goals whilst practicing their new skills. In my opinion marketers should at least focus on a few new skills and should be willing to make decisions quickly and execute offers that meet customer needs and wants beyond their expectations whilst building relationship marketing skills which will facilitate to sustain shareholder value in the long run.

What Next?

In our next article, we are hoping to guide you through how to market a new product. Until then, be prepared :)


Anonymous said...

Is Marketing a good field for a girl? I love marketing, but I prefer an office job. Should I select Marketing or not?

Nishadee said...

Comment by Shalini De Alwis (Author)

Yes of course. If you are serious about building a career in marketing and if you have the passion to learn marketing you could become a marketer.

Marketing is a very good professional career for ladies; since there are many areas (such as Branding, Advertising, Public Relations, Sales, Customer service, Market development, business operations, Loyalty Marketing & etc.) that you could specialize to build a career. If you prefer to work at the office you need to select the relevant marketing field that you really like.

For instance many marketers start their careers by becoming a customer service executive, some start with brands and sales. Hence it’s up to you to select the relevant areas according to your requirement and preference.

Send an email to the site if you need any help. All the best.