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This blog post was written by Janice Cha, Bachelor of Commerce (Specialist in Management with concentration in Marketing) of University of Toronto. Janice is one of five finalists for CAMP’s first ever Marketing Student of the Year. The first time I proclaimed my desire to go into marketing was when I was in Grade 9, right after watching What Women Want. Back then, I barely understood what marketing is about but I simply fell in love with the creative process at the fictional advertising agency. While my interest in marketing has shifted since then and my passion has further developed, the core reason why marketing excites me still has stayed the same: it’s about people and hidden truths about people that even themselves do not know about. I believe that marketing is the closest you can get to studying people. It is more than understanding why people behave certain way or explaining how people make decisions. Marketing is about digging even deeper to empathize with the consumers and creating solutions for them. Whether the solution is a new product or an improved and relevant brand online experience, marketing is present in every touch point with the consumers to listen and share back the solutions. Listening to stories and relating with the consumers is a complex and lengthy process. However, this human based nature of marketing allows marketers to touch people’s lives and improve them at both every day and societal level. The beauty of marketing is that it is the perfect balance between critical and creative thinking. This characteristic became very palpable to me when I first presented my data driven insight. Data may be thousands of historical information at a brand, category, or geographic level. On the other spectrum, data may be a simple observation or testimonial from a consumer. All types of these data allow marketers to analyze the brand -consumer interaction in a systematic way. After this rigorous step, then marketers wear the creative thinking hat. They connect seemingly unrelated dots or manipulate different data with novel parallelism to spark the insight. As a result, the insight may suggest a new way of looking at how people incorporate emotions into shopping, or how consumption of a product is related to an expression of consumer’s attitude. To me, this process of achieving the insight, or the human truth, provides sense of adding another fundamental piece of knowledge to any anthropological field of studies. This is why the detective work of looking for the human truth makes marketing truly special. The two core aspects of marketing make it essential to anyone and everyone. In order to drive innovation and strategy, people need to empathize with those they want to influence and then collect different sources of inputs to create a relevant and effective solution. This ubiquitous identity of marketing fascinates me. Marketing is a rigorous yet artful mastery that once achieved, drives answers that are grounded at the most basic human-level in our society

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