A common narrative I have heard throughout my professional journey as a Literature major is the criticism that students who major in Literature, and the arts and humanities as a whole, have no career prospects. In a world propelled by technological and medical advancements, the liberal arts are not as necessary in society nor the job force and do not contribute meaningful work like their peers in STEM.
To put it frankly, that patronizing opinion is misguided–and hurtful.
It’s understandable, however, why it’s an opinion at all. Securing a financially-job is one of our main priorities after graduating from university. Although people in the arts and humanities don’t have a linear path like STEM, it does not mean they’re doomed to fail or become a “starving artist” as the media portrays us out to be. It’s the opposite, actually.
People in the arts and humanities don’t get enough credit when they’re the ones who help you communicate the heart of a brand’s story.
The best marketing campaigns wouldn’t exist without a team of copywriters, graphic designers, specialists, and project managers collaborating with one another to create an award-winning marketing strategy for clients, branding and logo packages, website design, and brilliant design for marketing collateral.
These are the creative change-makers who make ambitious dreams happen, come up with out-of-the-box ideas, and inspire people to care and get excited about what a brand has to offer.
Individuals who pursue education in Literature, as well as the arts and humanities, dedicate their education to mastering: writing, verbal and visual storytelling, research and analysis, creative problem-solving, and manifesting ideas into tangible projects. These are all things your clients need to consider and implement when advertising their brand to prospective customers.
A Literature major’s “meaningful work” comes from their technical skill of crafting a story and their passion for writing as a whole.
We’re intentional with our words because we care about finding the best way to express an idea or thought that connects with our reading audience. If we settled for less, then a story would not be told in its most authentic form–which is a type of integrity we expect from the brands we trust.
Our passion for writing and sharing stories comes from a place of wanting to connect with others. Naturally, this would translate into what crafts the tone, language, and linguistic ecosystem of a marketing campaign. Literature majors understand you need to form that initial trust with a prospective customer before any persuasion can take place; we bridge that gap between marketing and emotional connection! Think of the curiosity and excitement that grips you on the first page of your favorite book: it’s the abstract feeling a Literature major seamlessly captures when they write engaging content.
You can create the most amazing product or service in the world, but neither will have value if you cannot relate to your customer as a person.
Empathy, and being able to relate to others, is the most important quality a marketing campaign needs to succeed. However, this can be challenging when you are simultaneously working with multiple clients who have significantly different voices and brand messaging from one another. To a Literature major, however, adapting to numerous voices is instinctive to our craft because we studied how to connect with each of them.
It’s an understatement to say that Literature majors read a lot. During my time in university, I would read numerous genres of literature, i.e. short stories, classic American and British novels, memoirs, and screenplays–as well as academic literature articles multiple times a week, and even 2-4 books per month. 300+ pages, on average. But the content was diverse in nature and challenged me to step outside of my personal perceptions to understand the experiences and stories of others different from me–which made it easier to put myself in the shoes of another person.
Furthermore, Literature majors are assigned to write content for all genres in literature in addition to reading them. SEO-driven blog articles, conversion-optimized digitals ads, interactive social media posts, and informative email newsletters? No problem. We adapt to writing all forms of short- and long-form content thanks to the years of writing persuasive pieces and stories, poetry with sharp brevity, and analysis papers born from research and our creative problem-solving skills. Plus, every week, we used to constantly justify why our opinion on a literary work’s subject matter is valid in both the classroom and in a paper. If you need someone to champion the brand’s argument as to why they’re the best choice for a consumer, my people got your back.
Subsequently, we dedicated every day to improving our spelling and grammar skills. I guarantee that Literature majors are more motivated than anyone else when it comes to improving their spelling and grammar skills. They’re not only essential tools that enable us to communicate on a basic level with one another and captivate you with a story; they also play a major role in communicating credibility. Carelessness is the last thing on a Literature major’s mind; they are meticulous to their core. While investing in digital advertisements, modern websites, and print media are fantastic ways to get your client’s brand out there in front of a customer, the quality of their messaging should be representative of the quality of their product or services. People want to trust you, but you need to communicate and prove why you deserve that trust.
Marketers rely on this trust to propel a company forward, and a Literature major who implements this practice into marketing provides a superior advantage.
Lastly, we know how to ask the right customer-centric questions that help the team develop the most accurate buyer persona. If a Literature major is currently writing or has written a fictional piece, they have experienced crafting characters with personalities, backstories, desires, and challenges–which is the same process as creating a buyer persona and determining the narrative of their journey. With the help of a Literature major’s expert ability to pinpoint and determine characterizing elements, they will undoubtedly help the team forge a clear path for an effective advertising campaign that always hits the right emotional points.