Market yourself for a career in Advertising


Photo from Doug Pinckney

“A true thought leader is able to take the experience everyone else has and make it stand out,” said Doug Pinckney on what makes marketers unique.

Doug Pinckney, the president of the Pinckney Hugo Group, a marketing company in Syracuse, New York, has a unique perspective, derived from a diverse background. Pinckney has been in the marketing and advertising business for 20 years, which has been an important double decade for marketing as a whole. The medieval methods of the twentieth century will no longer suffice for the modern mad man.

Pinckney is a graduate of the University of Maryland where he received a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing. He then hopped around, starting at a financial firm, which he was fired from in little under a year. After that, he spent time in a mechanics shop, trying to earn money as a looked for another job.

“most of my relevant business experience came from that mechanic job,” says Pinckney, “I learned a lot… the most important lesson being to pick up a broom when there is no work to be done.”

A year later dove into the marketing world, working with Worldwide Flight and Sea-Flight Services. Finally, in 2002 he acquired Spitz Advertising and turned that small marketing business into multimillion-dollar revenue company that Pinckney Hugo is today.

Pinckney is able to guarantee his success because he knows the upstate area.

The Pinckney Hugo Group specializes in small business advertising and marketing in upstate New York. Pinckney believes that as an advertising company invested in local industry, you sort-of control the business climate.

“If companies aren’t doing well then it’s an opportunity for us, and if they are doing well it’s because some marketer for some company is doing a good job and it helps the local climate.”

Marketing is a growing field however, and with that comes more competition for local companies like the Pinckney Hugo Group.

Since 2009, according to statisa, revenue from marketing globally has increased over 220 billion dollars. Which Pinckney thinks will make it hard for small companies to get quality employees, as more businesses mean more competition.

“We can’t offer deserving talent a deserving wage, not many people can in a small business like this,” hashed Pinckney, “and if I had to choose between working for thirty thousand in upstate New York or for thirty thousand in coastal California, I’d choose California.”

The average starting salary ranges from 26 to 28 thousand dollars at Pinckney Hugo. According to Rasmussen College, most marketing employees with certain skills are becoming more valuable for their specific qualities in big companies. But according to statista, these specialized employees are worth more to large companies, with starting salaries ranging from 75 to 148 thousand dollars.

“We are a small company, we need well rounded employees that define themselves as better at one thing, like an all-around marketer who happens to be great at copy writing,” said Pinckney of his Ideal employee.

Employees that allow themselves to be used as the wild car in Uno are often rewarded with higher pay, faster and with more responsibilities in a small company like Pinckney Hugo. The smaller the building, the less rungs there are to climb.

To get a job with Pinckney, you have to be more than just a millennial with a smartphone.

“I look for personality just as much as I do resume, both are ways of selling yourself,” Pinckney concluded “Many grads fear that they may not be as creative as the next guy to interview but everyone has a unique perspective and that’s what can make them creative.”

Pinckney stress personality so much because many of his projects depend on teams, bouncing ideas off of one another. He relies on each employee’s background to add to the melting pot of ideas that can be formed in the right environment.

Clarification: Marketing vs Advertising

Pinckney often interchanged the words advertising and marketing, or he would use both in the same sentence.

“As a president, I guess they don’t strike me as different anymore because I do all of it and they bleed into one another,” Pinckney clarified, “but from an operations perspective advertising more creative and marketing is more research and goal setting.”


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