Graduates of a marketing master’s degree or Ph.D. program may have access to a wide array of potential career path options. The field encompasses professional areas such as advertising, marketing, public relations, online marketing and advertising, brand management and communications, potentially offers a variety of marketing career opportunities for students and recent graduates with various strengths and concentrations. Given the diverse nature of the field students would be wise to thoroughly research any available Marketing Careers options before deciding to pursue a particular professional path. Here are some common career paths for marketing professionals
Marketing Managers develop and implement a company’s overall marketing and advertising strategy, making them a critical position in today’s economy. Marketing managers often work very closely with sales, media and brand management teams to develop and execute the company’s overall marketing and advertising strategy. Marketing managers oversee the development and execution of marketing strategies and the creation of marketing and advertising materials.
Important skills that may enhance a person’s marketing career in this position include; strong interpersonal communications skills, excellent writing skills, a creative and nimble mind, superb organizational and management abilities and an eye for emerging trends in the consumer world.
A brand manager develops and directs marketing efforts for a specific brand, organization or product. Brand managers are typically responsible for monitoring trends in the market that their product or suite of products exists in, communicating about the current state and future outlook of the brand with key stakeholders, conducting consumer research, coordinating advertising campaigns, planning promotions, and advising on pricing strategy, research and development efforts, and product delivery or distribution methods. Brand managers are also typically charged with overseeing the P&L statement of their specific accounts and reporting those numbers to other organizational units.
Important qualities that may enhance a person’s marketing career in this position include; the ability to conduct research, analytical skills, communication skills, knowledge of accounting and financing methods, and organizational and leadership skills.
A market analyst plays a crucial role in marketing research by collecting and analyzing data pertaining to consumers, media, advertising and trends. They work to identify potential competitors and keep a close eye on any trends or changes in consumers’ behavior.
Important skills needed to potentially enhance one’s marketing career as a market analyst include data analysis, consumer trend analysis, critical thinking, communications, behavioral analysis and a business mindset.
Public Relations Specialist
A Public Relations Specialist is an important conduit for information between a public or private organization and the general public. Public relations specialists prepare, organize and ultimately disseminate vital information via multiple media outlets, including television, newspaper, radio, press releases and social media. Chief responsibilities include writing and editing press releases, planning and executing events, tracking trends, representing the organization in the media and writing op-eds, speeches and the like.
Strong communications skills are an absolute must for this position, especially strong writing, editing and public speaking skills. Other complementary skills and abilities include; good organization abilities, an eye for media trends, and social savvy.
Corporate Communications Manager
Corporate communications managers play a critical role in today’s work environment. The primary roles of a corporate communications manager are to create, execute and oversee communications programs that promote products, innovations or organizations. In this capacity, they can be employed to communicate with employees internally, or with the general public. Their role seamlessly combines communications, marketing and creative development for promotional purposes. Primary responsibilities vary greatly by company; though typically include addressing employees, representing the firm in the media to the general public and public speaking to employee and consumer audiences alike.
The crucial skills needed for this position include exceptional communications skills, a creative mind, solid public speaking abilities and excellent sales and marketing skills.
Customer Database Management
The keepers of the customer database management systems must be fairly adept at computer programming and data manipulation (segmenting, profiling, producing lists and analytics). The department is related to that of customer relationship management, but deals more strictly with a system's capacity and capabilities, and depends on the input of top-quality data (i.e. contact information plus demographic stat plus buying habits, etc.).
Customer Relationship Management
The keepers of the customer relationship management (CRM) systems must have a decent programming background, but probably have more marketing smarts than those in customer database management. A successful CRM director uses stored data to keep current clients engaged while targeting prospectives, hopefully in new and inventive ways. However, the CRM approach to tracking contacts and activities isn't strictly limited to sales; CRM techniques can be used to improve areas such as billing and order fulfillment, as well as back-end relationships with vendors.
As a customer service representative, you are the direct point of contact between the customer and the company, and it is your job to make sure that customers – whether individuals or companies – get whatever help they require. Communication happens via telephone, email, fax, regular mail or in person and representatives may handle general, routine issues or specify in a specific area of expertise. Generally, only a high school diploma is required, but an associate or bachelor’s degree might prove necessary as employers become more demanding in the current economic climate.
Direct Mail Management
Direct Mail Marketers obtain customer databases and buy or rent mailing lists from list compilers to target the most likely consumers of their client/company’s product or service. They then oversee the development, printing, packaging, sorting and mailing of a marketing communication piece such as a catalog, postcard or mailer.
Direct marketing truly means what it says: it is any marketing that is directed specifically to you. In industry terms, it is commonly referred to as ‘one to one’ marketing, whereas television, print, billboards, etc. are referred to as ‘one to many.’ Pottery Barn, for example, sends you a catalog. Amazon.com sends you an e-mail announcing a promotion. These are sent to you directly because you fit a certain set of criteria that they have defined as their target market.
Product marketers determine these criteria through demographics, psychographics and by using third-party customer databases. Let’s say you just purchased some dishes at Williams-Sonoma and you signed up for their catalog. Williams-Sonoma also owns Pottery Barn, and the folks at Pottery Barn think you might be interested in purchasing some other furnishings for your home. That’s how you came home to a Pottery Barn catalog in your mailbox. At Amazon.com, you browsed for some books and placed some in your shopping cart. Based on what books you purchased, you received specific offers for products that other people who bought similar books also purchased.
Those offers are sent to you directly based on your specific behavior. That is the goal of direct marketing - speaking to the specific user in a more targeted way. Unlike some brand marketing, the effect of which can be difficult to measure, direct marketing allows you to see the results of any particular campaign by its response rate. (Believe it or not, in many cases, one percent is considered a very good return!) Like brand marketing, however, direct marketing can be expensive.
Most simply, event marketing handles promotion and practical arrangements for events such as seminars, corporate meetings and the like. In other situations, it means promoting brand awareness -- securing customer engagement and media attention -- through "buzz" events or stunts. Two examples would be Levi's "white" promotion held in Times Square, and a bed-jumping exhibition sponsored by InterContinental Hotels to announce a contest with 5 million free rooms available. Event marketers must be organized, detail-oriented and ultra-creative.
The new version of the old term "customer engagement" is interactive marketing. Marketing managers proficient in this discipline get their customers to invest in the product psychologically by, say, incorporating their favorite recipes into the community area of a food related website, getting their colleagues to sign up for promotions, or using Twitter to alert their friends when they use the product. (Or think of it as, "Let's pull the customer towards us with clever emotional appeals," versus the outdated "Let's push all manner of traditional advertising toward them and see if they bite.")
Marketing Strategy refers to the part of a business plan geared towards getting your company’s or client’s products and services to the consumer. A marketing strategy should be centered around the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal. In this role, you will have to research the target market and competition, understand the product expertly, and oversee pricing, distribution, advertising/promotion and market timing.
Product managers develop products and then create marketing strategies using input from clients, sales tracking data, and research on the competition. The aim of a product manager is to build and strengthen a brand.
Promotions managers create programs geared to increase sales through advertising and purchase incentives. They utilize various methods such as direct mail, telemarketing, traditional advertising, in-store displays, contests, coupons, discounts and special events to establish closer contact with purchasers. Some travel may be required. Extremely creative college graduates with related experience and strong communications skills will have the best job prospects.