Careers in marketing are both highly coveted and sought after by experienced professionals, resulting in keen competition. Positions in marketing, public relations, promotions and advertising allow individuals to challenge their creativity, communication and logistical aptitudes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of marketing personnel is expected to increase by 13 percent through 2018 (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos020.htm).
With all the talk of the growth in industries such as health care, who should look at the tried and true profession of marketing when searching for that perfect job? There are numerous reasons to give marketing another look; I’ve included the top 5 here:
Fit the Marketing Position to your Skills
Do you think that only creative types are a fit for marketing? Marketing spans a range of interests and capabilities—and does not only allow career paths like traditional advertising. Although advertising is a component of marketing, this role often takes over peoples’ notice over other facets of marketing careers. In reality, there are positions for numbers people, process people, people-people, and creative people. Using the “4Ps” of marketing as a guide, it’s easier to picture where you might fit into the profession.
Product:An important element in marketing is, of course, figuring out what to market. Both products and services have to match up to consumer’s needs and desires. Marketing research positions involve gathering and analyzing data regarding the preferences and buying behaviors of a specific customer group (http://www.marketingpower.com/_layouts/Dictionary.aspx?dLetter=M). Marketing researchers will use surveys, observations, and interviews to figure out what people want to buy and how they make their purchasing decisions. Brand or product managers create a “personality” for the brand that helps it stand apart. Packaging engineers figure out how to create cool and breakthrough packaging for everyday products. Think PEZ®….Package designers create the images on the packaging material itself to entice candy lovers worldwide. Degrees in digital design and animation can give you the knowledge to produce commercial products– and just about anything you can dream up.
Price:Accounting isn’t your thing, but do you like to crunch numbers? In this job, individuals figure out how much a consumer would spend on specific products or services. Day after day individuals working in this part of the marketing mix put their economic knowledge to use. They also work hand-in-hand with the brand or product manager.
Promotion:This is the most visible area of marketing. Advertising, public relations, promotion, and sales managers find themselves in this area of the marketing mix. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, promotions managers direct promotions programs that combine advertising with purchasing incentives to increase sales (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos020.htm).
Place (Distribution):On the opposite spectrum of promotions, is “place” or “distribution” an area of the marketing mix that in my opinion is not as talked about as others in the marketing mix. If you are a process-oriented person, then a career in supply chain or operations management might be the perfect for you. These two functions are the nuts and bolts of the marketing process. Managers in this area identify efficiencies by finding bottlenecks in systems creating the best solution. If there is any position that directly affects the bottom line through controlling expenses, it’s supply chain and operations.
Consumers Change Needs Change
The 2010 Census is rounding the corner, and after the results are published there will be many myths dispelled about changes in the American population. Through the census we can gather how the face of America is changing. There has been an abundance of recent news coverage about the aging of America and the rise of minority populations…but how will these trends affect marketing? Companies are already translating marketing pieces into Spanish and multi-cultural faces are shown in high-visibility advertisements. All in all, marketers are making strides to represent cultural diversity in their marketing collateral.
The opposing view is that marketing will take the opposite stance on multicultural advertising. As the “general market” becomes more diverse, cynics say money will be cut from niche marketing efforts. Research in the general market will include ethnic consumer insights. In fact, marketers will be mining the preferences of “minority” consumers more than ever before (York, Neff, 2009). This brings up the need for well qualified professionals ready to figure out how to implement demographic insights into marketing strategy.
Competitive, High-profile Positions
There is a reason marketing positions are in high demand. They are so visible in the company that advertising, sales, brand, and promotions managers are often harvested for positions in the highest ranks. The jobs hold large responsibility, and can demand considerable pay (Advertising, 2010), but how does an applicant compete? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, creative college graduates with strong communication and computer skills, and have invested time in practical internships with marketers have the best chance at success in marketing.
Reach Beyond Borders
Globalization has extended further than manufacturing and into all realms of marketing. One of the most exciting developments is the chance for companies to open markets all over the world. For example, when web users Google the exact terms “global marketing opportunities” 126,000 results are retrieved. This statistic means is just one example of how many global marketing opportunities are available. If you have a healthy dose of wanderlust and want to understand the workings of foreign consumers, international business is for you.
Specialize and Grow Green
Marketing is at the forefront of the “green” industry boom. Although detailed statistics around green marketing are not as developed as traditional marketing niches, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has designated green marketing as a “bright outlook” job. “Bright outlook” jobs are expected to grow significantly, add a large number of jobs, or represent new or emerging careers. There are few things more exciting than getting started in a career with unprecedented possibilities.