Marketing Careers

The marketing major provides a strong educational background for a variety of career options in
marketing and in general management. Since customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of an organization, marketing is one of the most sought-after majors in the country. As a link between the organization and customers, marketing personnel have many fascinating opportunities. A number of specific entry level positions for marketing majors are described below. These call for both creativity and analytical skills.

Beyond the above descriptions, it merits note that the marketing major is well prepared for general management possibilities. First, working with employees and others throughout the organization represents marketing activities internal to the organization. Second, the marketing courses build knowledge of management concepts by broadly focusing on “managing ” promotion, sales, distribution, etc. Third, marketing positions are highly visible to executives at higher levels in the organization and serve as primary stepping stones to advancement.

As a final point, marketing activities can be found in every organization including private, governmental, and not-for-profit. As examples, consider opportunities for marketing positions with museums, hospitals, sports arenas, fine arts groups, chambers of commerce, charitable organizations, universities, political office holders, and others. All provide you the chance to apply your skills in providing customer (buyer, donor, attendee, patient, voter, etc.) satisfaction.

Why don’t you discuss your interests and unique skills with your marketing advisor. He or she can help you develop a curriculum that best prepares you for an exciting and rewarding career. Then, your advisor can assist you in the job search process. For all of the career options, it is important that you develop leadership skills and gain business experience. Begin immediately to become involved in campus organizations and volunteer for both service and leadership roles. Also, search for summer jobs, internships, and summer abroad opportunities to broaden your perspective.

Brand Marketing
International Marketing
Marketing Analytics & Market Research
Non-Profit Marketing

Physical Distribution
Professional Selling & Sales Management
Promotions and Advertising
Retailing
Services Marketing

Brand Marketing

The brand manager has at times been described as a “general manager” with the broad responsibility for the marketing success of the brand or brands assigned to him or her. While this might seem a bit exaggerated, the brand manager, nevertheless, fulfills a critical middle management function in the marketing structure of the company. Consumer product manufacturers have been the most common adopters of the brand management system. Their need to give each of their wide variety of products individual marketing attention has led many of them to adopt this philosophy of management. As a brand manager, you, in effect, serve as the marketing specialist for one or more brands. Overall, it is your task to see that these brands are profitable. Specifically, you have to carefully plan all activities influencing the success of your brands, including advertising, sales promotion, packaging, development of new products, and distribution. In doing this, you must compete with other brand managers in the company for the budget dollars controlled by the functional area specialists in advertising, retailing, distribution, etc. There is no single road to brand management. Some brand managers come from the sales department ranks, others have previous advertising or marketing research experience. Experience in any of the marketing areas, however, helps and this is where the MBA student is well qualified. The brand manager career for an undergraduate student should be viewed as a long run objective rather than as an entry-level position.
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International Marketing Careers

Entry into an international business career often is through an initial position within a traditional field such as marketing. At present, there are over 180,000 marketing experts working in the United States. This number is expected to grow 13 percent over the next five years. Finding a precise count of the number of International Marketers is difficult as they are generally lumped in with other kinds of marketers. However, as the world becomes more globally interconnected in both politics and business, the demand for International Marketers will grow, making this a strong market to get into.

Marketing majors interested in international marketing careers can find careers in areas such as product/brand management, international advertising, and promotion, event marketing such as international trade shows, export/import intermediaries, and logistics/freight forwarding. An international marketer must be able to analyze global trends and find a market where their product will be relevant. Being personable and friendly is a plus; the ability to put someone at ease before presenting a product proposal greatly increases the chances the client will accept it. Speaking another language as well as being proficient with computers can make the process of finding a position much easier. A recent job posting for an international marketing director stressed the need for project management skills, excellent communication skills, cross-cultural relationship building skills, the ability to both think strategically and implement plans on time and on budget.

It is highly recommended that marketing majors interested in international marketing careers minor in international business and or international studies. In addition, studying a major foreign language should be a considered a necessity.
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Marketing Analytics & Market Research

Marketing Analytics involves capturing, analyzing, synthesizing and make actionable recommendations from data across a variety of sources to drive marketing decisions that build business. People working in marketing analytics must be able to work with users to identify data needs and decision related variables. They almost develop a broad assortment of technical skills in predictive analytics, big data tools, data mining, and other related areas. Successful people in marketing analytics are highly motivated, have a thirst for data and possess a strong combination of technical knowledge and hand-on data skills. In addition, successful people need to have strong time management skills and work well while under deadlines and or juggling multiple projects simultaneously.

Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, analyzing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services. Such research may be undertaken by agencies, by business firms for their agents, or by the business organizations for their own needs. Marketing research is becoming increasingly demanded by companies today. As the requirements for timeliness and precision increase due to competition, the need for quality marketing research to provide that timeliness and precision grows. People working in marketing research are often required to establish research methodology and design formats for data gathering, such as surveys and questionnaires. Further, they examine and statistically analyze the collected data to forecast future market trends, gather and analyze data on competitors, and assess customer preferences and buying habits. Preparing reports, graphic illustrations of findings, and making presentation are routine parts of market research jobs.

Entry into the marketing analytics and market research fields usually requires a stronger statistical and research methodology background than normally obtained as an undergraduate marketing major. Special interest option classes can be taken to better prepare you for your career. It is recommended that students interested in these careers explore the possibility of earning a Master’s degree. The Masters in Business Analytics program at Oklahoma State University is a global leader in analytics area.
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Non-profit Marketing Careers

By some estimates, non-profit organizations account for about 20% of the all the economic activity in the U.S. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in 2012 nearly 11.5 million Americans worked in the non-profit sector. Non-profit marketing organizations include such varied organizations as social charities, museums, religious organizations, art societies, animal and environmental protection organizations, health-related organizations, and many others. Some of these organizations focus on their local community, others focus on regional or national targets, still others focus on global issues. Success in non-profit organizations requires outstanding communication and inter-personal skills. Additionally, non-profit marketing requires creativity and innovation. Non-profit marketing often requires executing marketing plans on a limited budget while providing maximum impact. Understanding public relations and publicity is important skill for marketers working in non-profit organizations. A recent job posting for a non-profit marketing coordinator stressed the ability to thrive off meeting new people, the ability to train and coach others, the ability to direct and participate in fundraising initiatives, and the business skills needed to manage the entire non-profit organization.
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Physical Distribution

Jobs in physical distribution require somewhat more of an emphasis on detail operations of the firms than other marketing areas. As a traffic manager in physical distribution, your responsibility includes insuring that the right products are at the right place at the right time while maintaining good control over costs. This means balancing costs and goals in such areas as warehousing, transportation, inventory management, and customer service. The need for people in this area is increasing rapidly as companies try to minimize cost while at the same time maintain objectives of customer service. Many recruiters have mentioned that they have had difficulty finding qualified people for this career area. This is an area where the computer revolution is making significant contributions. Many of the functions of physical distribution are particularly amenable to computerization, but it requires qualified people to oversee the operations. Marketing majors with emphasis in Management Science or Computer Systems should be particularly attractive to recruiters in this area.
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Professional Selling and Sales Management

The majority of personal selling positions are conducted on a business to business basis, require a mastery of marketing skills, demand very little overnight travel and necessitate the highest in business and professional standards. Many career opportunities with many companies begin in a sales position. Such firms have discovered that sales positions are the best place for future executives to learn the company’s products, applications, customers and competitors. Therefore, many students find that accepting a management position with many companies means taking a sales position, regardless of undergraduate training. Because of this fact, marketing students often excel in these entry-level positions and are rapidly advanced into sales management and then into corporate management. In addition to being required to start in sales by management, many others reasons exist to decide on a sales career. First, salaries for sales positions are very high. Starting salaries are generally comparable to many other functional areas of business and raises come very rapidly after training. While performance driven (commission) salaries often terrify the novice, many seasoned salespeople strongly prefer salaries with an incentive factor. The primary reason is that compensation tends to be unlimited with such pay plans. Second, sales is an important job. The old adage “nothing happens until the sale is made” is true. The livelihood of many people depends directly on the performance of the salesperson. In a sales position you will have more responsibility, authority and importance than most other individuals at your level in your organization. Third, sales people generally have a great deal of freedom and discretion in how they conduct their jobs. Industrial salespeople, in particular, are often given a geographical territory for which they have total profit responsibility. How the company’s products are promoted, distributed, and sold are the direct responsibility of the salesperson. In fact, most sales positions are actually marketing positions, as a salesperson’s job requires far more skill than the ability to sell. Fourth, salespeople generally have a great deal more mobility than individuals in other professions. Well-trained, experienced salespeople are in tremendous demand, allowing many sales people to be very selective where they work. Many companies actively recruit sales and management personnel from inside another firm’s sales force. Also because a salesperson interacts with representatives from many companies, many career opportunities are made available to salespeople than would be to individuals who stay inside the organization. Turnover rates in sales forces are high, not because sales is a lousy job (as if often thought), but because the individuals are often in high demand, both inside and outside the organization. Sales is such an important topic to marketing students that two courses are offered. A professional selling course provides students with “hands on” training in the process of selling. A sales management course addresses the control and development of sales forces.
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Promotion and Advertising

To many, the term marketing is synonymous with advertising and promotion since that is what is most often seen by the consumer. There are approximately 3000 advertising establishments in the United States employing about than 100,000 people. Many more peopoe are involved in advertising as part of their jobs as product managers, retail manager, or account managers. What are the kinds of professional careers you might find in an advertising corporation? Although the degree of specialization varies, there are four major types of advertising jobs. They are: 1. Planning and coordination by client service people 2. Creative development and execution of individual advertisements by writers and artists 3. Choosing of the channels of communication or media that will carry or distribute the advertising messages 4. Research to supply the data to help carry out the functions in other areas With the exception of creative work, most jobs in advertising can be filled by marketing majors. Many large companies have advertising departments with advertising managers who prepare strategy, advertising campaigns, or work with their advertising agency. In many small companies advertising campaigns are developed and implemented by marketing managers who have this knowledge in addition to their other primary responsiblities. You may also want to note the possiblity of taking electives in the Journalism Broadcast school. The opportunities for a career in the advertising field are certainly there. Perseverance and dedication on your part are all that are required to be successful in this area.
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Retailing

Retailing is an exciting and dynamic field, offering a variety of positions in retail stores. The very number and diversity of retail establishments throughout the country allow for more opportunities for entry into this field than many other career fields. Careers can follow either an operations (store management) track or buying track. In today’s retailing industry, new products are constantly entering the market and consumers are more discriminating in their choices. Quality retailers who can provide the appropriate products are in great demand. They must be sensitive to the changes that are currently evolving and quick to modify their assortments of products to match the current changes in the living and thinking habits of consumers. In the small retail outlets, the individual can quickly become the manager of a profit center (department) with sales in the millions. One advantage for many retail executives is the opportunity to travel. As a buyer in your retail department, you often take periodic trips to the major market centers such as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, or other fashion and product outlets. The excitement, the sense of accomplishment, and the closeness to the consumer make the retailer feel in touch with the very pulse of America.
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Services Marketing Careers

Think about this: the total population is something around 320 million persons but only about 12 million people work in manufacturing! Clearly, services are the major part of our economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau service organizations include such industries as warehousing and truck transportation services; information sector services; commodities, securities and other investment services; professional, technical and scientific services; waste management services; health care and social assistance services; and arts, entertainment and recreation services. A recent job posting for a marketing manager for global services stressed critical responsibilities related to the creation of compelling service offerings, including engaging field teams and customers directly to develop a clear understanding of the customer environment and needs. In addition, personal creativity and ability to incorporate multiple service and non-service attributes is needed for developing win-win service offerings. In this position the manager must be able to identify subtle value elements, quantify the value to the customer, and articulate each value element in clear and compelling ways. The job involved collection, creation and analysis of extremely large datasets. Complex analysis requires the evaluation of a variety of factors, including business value, customer impact, current business trends, and service operations. The company stressed how important collaboration is both within the organization as well as customers, suppliers, and other important stakeholders.
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