5 Marketing Careers You Should Explore

This seems like the right choice
PeopleImages/DigitalVision/Getty Images

A career in marketing can take you in several different directions. Marketing is comprised of many facets and activities. You will find that there are many opportunities in marketing, but the common denominator of those opportunities is the sense of ownership over the product and/or service and the necessity to understand the customer's needs and desires and then be able to translate those needs in the communication of your marketing strategy.

Marketing communication can be done in several ways that is why a career in marketing opens several doors as a profession.

In the marketing profession, your job will be to take a "generic" product and/or service and associate that product or service with a brand name. Marketing can be defined as being the intermediary function between product development and sales. Think of it as the storehouse for such things as advertising, public relations, media planning, sales strategy, and more. It's the marketing professionals job create, manage, and enhance brands. This ensures that consumers look beyond the price and function of a product or service when they are weighing consumption options. A key part of a career in marketing is to understand the needs, preferences, and constraints that define the target group of consumers or the market niche corresponding to the brand. This is done by market research.

5 Marketing Careers Where You Can Find Opportunities

Marketing is used in every company, every industry, so career potential is unlimited. There are career tracks in marketing that you can follow. You can find many opportunities in marketing in the following categories:

  • Market Research
  • Brand Management
  • Advertising
  • Promotions
  • Public Relations

Let's take a closer look into each of these categories and find the one that best fits your personality.

Market Research 

This career involves researching the intended target. That target can be companies or individuals. In order for a company to capture a market, it must first be able to understand that market. Research involves the first process of understanding the consumer, what their needs are, what their purchasing habits are, and how they view themselves in relation to the rest of the world.

Market research is conducted by using surveys, focus groups, and reviewing studies. Doing this enables researchers to collect data on a specific brand's target. Market research can be done in-house, or a company may hire a specialized firm to conduct the research.

Is Market Research the Career Track for You?

Do you think that you would enjoy a career in Market Research? The ideal candidate for a market research position is a person who possesses both qualitative and quantitative analytical ability because the job depends on your ability to gather data from human subjects, crunch numbers, and interpret the results accurately.

Positions Available in Market Research:

  • Market Research Director
  • Market Research Manager
  • Market Research Supervisor
  • Market Analyst

Brand Management 

This is the career track you hear about most often. It is the key function in the consumer products industry. Brand managers are often likened to small business owners because they assume responsibility for a brand or brand family. They are always focused on the big picture. It is their job to instill the brand's essence, map out their competitors in their brand's category, identify marketing opportunities, and be able to communicate the unique benefits of that product or service effectively.

Brand managers are also responsible for guiding the market research team by setting the agenda and criteria and also selecting the stimuli, such as product-benefit statement, pictures, product samples, and video clips. Once the research is complete, it is the brand manager's job to analyze the data that's been collected then develop a marketing strategy.

This marketing strategy may call for a new ad campaign, development of new products, or drawing out a new vision for the brand. It is also then the brand manager's job to ensure that other functions such as promotions, market research, research and development, and manufacturing are orchestrated to implement the strategy that they have developed.

Is the Brand Management Career Track for You?

Careers in product and brand management tend to attract high potential, well-motivated individuals who can accept broad responsibilities easily and with little supervision, communicate well with other people, are willing to do some traveling and thrive on constant change. Starting salaries are good, with career and compensation advancement based on achievement.

Positions Available in Brand Management:

  • Brand Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Product Development Manager

3. Advertising

If you decide that Advertising is the career track you wish to pursue you will find that advertisers work with all aspects of marketing from strategy to concept to the execution of the strategy.

You will find that most jobs on the business side of advertising include Account Management, Account Planners, and Media Buyers.

Account managers act as the liaison between the agency's various departments and the client. Their job is to manage the execution of ads by making sure that they are created within the allocated schedule and budget. Account Planners focus more on the consumer. Their job is to conduct research on demographics of the targeted consumers. They use that research to get to know what motivates their behavior in the marketplace. The job of the Media Buyer is to find media to place ads in. They use the demographic study that is done by the Account Planner to decide the best possible place to purchase ad space.

Is the Advertising Career Track for You?

Careers in advertising involve variety, compensation based on performance, creativity, travel, satisfaction from seeing ones' personal accomplishments, and contact with others. Advertising jobs are found in advertising agencies, media organizations, advertising departments in business firms, non­profit organizations, and marketing research firms. The four major career paths in advertising are account management, creative, media, and research.

Positions Available in Advertising:

  • Advertising Managers
  • Advertising Sales Director
  • Account Executives
  • Account Planners
  • Media Director
  • Media Coordinator
  • Media Buyers

Promotions

It is not uncommon to find a dedicated promotions team in marketing firms. This team works on creating programs that unite advertising to purchase incentives such as special discounts, coupons, samples, gifts with purchase, rebates, and sweepstakes. In order to promote these programs, the promotion team will often use direct mail, telemarketing, in-store displays, advertisements, product endorsements, or special kick-off events. Creativity and judgment are highly valued.

Positions Available in Promotions:

  • Promotions Director
  • Promotions Assistant
  • Public Relations

Public Relations

It is the responsibility of the Public relations department to manage the communication with the media, consumers, employees, investors, and the general public. They are considered the spokespeople for the company. They will often write press releases to promote new products or to keep the investment community informed of business partnerships, financial results, or other company news. If they are based out of media relations, they will spend their time responding to information requests from journalist or pitch stories to the media.

The job and oath that a Public Relations employee often takes is to portray the company in a flattering light, uphold its public image in a crisis, generate a positive buzz around its company and business practices, and of course to publicize its products and services successfully.

Is the Public Relations Career Track for You?

To do well in Public relations, you must have strong communication skills, the ability to articulate both with the written and spoken word, be able to understand a variety of people, be confident, and be able to learn quickly what your clients do to communicate their messages effectively. Public Relations professionals should also be quick thinkers, and persuasive as well as have an outgoing personality and be will to be assertive.

Positions Available in Public Relations:

  • Account Coordinator or Public Relations Coordinator
  • Account Executive
  • Media Relations
  • Director, Vice-President
  • Government PR Departments
  • PR Consultant

Is a Career in Marketing for You?

Marketing often appeals to not only creative thinkers but also numbers-minded statisticians. While many jobs in marketing are appealing keep in mind that you must be willing to work long hours and not mind working evenings and/or weekends. It was reported that in the year 2000 38 percent of advertising, public relations, and marketing managers worked an average of 50 hours per week. You must be able to work well under pressure and thrive off meeting deadlines and goals that are set. In some positions, substantial travel is not uncommon.

Marketing is a vital necessity not only for business firms but is also performed by governments, educational, religious, social service, and nonprofit organizations or institutions. Marketing provides a great number and variety of job opportunities available to you no matter which career track you decide to follow.