What are the Career options in Marketing?

Marketing careers are considered to be the most lucrative and rewarding careers. Depending on the career path of your choice and your academic qualification, you can opt for wide variety of marketing jobs. It may depend on the course that one has done and from which school it was done. Having a professional degree from a renowned management school may get you a managerial job. While a graduate degree from any other field may get you an entry level job.One can also see that most of the successful marketing managers don’t have a management degree but have the mind of a marketing professional.It all depends on the individual’s skills, attitude and experience. As marketing involves creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings of customer’s choice by meeting the objectives of the organisation, you can choose a career in any of these four fields. Some of the duties that a Marketing professional performs are listed below-

• Select and Negotiate contracts with suppliers and intermediaries (distributors, channel partners)
• Market research and planning – product development, brand management, etc.
• Promotion strategies – advertising, etc.
• Pricing strategies – cost oriented, demand oriented, competitor oriented, etc.
• Public relations – meeting clients, press coordination,
• Staff management – managing staff, meeting deadlines.
• Personal selling and Sales management

Entry level marketing jobs may lead you to Business Development, Sales Management, etc. where in you will be responsible for success of the brand. The market research will give you an opportunity to work with potential customers, middlemen, distributors for gathering information on the opportunities, competition, etc. A brief list of job opportunities in the marketing field are given below-
Product manager’s responsibilities include planning, marketing, and forecasting of sales of an offering throughout the stages of the product life cycle. A product manager is responsible for carrying out many activities from gathering information on product from the target market, alter product features, develop the product, and coordinate with advertising team as well as other departments of the organisation about market opportunities.

Market research activity involves researching the target market for market opportunities. It includes understanding the customers, economic condition, spending habits, needs and wants, competitors, etc. The roles in this department are Market analyst, market research director, market research manager, etc. The organisation can have their own dedicated market research team or they can hire a market research firm to carry out this activities. This way the organisation focuses on its expertise of research and development or other core functions. The person who wants to enter market research should have strong statistical data analysis and research methodology knowledge.

Public Relations deals with communication part with the consumers, media, clients, investors and even the non-customers (general public). The responsibilities include press release, media briefings, media inquiries, communication with share-holders, general information on financial results, business partnerships, or any news of the organisation that may or may not impact its image.

Advertising involves communication at mass level to persuade buyers to buy the product with a view of maximising sales. It can be in the form of television media, internet media, posters, booklets and catalogues, exhibitions, etc. As an advertising manager the responsibility will include choosing the right media in coordination with the product manager and other departments of the organisation. Many large companies have advertising departments with managers who plan and implement the advertising strategies of the organisation. Sometimes, an advertising agency takes over the responsibility of working on the advertising function by way of outsourcing. So the organisation relies on the agencies expertise on the market. The advertising activity is sometimes carried out by the marketing managers themselves, mostly in small companies where they don’t have a dedicated marketing department. In Advertising, the responsibilities range from strategy building to implementing and controlling. The various roles an aspirant can get into are advertising manager, account executive, media director, media coordinator, media buyer, advertising sales manager, etc.

Brand management/ Brand managers are responsible for creating positive brand image of the product, product line or product mix. They have to create brand awareness by studying the consumers, competitors and identifying opportunities to reinforce brand image among consumers in the target market.
Retailing offers lot of opportunities in retail stores. The career can either be in store management or buying. The person should be willing to travel because as a buyer, one needs to travel to trade shows, market centres, etc. to buy new products that enter the market. One needs to be sensitive to the changing buying habits as the new offerings entering the market constantly offer immense choices to buyers. The most efficiently and effectively run retail stores are the most successful ones.

Supply Chain Management and Physical Distribution involves the flow of raw materials from the suppliers to the physical distribution of the finished products to the consumers via intermediaries. This area of marketing if properly executed reduces costs to a great extent. This is the reason this arm of marketing is gaining much importance, and organizations constantly strive to employ a right candidate for this role. In today’s age this function relies heavily on qualified professionals with computer skills. The job roles majorly are Senior Manager/Manager supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Officer, Material Management officer, Director- Supply Chain Management, Manager Logistics, etc.

Purchasing agents or managers from the purchasing department are mostly involved in straight rebuy (buying same offering from the same supplier) or modified rebuy(modifying an existing offering requires different raw materials, so these new parts can be bought from the same or a different supplier). The main responsibilities include-
• Choosing a supplier
• Data collection on goods to be procured (quality, characteristics, expiry, etc.)
• Negotiating price
• Signing of contract

In case of a New Task situation, the decision is mostly taken by experts from different departments- finance, production, marketing, etc. To accelerate the buying process and overcome hurdles of taking approvals in the hierarchy, some organisations have upgraded the position of the manager in purchasing department to the level of Vice President – Purchasing.

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