Monday, January 21, 2019

Marketing Careers

I am often asked by college students majoring in marketing about what types of marketing positions, paths and careers are open to them. Careers in marketing are myriad and often require very different skill sets. Without going into great detail about any one of them, here are just some of marketing positions and paths open to people:

  • Brand manager (broad skill set, typically have P&L responsibility, develop the marketing strategy, fairly autonomous responsibility regarding their brand or brands, works with several internal departments and external marketing agencies)
  • Product manager (responsible for the functions, features and sourcing of one or more products, often have pricing responsibility as well)
  • Product development manager (responsible for developing new products, marketing research is an important component of the job, work with engineers, scientists, prototypers and other designers)
  • Brand identity manager (responsible for maintaining consistent brand identity standards throughout the enterprise and with business partners, typically also responsible for brand architecture and naming standards)
  • Brand marketing manager (responsible for developing all marketing materials for a brand or a portfolio of brands)
  • Product marketing manager (responsible for developing all marketing materials for a product or line of products including product information sheets and other sales support materials)
  • Advertising manager (responsible for developing, producing, fielding and measuring the impact of advertising campaigns against a set of objectives often given them by the brand manager, works very closely with advertising agencies)
  • Promotions manager (responsible for price discounts, contests and other promotions designed to accelerated sales, works closely with brand manager and retail channels of trade)
  • Direct marketing manager (responsible for direct marketing through post cards and other mailings, responsible for purchasing, scrubbing and using customer lists, this is moving more and more to email marketing and coal media marketing)
  • Marketing research analyst or manager (responsible for designing, fielding, and reporting the results and implications of marketing research studies, must choose the most appropriate methodology given the research objective and action standard, often works though outside marketing research vendors, can include both qualitative and quantitative research, if actually doing the analysis, requires strong statistical analysis skills)
  • Focus group moderator (moderates focus groups including developing the discussion guide, moderating the groups themselves, writing the report of findings and implications and working with focus group facilities, requires good interpersonal and group facilitation skills)
  • Media planner (plans the right set of media and the frequency and sequencing of ads to achieve advertising objectives for the target markets, must be familiar with all media sources)
  • Media buyer (buys advertising according to the media plan)
  • Account executive (responsible for the overall management of a client account on behalf of the marketing agency, responsible for the profitability of the account, requires strong project managements skills and strong interpersonal skills)
  • Creative director (responsible for translating the marketing objectives overall and for a variety of marketing pieces, from television advertising to sales brochures, into strong creative content that has breakthrough power and that communicates the intended brand messages)
  • Graphic designer (works on ads, collateral materials, social media advertising, anything that requires visual and other design elements, often also is skilled in creating logos and brand identity guidelines)
  • Copywriter (develops powerful copy that paints a picture with words, can craft compelling brand stories, can also create power calls to action, translates the brand's promise and personality into words)
  • Corporate communications manager (responsible for corporate communications, includes media relations that maintains close working relationships with the media, prepares and executes crisis plans as necessary, is responsible for shaping the overall reputation of the company)
  • PR professional (may be someone within a corporate communications department or an external PR consultant, responsible for placing positive stories, increasing public awareness of the brand or company, keeping the brand or company in the news, may also create and execute publicity stunts or events to achieve specific marketing objectives)
  • Data science analyst (responsible for large data analysis and fetching important information)
  • Solution architect (responsible for solving specific problems using big data analytics, need to understand databases and programming languages)
  • Other big data analysis careers - database administrator, database developer, data modeler, data scientist, business intelligence analyst, database manager, data warehouse manager, and big data engineer)
  • Inbound marketing manager (data driven, manages the lead generation and sales funnel for a company, converts traffic to leads and nurtures those leads)
  • CRM specialist (closely related to inbound marketing manager, responsible for selecting, developing, refining and maintaining customer relationship management systems)
  • Blog manager (needs to be a good copywriter, a savvy wordsmith, creates and maintain s the company's voice, is responsible for optimizing content for search engines and lead generation)
  • Content marketing manager (manages the development and use of content across applications from blogs, white papers, educational ebook, webinars and all other possible applications)
  • Social media/community manager (needs to know all media platforms and online metrics, may also be responsible for mobile and digital marketing, develops and executes strategies to build and maintain online communities)
  • SEO expert (responsible for maintaining high search engine rankings for the brand or company based on the selected sets of search criteria)
  • Email marketing manager (grows email list organically, manages email marketing campaigns, measures results of campaigns, manages email database, segments markets based on email behaviors)
  • Brand licensing manager (responsible for licensing company-owned brands and other properties to outside business partners for strategic (brand extension) reasons and additional revenues and profits, also responsible for licensing outside properties for use with company products)
  • Trade marketing manager (responsible for marketing to and through a certain channel of trade or a certain set of retailers, works closely with the company's salesforce and retailer buyers and category managers, also works closely with promotions manager, often responsible for the optimal spending of co-op advertising funds)
  • Trade relations manager (responsible for maintaining close cordial relationships with important retailers)
  • Marketing operations manager (manages the overall marketing operations and the relationship between the marketing and sales functions, requires strong interpersonal skills)
  • Display designer and virtual merchandiser (designs retail displays including seasonal displays)
  • Retail store designer (responsible for overall store design, considers space optimization, aesthetics, brand identity reinforcement, shopping patterns, ways to increase impulse purchases and ways to minimize shoplifting)
  • Brand strategy consultant (consults on the overall strategy of a brand to bring it back to health or to take it to the next level, requires strong market research, brand equity measurement and brand positioning skills, often considers the interaction of brand strategy with business strategy including business model strategy and competitive strategy)
  • Chief marketing officer (overall responsibility for the marketing strategies of a company, interacts will all other company functions, ensures the overall success of the marketing function including its delivery against key metrics, responsible for the recruiting, development and management of all marketing functions and for optimizing the mix of marketing capabilities and recruiting the right people and other resources to fill them, )


  1. Great list. I would also add Event Marketing Manager (trade shows, conferences, customer briefings, etc.), Sponsorship Marketing Manager (sports, entertainment and other sponsored properties) and Field Marketing Manager (campaign and content creation in support of sales and business development)to the list.

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