A Career Profile of the Marketing Professional

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Job Summary

Advertising managers, marketing managers, promotion managers, and public relations managers are all considered marketing professionals. In small organizations, one person may handle all aspects of marketing. In larger organizations, the duties are split between employees with the different titles mentioned above.

Advertising managers generally oversee advertising and possibly promotions. 

In small organizations, advertising managers serve as a liaison between their organization and the desired media outlet. For example, ad managers work directly with telephone directory reps, newspaper reps, radio stations, etc, to decide on an advertising plan for the company. In larger organizations, advertising managers often oversee in-house advertising and creative service departments. 

They may be in charge of developing the subject matter and presentation of the organization’s advertising. If the organization is a retail outlet, the advertising manager will monitor the promotions offered to the company’s distributors and/or retailers.

Promotion managers are very similar to advertising managers. 

They typically supervise a staff of promotion specialists. They combine an organization’s advertising with purchase incentives or promotions to increase sales. Purchase incentives include consumer discounts, rebates, coupons, sweepstakes/contests, free gifts, etc. Promotion programs may involve direct mail, catalogs, exhibits, in-store displays, and general advertising.

Marketing managers usually develop an organization’s marketing strategy. 

They often have assistants in the process. These assistants include product development managers and market research managers who determine consumer demand and potential markets. The main goal of a marketing manager is to monitor trends and develop a resulting strategy that will maximize the organization’s share of the market while ensuring that consumers are interested and satisfied.

Public relations managers often specialize in a specific area, such as crisis management. 

A public relations manager is the mediator between an organization and their consumers, stockholders, and/or the general public. For example, a public relations manager may help to justify the organization’s stand on environmental or health issues to the community or special interest groups. Therefore, an organization’s success and public image can be strongly affected by the company’s public relations manager. In addition, some of these managers handle special activities or events that will gain public attention.

Training, Certification, and Education

Many different educational backgrounds are acceptable for entry into marketing, advertising, promotions, and public relations jobs. Job seekers who have taken courses in business, business law, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, and/or statistics will be at an advantage.

  • For marketing and promotions management positions, many employers prefer a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing. 
  • For advertising positions, some employers prefer a Bachelor’s degree in advertising or even journalism, but any courses taken in market research, consumer behavior, marketing, visual arts, sales, and technology will be helpful. 
  • For public relations management positions, employers usually prefer a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in public relations with emphasis on business administration and advertising. 
  • For highly technical industries, a Bachelor’s degree in science or engineering, combined with a Master’s Degree is typically preferred.

Many organizations provide continuing education opportunities to their employees. 

In collaboration with academic outlets, marketing associations often sponsor training programs and seminars for marketing professionals. Some associations even offer certification programs. For example, Sales and Marketing Executives International offers a certification program based on education level and job performance; and The Public relations Society of America offers certification to public relations professionals based on experience and performance.

Achieving Success

The employment opportunities for marketing professionals are expected to grow faster than those for average occupations. College graduates with related experience and strong communication skills should have the best opportunities.

Salary levels in this field vary, depending upon education level, location, industry, level of responsibility and experience. The average median salaries for varying professionals are as follows:

Advertising and Promotions Managers- $57,130
Marketing Managers- $78,250
Public Relations Managers- $60,640

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