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The Marketing Career Path Made Easy

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Published: July 8, 2021

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Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I pursue a career in marketing?” or, “How can I advance in my marketing career?” If it’s a “yes” for either question, this article is for you.

Let’s discuss the key areas that can help a marketer to achieve success and give you insights and tips for navigating the competitive marketing industry successfully. Discover a process for making an effective entry into this sector, the career path for an ambitious professional, key industry specializations, employer preferred qualifications, job market trends, steps on how to get a job, essential resources, and major careers.

Image via Flickr by txelube

How To Begin a Career in Marketing

Marketing refers to the different processes that support the exchanging of goods and services, and there are many ways in which you can begin a career in this industry. However, following a series of planned, connected activities usually provides the best results. Consider this process:

1. Evaluate Several Career Options

Begin by researching several careers that interest you, including marketing. This enables you to determine whether you actually want to be a marketer and prevents you from investing your resources in an unsuitable professional trajectory. Use online resources like this article, the advice of mentors, and the insights of a career counselor to gather information. If your findings point to a marketing career, study key industry subfields, such as social media and SEO, to learn about your career options. Make a list of the careers that interest you.

2. Identify Your Major Professional Strengths

Do a self-assessment to figure out what type of marketing specialization suits you. Use assessment tools, such as the Survey of Interpersonal Values (SIV) or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), to identify your values and personality traits. Next, evaluate whether these characteristics suit the careers in your list.

3. Get Some On-the-Job Marketing Experience

Real world exposure to a marketing career is the acid test for whether it suits you. Volunteer during your vacation or take a few days off your full-time job. Experience a minimum of three different entry-level marketing jobs.

4. Decide Whether You Can Meet Employee Expectations

Each marketing job requires specific qualifications in education, experience, and skills. Identify the careers, for which you can meet employer expectations by getting an educational credential, gaining work experience, or developing a new skill, from the rest.

5. Select Your Marketing Career

There are plenty of marketing career opportunities out there, but you need one that suits you in relation to your values, personality traits, and skills. For example, if you value working independently and you’re interested in working from a Zoom town, a career that does not offer any work-from-home jobs is unlikely to be a good fit. Leverage all your research to decide on a profession that works for you.

What Is the Career Path for Marketing?

The career path for marketing involves the typical professional trajectory a marketer can follow. It includes the following series of steps:

Step 1: Entry-Level Job Titles for Marketing

Unless you’re switching to marketing after working in another industry, you’re likely to start your career with an entry-level job, such as:

  • Marketing coordinator: If you choose a marketing coordinator career path, you will research competitors and marketing campaigns, develop competitor analyses, plan media placement, coordinate campaign implementation, and forecast sales.
  • Account coordinator: In this job, you will ensure that client expectations are being met, communicate client feedback on campaigns to colleagues, and motivate coworkers to meet deadlines.
  • Public relations coordinator: In this position, you will develop relationships with reporters and editors of news publications, use communication to handle crises, write press releases, and contribute to social media marketing.
  • Store clerk: In this frontline job, you will work in a retail outlet, help customers find what they need, keep track of the inventory, maintain the store according to company standards, and use a cash register to process payments.
  • Communication specialist: In this position, you will communicate an organization’s views via written, nonverbal, and verbal communication; monitor feedback; and write reports to supervisors.
  • Social media specialist: In this role, you will promote the organization through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; contribute to the company’s social media marketing strategy; develop content; communicate positively with the public; and build online followings.
  • Junior business analyst: In this position, you will monitor sales and account management, evaluate marketing systems, write reports on your findings for the senior management, and identify business trends.
  • Junior copywriter: In this job, you will work in an advertising organization or department, develop content that engages the target market, and meet project and business goals.
  • Outside sales representative: In this role, you will represent the company externally in a specific target market, develop sales materials, cold-call customers, communicate marketing information, and sell products or services.
  • Inside sales representative: In this position, you will work as an in-house intermediary between customers and the company, develop sales materials, offer point-of-contact services, maintain accounts, work toward customer satisfaction, and upsell offerings in line with marketing strategies.
  • Development associate: In this job, you will raise funds for a nonprofit organization, develop fundraising campaigns, plan fundraisers, manage the donor database, and communicate with donors and supervisors.

Step 2: Marketing Manager

A marketing manager career path involves handling the daily marketing activities of a company. Key duties include:

  • Developing marketing objectives and plans.
  • Collaborating with marketing, sales, advertising, and customer service professionals.
  • Implementing marketing plans.
  • Supervising and motivating a team of marketing professionals.
  • Training new recruits.
  • Executing customer relationship management (CRM) and lead generation.
  • Implementing, monitoring, and analyzing advertising campaigns.
  • Developing reports on campaign outputs for supervisors, such as a marketing director.

Step 3: Director of Marketing

As a director of marketing, you will be responsible for the marketing department. Key duties include:

  • Overseeing the development of marketing policies and strategies.
  • Evaluating the marketing department and the performance of marketers.
  • Setting short-term and long-term goals for marketing teams.
  • Monitoring the production of marketing materials, such as CRM email campaigns and sell sheets.
  • Evaluating the efficacy of marketing campaigns.
  • Developing reports for a VP or a CMO on recommended improvements to marketing activities.

Step 4: VP of Marketing

As the VP of marketing, you will be responsible for directing the marketing department. Key duties include:

  • Formulating the marketing department budget.
  • Overseeing the development of marketing strategies and policies.
  • Contributing to business strategies.
  • Ensuring marketing activities contribute to long-term corporate success.
  • Using PR effectively to develop relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Evaluating marketing campaigns and making improvements.
  • Conducting market analyses, identifying threats and opportunities, and forecasting HR needs.
  • Developing marketing metrics and preparing research-based reports for the CMO and CEO.

Step 5: Chief Marketing Officer

As a chief marketing officer, you will be in charge of all corporate marketing activities. Key duties include:

  • Using the arsenal of marketing tools, platforms, and techniques to create, develop, and maintain a brand or several brands.
  • Monitoring marketing functions and making improvements when necessary.
  • Achieving progress in brand awareness, sales, CRM, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction.
  • Working with the CEO to develop a company’s approach to investors, the media, and the public.
  • Developing a global outlook and localized marketing if the company is based in several countries.

Types of Marketing Career Paths

In marketing, you can specialize in several fields, such as:

Digital

Digital marketing is a key marketing specialization. It differs from traditional marketing and involves the use of new computing technologies. In other words, this type of marketing uses internet-based products and services that are accessible via computers, such as email, search engines, and social media platforms. It also uses devices, such as smart phones, laptops, and desktops. Digital marketers use these technologies to learn about customers and prospects, inform them about the company’s products and services, make sales, and build loyalty.

Content Management

The specialization of content management involves the creation of content according to client specifications and marketing expertise as well as the maintenance of this material with regular updates. Content can include articles for print or the web, email newsletters, and website text. For effective digital materials, content syndication, which involves link building, is important.

SEO

In the SEO marketing specialization, professionals focus on search engine optimization activities, such as developing great content that is search engine friendly, incorporating keywords to improve rankings, and implementing link building strategies. In this subfield, you will target directing more traffic to your website and any other online promotional content.

Social Media

Social media marketing is a rapidly growing subfield. It involves the use of online platforms that are based on computer technologies, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to build followings. Subsequently, marketers use these online communities to inform, engage, and persuade its members to purchase company offerings.

Image via Flickr by Search Engine People Blog

What You Need To Be a Marketer

There are several qualifications you need to become a marketer, including:

  • Education: While some entry-level marketing jobs, such as a store clerk position, can be accessed with a high school diploma, most others require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marketing, communication, or business. For senior-level positions, you’re likely to need a master’s degree.
  • Skills: A marketing job requires a combination of soft and hard skills that vary according to employer preferences and key duties.
  • Experience: Although you can get some entry-level marketing jobs without experience, the more competitive positions are likely to require recruits with volunteering or internship backgrounds. For mid-level or senior-level jobs, you will usually need several years of work experience.

The Marketing Job Market

Key facts about the marketing job market include:

  • Managerial jobs in advertising, promotions, and marketing are projected to grow at a relatively faster rate of six percent when compared with other occupations between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Entry-level jobs in digital marketing offer attractive salaries for email marketing specialists, digital marketing specialists, and web content specialists, according to Payscale.
  • While there is an increasing demand for marketing professionals in the U.S., the number of jobs and salaries vary according to location. Consequently, choosing the best base for your career can improve your professional prospects. For example, marketing specialists in Washington earn more than those in New Jersey, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How To Get a Marketing Job

If you’re targeting a marketing job, use the following steps:

  1. Search for a job that interests you by reading several listings, asking your professional contacts about new openings, or using a recruitment agency.
  2. Find a minimum of five jobs that match your skills, education, and experience based on the job listing requirements.
  3. Prepare your job application materials for each employment opportunity. To succeed in the recruitment process, you need a quality cover letter and resume that make a great impression on the hiring manager. Start writing, updating, or proofreading these documents.
  4. Practice for your interview for each job. A stellar interview performance can get you hired. Use online resources to learn about the commonly asked interview questions for the position, write example answers and memorize them in advance, and practice your delivery.
  5. Make a great impression on each hiring manager by dressing professionally in line with the company’s dress code, using formal body language and speech, answering interview questions confidently, and maintaining contact after the interview — via activities such as sending a thank-you email with an engaging subject line to the interviewer. When you get hired, let hiring managers from any other companies that are interested in hiring you know about this development promptly and try to maintain these professional contacts.

Image via Flickr by Maria Reyes-McDavis

Marketing Job Resources

As an aspiring or ambitious marketer, using marketing resources — many of which can be accessed online — can help you to achieve your goals. These include:

  • EBooks on marketing: These long-form pieces of content can help you to understand traditional or modern marketing tools and techniques.
  • White papers on marketing: Reading white papers on marketing, which are written by experts, can help you to learn about key trends, issues, tools, methods, and examples of real-world success.
  • Content marketing: You need marketing content that is expertly written, rigorously edited, SEO optimized, and targeted to meet and exceed your objectives, so use a quality content creation platform like CopyPress where you can benefit from a full service content production experience.
  • Other marketing resources: Avail yourself of the insights and advice of expert marketers by checking free online resources. Entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level workers can find guidance that addresses their level of experience and aptitudes.

List of Marketing Careers, Titles, & Job Descriptions

Interested in exploring your marketing career options? Consider the following careers:

Marketing Specialist

A marketing specialist job involves research and planning. Key duties include:

  • Researching a particular market, which could be an online, local, national, regional, or international market.
  • Analyzing web analytics and using search marketing methods to discover the potential sales a market could generate for the company.
  • Developing a marketing plan based on research findings.

Social Media Manager

A social media manager uses their expertise in social media marketing to do the following:

  • Overseeing social media marketing activities and campaigns.
  • Using text, images, audio, and video to interact with the target market.
  • Building brands through social media marketing.

Search Engine Optimization Specialist

A search engine optimization specialist focuses on optimizing their company’s SEO rankings. Key duties include:

  • Using SEO expertise to optimize their client’s website and other online promotional content for search engines.
  • Increasing the visibility of the brand on online searches.
  • Channeling more organic traffic to the brand’s website.

Email Marketing Manager

An email marketing manager implements promotional activities via email. Key duties include:

  • Using email communication tools to increase brand awareness.
  • Contacting customers and prospects via email and informing them about the company’s products, services, and events.
  • Developing and implementing email marketing campaigns that use tools such as newsletters.

Web Content Writer

A web content writer develops targeted marketing content for websites and online platforms. Key duties include:

  • Generating research-based content that targets the client’s market segment.
  • Tailoring content to a client’s instructions, expectations, and needs.
  • Making changes to content based on the client’s feedback.

Web Producer

A web producer handles the visual impact a website makes. Key duties include:

  • Producing websites that appeal to the target market and achieve user satisfaction.
  • Working with writers, graphic designers, and web developers to optimize web content.
  • Using creativity, marketing knowledge, and programming expertise to create targeted online content.

Product Manager

A product manager handles the life cycle of a product. Key duties involve:

  • Determining requirements for new or existing products based on market research.
  • Engaging in development activities, such as developing a product roadmap.
  • Performing marketing activities, such as profit analysis and forecasting.

Marketing Analyst

A marketing analyst career path involves research, analysis, and reporting. Key duties include:

  • Engaging in primary and secondary research using surveys, group and individual interviews, and observation.
  • Analyzing qualitative and quantitative data on marketing campaigns and determining successes and areas for improvement.
  • Sharing findings with colleagues or supervisors and enabling research-based decisions.

Advertising Coordinator

An advertising coordinator links customers with advertising professionals. Key duties include:

  • Coordinating client briefs, the development of advertising materials, and the deployment of promotions via print, broadcast, and the internet.
  • Analyzing customer needs, creating competitive positioning, securing resources, and communicating project progress to clients.
  • Being responsible for campaign delivery according to deadlines and client expectations.

Advertising Manager

An advertising manager implements and manages promotional materials that use broadcast, print, or the internet. Key duties include:

  • Planning advertising campaigns based on client objectives.
  • Supervising graphic designers and content writers and motivating them to meet project goals.
  • Collecting and analyzing data on campaign reach and effectiveness.

Public Relations Manager

A public relations manager represents the company’s communication and public image. Key duties include:

  • Planning and developing communication materials that can improve the corporate brand image.
  • Overseeing content creation to meet PR objectives.
  • Handling crises, organizing PR events, developing media kits, and maintaining relationships with media publications.

Brand Manager

A brand manager focuses on brand building. Key duties include:

  • Researching brand perception and market trends.
  • Developing brand building campaigns that target increasing awareness or improving loyalty.
  • Building relationships with media outlets, influencers, and marketing professionals.

Media Buyer

As a media buyer, you engage in the media purchasing process. Key duties include:

  • Negotiating and purchasing media in line with company policies and procedures.
  • Analyzing media options for television, radio, print, online, and billboard advertising materials.
  • Contributing to the media plan implementation.

Digital Marketing Manager

A digital marketing manager develops and implements a company’s digital marketing activities. Key duties include:

  • Using digital marketing tools and techniques to engage customers and generate leads.
  • Developing and implementing digital marketing campaigns.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of campaigns and writing reports to the senior management.

Digital Marketing Director

A digital marketing director oversees all the digital marketers and their activities. Key duties include:

  • Developing long-term strategies for improving online brand presence and driving traffic to the company’s website.
  • Monitoring digital marketing trends, campaigns, and competitor activities and making improvements to improve company performance.
  • Using expertise in digital technologies to improve marketing effectiveness and meet business goals.

E-commerce Manager

An e-commerce manager promotes a company’s online store. Key duties include:

  • Researching digital media purchases and customer interactions with the e-commerce platform.
  • Using B2B, B2C, or C2C expertise to develop e-commerce strategies.
  • Improving website traffic and sales via e-commerce campaigns.

Requirements of a Marketing Career

For a successful marketing career, essential requirements usually include:

  • A passion for marketing.
  • Written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Analytical skills.
  • A high school diploma.
  • Teamwork skills.

Interested in learning more? Check the CopyPress Knowledge Base out for more marketing insights that can help your career! Alternatively, get in touch with us today for your completely free consultation on optimizing your brand’s content marketing.

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