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Careers in Marketing

The objective of any firm is to market and sell its products or services profitably. In small firms, the owner or chief executive officer might assume all advertising, promotions, marketing, and sales responsibilities. In large firms, which may offer numerous products and services nationally or even worldwide, an executive vice president directs overall advertising, promotions, marketing, and sales policies.

Marketing managers develop the firm's detailed marketing strategy. With the help of subordinates, including product development managers and market research managers, they determine the demand for products and services offered by the firm and its competitors. In addition, they identify potential markets—for example, business firms, wholesalers, retailers, government, or the general public. Marketing managers develop pricing strategy with an eye towards maximizing the firm's share of the market and its profits while ensuring that the firm's customers are satisfied. In collaboration with sales, product development, and other managers, they monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services and oversee product development. Marketing managers work with advertising and promotion managers to promote the firm's products and services and to attract potential users.

Sales managers direct the firm's sales program. They assign sales territories, set goals, and establish training programs for the sales representatives. Managers advise the sales representatives on ways to improve their sales performance. In large, multiproduct firms, they oversee regional and local sales managers and their staffs. Sales managers maintain contact with dealers and distributors. They analyze sales statistics gathered by their staffs to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers. Such information is vital to develop products and maximize profits.

Career Paths

A wide range of educational backgrounds are suitable for entry into advertising, marketing, promotions, and sales managerial jobs, but many employers prefer those with experience in related occupations plus a broad liberal arts background. A bachelor's degree in sociology, psychology, literature, journalism, or philosophy, among other subjects, is acceptable. However, requirements vary, depending upon the particular job. Undergraduate training at SPEA provides students with a wonderful mixture of practical skills as well as courses with a liberal arts flavor, equipping students with a unique mixture that is ideal for careers in a broad range of areas. Students should emphasize the practicality and variety of their degree when applying for marketing positions.

Qualifications Necessary

Persons interested in becoming advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers should be mature, creative, highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and decisive. The ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, with other managers, staff, and the public is vital. These managers also need tact, good judgment, and exceptional ability to establish and maintain effective personal relationships with supervisory and professional staff members and client firms.

Potential Employers

*Remember that most major companies have their own marketing departments

Online Resources & Networking

Our General Job Searching Sites offer the most help in basic job searching online.


  • American Marketing Association (AMA) provides professional development services for marketing professionals such as special interest groups, seminars and publications. It also has a reference center focusing on marketing issues.
  • Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has been the leading source of news and information for direct marketers since 1917.
  • Association for Women in Communications (AWC) recognizes the complex relationships that exist across the communications disciplines.
  • Business Marketing Association, http:/