A Guide to Marketing As a Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 26, 2022 | Published June 21, 2021

Updated November 26, 2022

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Ron, a marketing manager, shows what a day in the life of a marketer is actually like including work hours, work environment and job duties!

If you are interested in business careers, you might consider a marketing role. Marketing professionals use brand awareness, persuasion, and advertising principles to entice customers to purchase a company's products or services. Understanding the marketing profession can be the first step toward deciding whether this is the right career for you. In this article, we discuss the definition of marketing, what skills you need to be successful, and five common marketing careers.

What is marketing?

Marketing is the term used to describe the activities a company performs to promote their products or services. These activities can include increasing brand awareness and recognition, launch and promoting new offerings, communicating the company's point of difference in the marketplace, conducting market research, and advertising. Marketing professionals are experts in these particular fields of information and often specialize in particular marketing strategies and types.

What do you need to pursue a career in marketing?

Because marketing is a multifaceted business arena, a successful marketing career requires several skills and qualifications, including:

Personality characteristics and soft skills

To excel as a marketing professional, there are several personality characteristics and soft skills that you should develop, such as:

Creativity

Much of marketing happens in forms of advertising, which is often visual or auditory. Developing marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, and social media presence requires creativity, a skill that you can improve with time and dedication.

Adaptability

Adaptability allows you to pivot quickly to a changing work environment. This is a critical skill in marketing. Being able to adjust to market research, customer response, and other factors is a skill that benefits your long-term career in marketing.

Communication skills

Much of marketing involves delivering a coherent message to the consumer. As a marketing professional, you must develop and master your communication skills. Working on your written and verbal communication is helpful in your career and valuable to the company you work for.

Related: Key Marketing Skills for Your Resume (With Examples)

Curiosity

Curiosity is a skill that will serve you well as a marketing professional. In the marketing space, you need to have a sense of curiosity to try new ideas and experiment with untested concepts. Being willing to step into the unknown, brainstorm, and have a fresh perspective stems from a sense of curiosity. Curiosity is a common trait among people who are innovative and creative in marketing.

Persuasion

Marketing is about promoting products and services to consumers and persuading them to purchase. As a marketing professional, you use persuasion every day in your career. Whether it is convincing a company to spend their entire budget on your advertising package or creating social media posts encouraging readers to click a link, you need persuasion skills to be successful.

Technical competencies

To succeed as a marketing professional, there are several technical competencies that you can develop, such as:

UXD (User experience design)

UX Design, also known as user experience design, is a set of design principles used when creating a product that offers an excellent experience for the end-user. For example, creating a consumer website that is interactive, accessible, and easy to use are all components of UXD. Marketing professionals need to work from these principles to make advertising, products, and services an enjoyable experience for their end consumers.

SEO and SEM

SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) are two technical competencies that work together to provide targeted visibility on the internet. Using the principles of SEO and SEM allows marketing professionals to create campaigns that rank higher on search engines and across a network of other internet channels.

Email marketing and automation

You would be hard-pressed to find a company in the marketplace that doesn't have some email list or email marketing campaign, even if it's just a brief message with a discount code for your next purchase. Email marketing is the practice of using email messages to share a company's information with its target market. And to make the process easier, companies use automation tools to create systems and automate the process.

Social media marketing and paid advertising

Marketing professionals use social media as a platform to connect with their ideal customers, increase brand awareness, and promote their company's products and services. Social media platforms offer connections through organic traffic or paid advertising. You must understand how to leverage social media marketing.

Audio and video production

With customers consuming a significant amount of marketing and advertising on digital sources, the demand for impactful audio and video production skills has increased. As a marketing professional, having a solid foundation in audio and video marketing is vital to your long-term success.

Marketing software skills

Within each specific technical competency, there is a corresponding marketing software that assists you with analyzing data, automating emails, researching the best keywords to use in your marketing, and testing various options for the best customer response. Every company looks for candidates with computer literacy skills. However, being proficient in specific marketing software can improve your opportunities within the marketing world.

Educational requirements

Many marketing positions, even entry-level, require some post-secondary education, typically a bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising, or another relevant field. Many local colleges offer marketing diplomas and certificates. These programs usually focus on marketing basics or specialize in an area, such as digital marketing or graphic design. Many universities across the country offer bachelor's degree programs.

Internships and hands-on experience

If you are working through a post-secondary marketing program, many colleges and universities offer internships or co-op opportunities for students. When you work as an intern or co-op student, they place you in a company to gain hands-on experience. You work alongside experienced marketing professionals to mentor from their skills and knowledge. Interning also gives you valuable real-life marketing experience that you can then use on your resume.

Related: The Most Important Digital Marketing Skills for Your Resume

Common marketing careers

Here are five common marketing careers to consider:

1. Marketing analyst

National average salary: $60,655 per year

Primary duties: Marketing analysts perform data analysis, problem-solving, and critical thinking tasks. They work with data, customer feedback, and sales information to determine the success of a marketing or advertising campaign. They use number-driven data to evaluate brand awareness, product launches, and new target markets. By collecting, filtering, and analyzing market data, they create reports and presentations to inform key company stakeholders on the best course of action. Essential skills of a marketing analyst include data analysis, strategic thinking, and decision-making skills.

2. Digital marketing specialist

National average salary: $46,544 per year

Primary duties: A digital marketing specialist focuses their entire attention on creating an online presence and other digital forms. Often working closely with sales and the remaining marketing department, they develop strategies for marketing the company's products and service on the internet and digital media, such as in-app advertising, email marketing, and website development. A digital marketing specialist spends much of their time researching the best keywords, search engine optimization, and creating automation processes. Critical skills of a digital marketing specialist include digital technology knowledge, critical thinking, and multi-tasking skills.

Related: How to Become a Digital Marketing Freelancer in 9 Steps

3. Social media marketing coordinator

National average salary: $42,268 per year

Primary duties: A social media marketing coordinator builds and manages marketing campaigns on various social media platforms. They create platform content, track statistics, and manage paid advertising campaigns. The role may require customer interaction, engaging on social media platforms, building communities, and being ambassadors for the brand. A social media marketing coordinator needs to be savvy with social media trends, creative, and analytical to spend advertising budgets wisely. Key skills of a social media marketing coordinator include interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills.

4. Marketing manager

National average salary: $58.086 per year

Primary duties: A marketing manager works for a company that has a marketing department. Their role is to provide leadership and direction to the marketing department on the overall strategy for brand marketing, products, or services. Reporting directly to the executive, the marketing manager is the key individual in guiding all the company's marketing activities. They focus their efforts on strategic planning, increasing brand awareness, collaborating with other departments, and building a team of marketing professionals. Critical skills of a marketing manager include communication, leadership, and strategic thinking skills.

5. Product marketing manager

National average salary: $70,622 per year

Primary duties: A product marketing manager handles the company's product offering. Using strategic data and market research, they determine the best way to market each product. Along with product designers, research and development, and the marketing department, they develop strategic product launches and support campaigns to bring a product successfully to market. Essential skills of a product marketing manager include strategic planning, critical thinking and data analysis.

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