While television shows such as The Pitch glamorize different aspects of marketing, the real-world environment for the average worker is not in a seat on an executive pitch committee. Misconceptions about what most marketers do can leave the unprepared entry-level marketing agent frustrated and confused. Competition for marketing jobs is competitive at every level. Executives may even have it tougher, as they are putting their creative and managerial reputations on the line for increased notoriety and control.
What Marketers Do
Marketers profile the lifestyles, attitudes and needs of consumers to configure the best means of persuading them to buy certain products. Marketing techniques evolve to incorporate technological advances into the practice. The rise of social media sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook has added to the potential reach of each marketing message. Modern marketers employ a range of promotion and selling techniques with the same result in mind as yesterday–the sale.
Entry-level advertising sales agents can expect to face 40-work weeks as non-exempt employees. Their workday includes routine tasks such as making outbound sales calls and gathering consumer opinions via direct and indirect methods. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists their 2012 median salary as $45,350, emphasizing that “commissions can make up a large percentage of a sales agent’s earnings.”
Marketing managers earned a median salary of $119,480 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Managers enjoy increased opportunities to interact on the creative side of the business. They may be responsible for running ad campaigns, developing product placement strategies and overseeing new marketing integration methods. Marketing managers often travel to face-to-face meetings with potential and existing clients. Regardless of official position, stress is an important aspect of a marketer’s life. The pressure to meet sales quotas and promotion performance standards can affect time with family. Work often leaves the office as deadlines approach.
Besides formal training in marketing, advertising and sales, marketers need to develop thick skin to be successful. Continued education and training can open doors to more lucrative marketing career roles. MBAs will usually fair better than AAs in the average workplace, as increased responsibilities warrant increased pay. Involvement with marketing associations such as Sales and Marketing Executives International, Inc. and the American Marketing Association can provide networking and ongoing learning opportunities.
Career advancement is often the byproduct of high sales performance for both the entry-level and upper-level marketer. Marketing entrepreneurs can take advantage of the need to promote emerging online businesses and products. Change and marketing go hand in hand. Nothing is static in brand promotion as consumer interest and response is consistently evolving. Tomorrow’s marketers will tweak today’s strategies, ensuring the survival of the practice.