Do you love to watch advertising? Do you love to look at various products on the shelves of a shop or super markets? Do you often wonder who takes the decision as to what products would be sold in the market? Are you fiercely ambitious to be at the helm of a business and steer it to profit? Are you an extrovert and love to mix up with people? Are you good in communication? If all these questions elicit affirmative answers from you, then you may read more to explore about a career in Marketing.
Marketing is understanding consumer needs and demands and develop and deliver products and services that could fulfill the needs and demands effectively. Marketing professionals decide what products or services should be built, how to communicate about the products and services to consumers, how to deliver the products and services so that the consumers can buy the products and services at the right time, at the right place and at the right price.
Why Become a Marketer?
Marketing entails understanding the needs and demands of a group of consumers (often referred to as target market or target consumers) as well as developing, communicating, and delivering products or services to the target cossumers to fulfill their needs and demands. Marketing also entails fulfillment of the needs and demands of the target consumers in a way so as to make profits as well as make sure customer feedbacks are taken, customer complaints and grievances are resolved.
Marketing Professionals are essentially Managers/Executives who are responsible for creating, developing, planning and implementing strategices for marketing and promotion of various products and services of a company. As a Marketing Professional, your primary focus will be to retain existing customers and attract potential customers with actionable and compelling marketing strategies and plans. To be precise, you will be in charge of everything and anything that is associated with the marketing of a brand/company and its products or services.
You may be responsible for developing marketing and promotional campaigns either for a single product/service or for many products/services. It will be your job to maximise profits by creating such marketing/sales strategies for products/services that address the target customer and their requirements. To achieve this, you will be required to invest a lot of time in market research, coordinating and collaborating with the production/marketing/creative/digital teams, and also coordinating with potential media organizations and advertising agencies.
You will have to shoulder multiple responsibilities simultaneously like research; product development: pricing planning; advertising; event organization; public relations; distribution, and sponsorship. Thus, your role will incorporate a combination of creative, commercial, communication, analytical, digital, and administrative responsibilities.
Popular Specialization in Marketing Profession
A brand is a unique identity for a product or a service which different it from other similar products or services. As customers, we buy various generic products like vegetables, rice, pulses, etc. and we also buy various branded products like a Pepsodent toothpaste, a Samsung mobile phone, Ashirwad atta, Tata Salt, and so on. We consume branded services such as services from a particular bank we prefer, a preferred insurance company and so on. Brand Managers create and develop such unique identities around generic products and services. They communicate (by advertising and promotion) about the unique identity to potential customers and influence them to buy.
What Does a Marketer do?
- To conduct market research and analysis to identify potential customers; evaluate both past and latest trends; to understand the consumers’ pain points and demands; to evaluate the strong and weak points of competitors.
- To plan and develop marketing strategies/campaigns to achieve specific marketing targets across different marketing channels and segments.
- To lead the implementation and execution of marketing campaigns right from start to finish by collaborating with other teams (production/marketing/management/digital).
- To work with in-house/external creative agencies to design marketing materials like brochures, flyers, advertisements, etc.
- To develop appropriate business cases for marketing campaigns during the proposal stage and make the necessary changes to the existing marketing strategies accordingly.
- To write and proofread marketing copy for online and offline campaigns for diverse marketing channels.
- To make proactive marketing efforts through various channels while also handling and coordinating the social media and public relation efforts.
- To reach out to and communicate with the target audience and build good customer relationships.
- To support and supervise sales and lead generation efforts.
- To conduct surveys to obtain customer feedback and analysis of the same.
- To source and secure sponsorship for campaigns.
- To plan and develop budgets after careful consideration of expenditures, R&D efforts, return-on-investment (ROI), and profit-loss projections.
- To develop such pricing strategies that will maximize profits and market share without hampering customer satisfaction.
- To organize and supervise advertising/marketing campaigns, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, and other promotional events to create brand awareness.
- To monitor and track the progress of various campaigns using various metrics and develop and submit performance reports of the same.
- To evaluate the impact of marketing campaigns to see if they were successful in achieving the target goals.
- To build and maintain a professional relationship with vendors, media agencies, publishers, and other stakeholders for marketing purposes.
- To maintain and update the product/service and customer database.
How to Become a Marketer – Eligibility Criteria
After your higher secondary or equivalent level of school studies, you can do an undergraduate degree in any subject or in Business Management/ Business Administration / Business Studies or in a similar subject.
After your undergraduate degree, you can obtain a postgraduate degree or diploma in any of the following fields:
- Business Administration with specialisation in Marketing/ Digital Marketing / Marketing Technologies & Automation / similar subject
- Marketing Management
- Marketing Technologies & Automation
- Advertising and Brand Management
- Digital Marketing
- International Marketing Management
- International Business and Foreign Trade
You can begin your career as an Executive/Sales Trainee or Management Trainee in:
- The marketing/sales management department of any company or firm in any industry
- Marketing/management consulting firms
- Advertising agencies
If you enter the job field after completing your graduation, you can usually get started as an Executive/Sales Trainee. On the other hand, if you complete your post graduation (MBA) from a premier Business School, you can begin directly as a Management Trainee.
If you start working for marketing/management consulting firms or advertising agencies, you can begin your career as an Associate.
Overall, marketing professionals have a vast scope of employment in small companies, big corporations, government/non-government organizations, consultancy firms, and advertising/public relation agencies.
Typically, Marketing Professionals work in corporate environments as a part of a larger marketing, creative, or communications team. They usually have a 9-5 job and work around 9-10 hours every day. However, since their work often has strict deadlines, they may have to work extra hours to ensure that the required targets are met. While most of the work can be completed within an office setting, Marketing Professionals may be required to travel from time to time. They may have to travel to distant locations to meet with business associates or clients, and with prospective media agencies (production companies, print production companies, etc.).
Salary of a Marketer
When you join a company/firm as an Executive/Sales Trainee after your graduation, you will earn Rs. 15,000 – 25,000 per month.
After completing your MBA, you can become a Management Trainee, and your starting salary could range anywhere between Rs. 40,000 – 2,00,000. High-end salaries are paid to graduates hailing from premier Business Schools.
Once you get promoted to the position of a Product Manager, you may get anything between Rs. 50,000 – 2,50,000 per month. After 8-12 years of experience, you will earn around Rs. 70,000 – 5,00,000 or even more per month. Once you gain over 15 years of experience, your average monthly income can be anything between Rs. 1,20,000 – 25,00,000 or even more.
Career Progression in Marketing Profession
If you start your career as an Executive/Sales Trainee in any company, your next step of promotion would be to the position of Area Sales Manager. Then you will be promoted to Regional Sales Manager. After this, you will transition from the field of sales to marketing/management as a Product Manager. Further, you will be promoted to Marketing Manager and then to Senior Marketing Manager. Finally, you will become the Associate Vice President, and then the Vice President.
As a Management Trainee with a minimum of two years of work experience in sales, your next step of promotion would be to the position of the Product Manager. After this, you will upgrade to the level of Marketing Manager and then to Senior Marketing Manager. Later, you will be promoted to Associate Vice President, and then to Vice President. Your final promotion would be to the position of the Chief Marketing Officer.
In a Management / Marketing Consulting firm, you will move from an Associate to a Senior Associate’s role. After that, you will become a Consultant in the junior most level and then get promoted to the role of a Senior Consultant then to the role of a Lead or Principal Consultant.
In an advertising agency, you will join as a Trainee in the Client Servicing department. Once you spend 5-10 years in client servicing, you may become an Account Director or become a Senior Manager/Director with the Account Planning and Brand Management department. You can grow very fast in advertising, and within ten years you can be a VP.
What does Industry Trends Say – Future Prospects
Marketing is one of the core components of the business world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by 2026, the number of jobs for Marketing Managers is expected to increase by 10% in the US. Also, the BLS estimates that by 2026, the demand for Marketing Research Analysts will increase by 23%. In India, too, business opportunities are rising as more and more global companies are investing in the Indian business sector. Thanks to globalization, FDI (foreign direct investment) scaling rapidly in India, and consequently the demand for skilled Marketing Professionals is increasing.