(April 2013)



There’s a Place for You in Marketing!


Why pursue a career in marketing?  One good reason is the unusually large variety of job opportunities that are available.  Marketing is a broad field offering many different career paths - from advertising, selling, marketing research, and developing websites on the Internet.  In addition, continual expansion and ongoing changes in the global marketing environment are opening more opportunities for marketing jobs here and in other countries.  And if you enjoy customer contact - with consumers or with businesses - a job in marketing is the place for you!


Important links regarding positions and salaries in marketing: Job Outlook

WSJ Career in Marketing

All marketing jobs |

National Association for Retail Marketing Services

So You're Thinking About A Marketing Career

Marketing Jobs | Marketing Job

Microsoft Marketing Jobs

Daily Rosetta

Sales Marketing Compensation Survey - Jobs & Careers in the USA including

JobBox ( and

SearchBox (


Sources:  This document is a word-for-word compilation from the following sources:  (1)  Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy (2011), Basic Marketing, Irwin-McGraw Hill, 681-695; (2)  Boone & Kurtz (2012), Contemporary Marketing, South-Western, A-1 to A-18; (3)  Nichels and Wood (1997), Marketing, Worth, A-1 to A-10; (4)  Solomon and Stuart (1997), Marketing, Prentice-Hall, 721-727; (5)  Kotler and Armstrong (1997), Marketing, Prentice-Hall, A-9 to A-16; (6)  Etzel, Walker, and Stanton (1997), Marketing, Irwin-McGraw Hill, B-1 to B-14; (7)  Kotler and Armstrong (1999), Principles of Marketing, Prentice Hall, A-16 to A-27; (8)  Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2000), Marketing, South-Western, 715-716; (9)  Kerin, Hartley, and Rudelius (2011), Marketing the Core, McGraw-Hill Irwin, 424-433, (10)  Zikmund and d’Amico (2001), Marketing, South-Western, 626-630, and (11) Grewal and Levy (2012), Marketing, McGraw-Hill Irwin.


There Are Many Marketing Jobs…And You Can Create Your Own


The most exciting aspect of marketing may be the possibility of creating your own job:  you can "find a need and fill it."  By filling an unmet need, you can prosper as an entrepreneur/marketer - this may be as simple as giving massages in malls to weary shoppers or as complex as creating new software for helping companies to invest or opening a hot dog stand at the flea market.  As long as there are individuals or groups with needs, there will be a need for new marketers.


There are many interesting and challenging jobs for those with marketing training.  You may not know it, but 60 percent of graduating college students take their initial job in a sales, marketing, or customer service position regardless of their stated major.  So, you will have a head start because you have been studying marketing, and companies are always looking for people who already have skills in place.  The sky is the limit for those who enter the sales and marketing profession prepared for the future!


Starting salaries in marketing compare favorably with many other fields.  They are lower than those in such fields as computer science and electrical engineering where college graduates are currently in demand.  However, marketing jobs open to college-level students do pay well.  According to the most recent salary surveys from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (2011) marketing graduates were being offered starting salaries around $40,000, with a range from $25,000 to more than $60,000.  Students with a master’s in marketing averaged about $60,000; those with an MBA averaged about $75,000.  Starting salaries can vary considerably, depending on your background, experience, and location.  The American Almanac of Jobs and Salaries ranks the median income of marketers number 10 in a list of 125 professions.  Marketing also supplies about 50 percent of the people who achieve senior management ranks.


Of the many career paths chosen by business graduates, marketing is the single largest employment category in the U.S. labor force, and job growth in the field is expected to accelerate.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that employment of advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers is expected to grow at a rate of 12 percent through 2016, spurred by intense domestic and global competition in products and services offered to consumers.  Every successful organization - profit-seeking or not-for-profit - recognizes the necessity of effective marketing for accomplishing its goals of providing customer satisfaction by hiring highly motivated, professionally educated marketing specialists to design and implement these customer-driven programs.


There is even better opportunity for personal growth, variety, and income in many marketing positions. Besides salary, job applicants frequently focus on additional benefits such as the opportunity for professional growth and family-friendly organizations that offer high quality of life.  While compensation is always an issue, employees want to feel recognized for their achievements, be assigned new responsibilities, and work in continuous-learning environments.  In addition, many companies recognize the importance of loyalty and now offer employees an equity stake in the company.


How far and fast your career and income rise above the starting level, however, depends on many factors - including your willingness to work, how well you get along with people, and your individual abilities.  But most of all, it depends on getting results - individually and through other people.  And this is where many marketing jobs offer the newcomer great opportunities.  It is possible to show initiative, ability, creativity, and judgment in marketing jobs.  And some young people move up very rapidly in marketing.  Some even end up at the top in large companies - or as owners of their own businesses.


Because marketing is so vital to a firm’s survival, many companies look for people with training and experience in marketing when filling key executive positions.  In general, chief executive officers for the nation’s largest corporations are more likely to have backgrounds in marketing and distribution than in other fields such as production, finance, and engineering.  In terms of upward mobility, more CEOs have come from the sales and marketing side than all other fields combined.  Marketing supplies about 50 percent of the people who achieve senior management ranks. 





A survey by executive recruiter Korn/Ferry International revealed that the best route to the top of the corporate ladder begins in a company’s marketing division:  Three of every eight CEOs are chosen from a company’s marketing division because the growing global economy demands proven market leaders in winning the fight to increase their firms’ worldwide market shares.  Finance, which had long dominated as the top career path for senior executives, fell to third place, and executives who had completed international assignments – many of the assignments being marketing related – came in second.


An encouraging trend in marketing job choices is the increased diversity of the job market.  Ethnic minorities and women of all races have increased their presence and will continue to do so.  While the battle of equality is not over yet, there has been progress for women, African-Americans, and Hispanic Americans.  According to the Small Business Administration, women are starting small firms at twice the rate of males.  Women-owned businesses in the United States employ more people than all of the Fortune 500 companies combined.  However, employment of African-Americans and Hispanics in marketing is not proportionate with their shares of the total population.


Marketing is where the action is!  In the final analysis, a firm’s success or failure depends on the effectiveness of its marketing program.  This does not mean the other functional areas are not important.  It merely reflects the fact that a firm will not have much need for accountants, finance people, production managers, and so on if it cannot successfully meet customers’ needs and sell its products.


You may choose a career in marketing.  Marketing-related occupations account for 25 to 30 percent of the jobs in the typical highly industrialized nations.  History has shown that the demand for effective marketers is not affected by cyclical economic fluctuations.  For example, social media expertise is one of the hottest skills in demand; 19 percent of marketing and advertising executives (2011) plan to hire in this area.  Other in-demand skills include media services, account services, and brand/product management.


To help you in finding your right job or career, the following topics are provided:


1.     How to Choose a Career

2.     How to Succeed in Marketing

3.     Where Are Marketing Career Opportunities and Jobs?

4.     A Description of Marketing Positions

5.     Additional Sources of Career Information


How to Choose a Career


One of the most significant decisions you will ever make is choosing a career.  This career decision will influence your future happiness, self-fulfillment, and well-being.  Yet, unfortunately, career decisions often seem to be based on insufficient information, analysis, and evaluation of alternatives.


Early in the career-decision process, everyone should spend some time in introspection.  Introspection is the process of looking into yourself and honestly assessing what you want and what you have to offer.  Let us look briefly at what this involves.


What Do You Want?  Perhaps this question would be better worded as, “What is important to me in my life?” or “What do I like?  To answer these broad questions, you must answer several more specific ones, such as the following:


·       Do you want your career to be the main event in your life?  Or, do you see a career only as the means of financing leisure-time activities?

·       How important are money and other financial rewards?

·       How important are the social surroundings, climate, and other aspects of the environment in which you live?

·       Would you prefer to work for a large company or a small organization?

·       Would you prefer living and working in a small town or in an urban area?

·       Are you willing to relocate to another part of the country?  How often would you be willing to move?

·       How important is the social prestige of your career?

·       Do you prefer work that is evenly paced or occasionally hectic?  How do you deal with the pressure of deadlines?

·       Do you need tangible signs of results on a job to feel fulfilled?

·       Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?


Another way to approach the question of what you want from a career is to identify - in writing - your goals in life.  List both your intermediate-term goals (3 to 5 years from now) and your long-term goals (10 years or more).  By the way, writing down your goals is correlated more highly with obtaining these goals compared to not writing them down.


Still another approach is to simply describe yourself in some detail.  By writing a description of your personality, likes and dislikes, and hopes and fears, you may be able to identify various careers that would (and would not) fit your self-image.  Also, remember that your professors and the Career Planning and Placement Center (with its extensive career-oriented website) are available to help you with this self-identification process.


What Can You Offer?  Next, you need to identify in some detail your strong and weak points.  Why would anyone want to hire you?  What skills have you developed?  What experience - work, education, volunteer, extracurricular activities - do you have that might be attractive to prospective employers?  Do you have good work habits such as showing up on time ready to work, dressing appropriately, being respectful to other individuals, etc.?


An important consideration is your work experience.  Employers are less concerned with where you have worked than they are with the initiative you demonstrate in finding a job and your performance on the job. To gain some exposure to what goes on in business, consider a job with a temporary help agency.  Manpower Inc., for example, employs 100,000 people in the summer.  Another option is an internship.  Many students make an extra effort to find an internship in the summer before their last year of college.  Firms often use these positions to groom future employees.  For example, Burlington Industries assigns mentors to all its interns, and each is given two formal evaluations during the summer.  Also, can be used to help you get an internship with a national company.


Since the attributes sought by business are not acquired overnight, you should start developing them early in your college program.  However, keep in mind that prospective employers are much more interested in what a person accomplished in various roles than how many different titles he or she had.  So be selective, and do a few things well.  And, remember to ask for those reference letters.


How to Succeed in Marketing


Each type of marketing job requires a particular set of professional skills, but those outlined here are important in all areas of marketing.


The U.S. Secretary of Labor appointed a commission, the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), to identify the skills that students need to succeed in the marketplace of the 21st century.  The commission named five types of skills - the ability to (1) allocate time, money, and resources (resource skills); (2) work on teams and serve customers (interpersonal skills); (3) acquire and evaluate information and use computers to process information (information skills); (4) understand social, organizational, and technological systems and improve on such systems (systems skills); and (5) apply technology to specific tasks (technology skills).  Beyond these basic skills, job seekers in the marketing field also need motivation skills.  The following sections expand on several of these key skills.


Interpersonal and Communication Skills


Being able to interact effectively with people is perhaps the most important marketing skill - not simply interacting with customers but being able to work with peers on a team or knowing how to supervise other employees.  Marketers must be able to present their thoughts and ideas clearly, both in oral presentations and in written reports.  They also need to listen closely to customers so they can identify wants, needs, and expectations.


Building long-term relationships with customers and other stakeholders is one of the most important aspects of marketing.  Therefore, interpersonal skills must be combined with the ability to respond quickly to customers' suggestions, wants, and complaints, especially in service recovery.  Learning to say "I apologize for the mistake and will make it right" is often as important to marketing as any other skill.  Customers may be more loyal to a firm that has made a mistake and then gone out of its way to correct it than to a firm that has not had to prove itself in that way.


Information, Problem-Solving, and Technology Skills


A marketer must be able to use technology to find information and apply that information in the decision-making process.  Today, this means being familiar with the Internet and social media, using e-mail, and conducting information searches by computer, including database research.  Beyond simple information gathering is the pursuit of learning - the successful marketer must acquire both general and job-related knowledge in order to guide future decisions.  Finally, the marketer must be a flexible thinker.  Two quite similar problems will probably require different solutions, as the different dynamics surrounding each problem affect the solution choices.  Marketers must be able to recognize these differences and come up with creative ideas to address the unique factors in each marketing situation.


Motivation Skills


Two types of motivation are required in marketing.  From the outset, a marketer must be highly self-motivated, taking the initiative in a project and following it through until completion.  As the marketer begins to take on a leadership role, often within a cross-functional team, the ability to motivate others becomes essential.  In another light, the marketer must “sell” his or her ideas.


Sixteen Traits Recruiters Seek In Job Prospects


1.   Ability to communication.  Do you have the ability to organize your thoughts and ideas effectively?  Can you express them clearly when speaking or writing?  Can you present your ideas to others in a persuasive way?


2.   Intelligence.  Do you have the ability to understand the job assignment?  Learn the details of operation?  Contribute original ideas to your work?


3.   Self-confidence.  Do you demonstrate a sense of maturity that enables you to deal positively and effectively with situations and people?


4.   Willingness to accept responsibility.  Are you someone who recognizes what needs to be done and is willing to do it?


5.   Initiative.  Do you have the ability to identify the purpose for work and to take action?


6.   Leadership.  Can you guide and direct others to obtain the recognized objectives?


7.   Energy level.  Do you demonstrate a forcefulness and capacity to make things move ahead?  Can you maintain your work effort at an above-average rate?


8.   Imagination.  Can you confront and deal with problems that may not have standard solutions?


9.   Flexibility.  Are you capable of changing and being receptive to new situations and ideas?


10. Interpersonal skills.  Can you bring out the best efforts of individuals so they become effective, enthusiastic members of a team?


11. Self-knowledge.  Can you realistically assess your own capabilities?  See yourself as others see you?  Clearly recognize your strengths and weaknesses?


12. Ability to handle conflict.  Can you successfully contend with stressful situations and antagonism?


13. Competitiveness.  Do you have the capacity to compete with others and the willingness to be measured by your performance in relation to that of others?


14. Goal achievement.  Do you have the ability to identify and work toward specific goals?  Do such goals challenge your abilities?


15. Vocational skills.  Do you possess the positive combination of education and skills required for the position you are seeking?


16. Direction.  Have you defined your basic personal needs?  Have you determined what type of position will satisfy your knowledge, skills, and goals?


Where Are Marketing Career Opportunities and Jobs?


There are tremendous opportunities available in marketing!!  Please see Table 1 above for a flowchart of various jobs and opportunities in marketing.


In this section a description is provided of the major types of companies and organizations that provide jobs in marketing.  For example, Table 2 below shows selected employers of marketing personnel.


Table 2

Selected Employers of Marketing Personnel


Advertising agencies

Agents and brokers

Agricultural firms

Broadcast & cable industries

Common carriers

Computer & technology firms

Computer service bureaus

Consulting firms

Credit bureaus

Delivery firms

Direct marketing businesses

Educational institutions

Entertainment firms

Environmental protection

Exporting companies

Financial institutions

Food processing industries



Fund-raising organizations

Global firms


Health-care firms

Industrial firms

Internet firms


Marketing research firms

Marketing specialists


Multinational firms

Not-for-profit institutions

Product-testing laboratories

Public relations firms

Raw material extractors

Real-estate firms

Recreation & travel industries



Service firms

Shopping centers

Sports teams

Telecommunications firms

Transportation firms

Warehousing firms


Wireless Industries


This section also includes comments on jobs in service marketing, global marketing, not-for-profit marketing, entrepreneurship, starting your own business, and Internet marketing.  In addition, a comparison of job opportunities in large versus small organizations is provided.


Types of Organizations

Literally millions of organizations provide jobs and career opportunities in marketing.  These organizations can be grouped into the following categories:


Manufacturing:  Most manufacturing firms provide career opportunities in many of the marketing positions discussed in the following section entitled “A Description of Marketing Positions.”  In their promotional mix, some manufacturers stress personal selling while others rely more on advertising.  Even small companies offer job opportunities in most of the marketing position categories.


Because most manufacturers make products that are used by other businesses, their names are not familiar to the general public.  Unfortunately, many college graduates overlook some of these potentially excellent employers just because they do not recognize their corporate names.  Starting salaries are often higher in manufacturing firms than in retailing and the other organizations described next.


Retailing:  Retailing firms provide more marketing jobs by far than does any other organizational category, but most of these jobs are not intended for college graduates.  Careers in retailing are not well understood by college students, who may equate retailing with clerking in a department store or filling shelves in a supermarket.  Students often perceive that retail pay is low and that retail work hours include a lot of evenings and weekends.


Actually a career in retailing offers many attractive features for college graduates.  There are opportunities for very rapid advancement for those who display real ability.  Performance results, such as sales and profits, are quickly and highly visible.  If you can produce, management will generally note this fact in a hurry.


While the starting pay in many (but not all) stores is lower than in manufacturing, the compensation in higher-level retailing jobs typically is excellent.  There are good retailing jobs in virtually every geographic area.  Also, large retail chains (such as Target and Wal-Mart) generally have excellent management training programs for newly hired college graduates.


Perhaps the main attractions in retailing are less tangible.  Retailing can be an exciting field.  You are constantly involved with people - customers, suppliers, and other workers.  And, there are challenges in merchandise buying, especially finding out what will sell well - what customers really want.


It is easier to start a career in retailing than in many other fields.  In large stores there are jobs involving personnel management, accounting controls, and store operations (receiving, credit, and customer service departments).  However, the lifeblood of retailing is the buying and selling of merchandise or services.  Thus, the more numerous and better-paying positions are in merchandising and store management.


Wholesaling:  Career opportunities in wholesaling generally are less well understood and appreciated than those in retailing or manufacturing.  Wholesaling firms typically do not recruit on college campuses, and they generally have a low profile among students.


Yet opportunities are there.  Wholesalers of consumer products and industrial distributors provide many jobs in buying, personal selling, marketing research, and physical distribution.  Manufacturers’ agents, brokers, and the other agent middlemen also offer jobs and careers.  Wholesaling intermediaries are increasing in numbers and in sales volume, and their future is promising.


Entry-level jobs with merchant wholesalers typically fall into one of two categories.  The first is in the logistics area – working with transportation management, inventory control, distribution customer service, and related activities.  The other category usually involves personal selling and customer support.  Agent wholesalers typically focus on selling, and entry-level jobs often start out with order-taking responsibilities that grow into order-getting responsibilities.  Many wholesalers are moving much of their information to the Internet, so marketing students with skills and knowledge in this arena may find especially interesting opportunities.


Other Business Areas:  Besides the general types of organizations just described, more specialized business firms hire college graduates for marketing-related positions.  Entry-level opportunities can be found with communications media (such as TV stations), advertising agencies, franchise systems, participation and spectator sports organizations, public utilities, and transportation firms (such as truck lines).


Service Marketing:  The broad array of service industries provides a bonanza of job and career opportunities in marketing.  Many of these fields are expected to experience rapid growth.  The travel, hospitality, education, finance, entertainment, health care, communications, computer, technology, and professional services fields are prime examples.  Recognizing the importance of marketing, many of these industries and the organizations within them are now adding marketing-related personnel.  Most of these firms really are retailers of services.  Consequently, many of the statements we made earlier about retailing careers are relevant here.


Global Marketing:  Students who like to travel and experience different cultures may want to work at least part time in foreign countries.  They may be interested in careers in international marketing, and they may even major in international or global business in college.  Typically, however, companies do not hire college graduates and immediately assign them to jobs in international marketing.  People are normally hired for entry-level positions in the domestic divisions of a company’s operations.  Then, after some years of experience with the firm, an employee may have an opportunity to move into the firm’s international divisions.  Often, these positions go to MBA graduates.  However, that is changing as more and more firms are pursuing international markets. 


If you have international aspirations, begin looking for companies that have or are developing international markets.  You also would be wise to study a second language and take advantage of opportunities to learn about other cultures.  International courses and exchange programs would help in these areas.  Graduates aiming for a career in international marketing usually must spend time mastering the firm’s domestic marketing operations before being sent abroad.  So a good way to start is to focus on firms that are already involved in international marketing, or who are planning to move in that direction soon.  On the other hand, there are many websites with listings of international jobs.  For example, you might want to visit


Nonprofit Organizations:  Nonprofit organizations are realizing that marketing is the key to their success.  Consequently, it is likely that jobs and careers in many nonprofit organizations will open up in large numbers.  Consider the wide variety of nonprofit organizations - hospitals, museums, educational institutions, religious organizations, foundations, charities, and political parties, among others.  Given this diversity, you can expect to find a wide range of marketing-related positions in nonprofit organizations.


Nonprofit hospitals, charities, government organizations, schools, trade associations, arboretums, and other nonprofit groups need marketers as much as do profit-making firms.  For example, some motor vehicle departments have become more customer-oriented and some cities and counties have improved their services through consumer surveys.  Working in a nonprofit organization often has its own rewards because it usually entails work that directly benefits others and society.  But the financial rewards can be substantial as well.  Do not ignore this important area when considering a marketing career.


Government:  Countless federal and state government organizations hire people for marketing positions. Here we include the major cabinet departments - agriculture, defense, human services, and the others.  We also include all the regulatory agencies.  Government organizations employ people in purchasing, marketing research, public relations, physical distribution, consumer affairs and protection, and even advertising and sales promotion.  Sometimes students tend to overlook the many marketing career opportunities in government.


Large Versus Small Companies:  Should you go to work for a large company or a small firm?  Or should you go into business for yourself upon graduation?  For over a decade now, more and more students have been saying that they want to work for a small company.  They feel that there is more freedom of action, more rapid advancement, and less restraint on their lifestyles in smaller firms.


Perhaps so.  And certainly no one should discourage you from a career in small business.  But, we typically recommend to students (who ask for advice) that they start their careers in a big company.  Then, after a few years, they can move into a smaller firm.  There are three reasons for this recommendation:


1.   A large firm is more likely to have a good training program in your chosen field of activity.  Many students have little or no practical marketing experience.  The fine training programs provided by numerous large manufacturers, retailers, and major services marketers can be critical in launching a career.

2.   You can learn something about how a big company operates.  After all, when you go into a smaller firm, large companies will be your competitors.  So the more you know about them, the better able you will be to compete with them.

3.   After working for a while for a big company, you may change your mind and decide to stay with the larger firm after all.  On the other hand, suppose that you want to go to a small company after you have worked a few years at a big firm.  At that point it will be relatively easy to move from a large company to a smaller one.  If you start in a small firm, however, and later want to move into big business, it is not so easy to move.


Entrepreneurship and Starting Your Own Business:  Are you the type of person who wants to own your own business, to buy a franchise, to control your own destiny?  Or maybe you have a great idea for a new product.  If so, the knowledge and skills you acquire from your marketing education will put you right on track.  Entrepreneurship is not for everybody.  It requires people who are willing to risk losing everything (not just their business but their savings, their home - everything) in order to have a chance at being their own boss and making their dreams come true.  Being an entrepreneur involves a lot of risks, but there also are no limits on what can be achieved.


Most successful entrepreneurs would agree that it is a good idea to start by getting a job:  working for someone else is a great training ground.  You learn how a business operates, you see things that are done well, and you see things that you would do differently.  In fact, for most of us, getting a job for a while is mandatory because starting a business requires capital - and one of the best ways to get that money is to work and save.


There is nothing quite so rewarding and exciting as running your own business, and no college degree better prepares you for starting your own business than a degree in marketing.  You learn how to pick a good site for your business, how to assess the market and competition, and how to serve customers well.  You also need to understand business finance, operations, accounting, human resources management, and other functions.  You may want to work for another small business for a while to learn business management and marketing skills.


As an entrepreneur, you can use the universal marketing processes to successfully build relationships with customers in consumer or organizational markets.  Environmental and market analysis can lead you to business opportunities; segmentation, targeting, and positioning can help you determine the appropriate market and approach; product development and differentiation will result in a unique product for your small business to market; valuation and pricing are used to set a price for a mutually beneficial marketing exchange; channel and value-chain management can help you make connections with suppliers, resellers, and customers; integrated marketing communication is the key to maintaining a dialogue with customers; and relationship building will allow you to attract and keep customers over the long run.  You will really use what you have learned in your marketing classes!


Emerging Marketing Fields - Internet Marketing and More:  One exciting aspect of a career in marketing is that new jobs are constantly emerging.  For example, some of the hottest areas in the new millennium are the development, analysis, and maintenance of websites, social media activities, and e-commerce opportunities for companies wanting to market on the Internet.


The Internet and wireless technology are creating new opportunities for artists who can design a creative website; for copywriters who can draft the content for a compelling website; for marketing researchers who can find ways to measure and analyze website traffic; for advertising and sales promotion specialists who can devise ways of drawing surfers to the websites; and for product managers and entrepreneurs who can develop new products geared to the needs, interests, and interactivity of Internet visitors.


More job opportunities are being created by a trend toward non-store selling through catalogs, vending machines, interactive kiosks, and television home shopping.  Catalog marketing is more than 100 years old, but new technologies such as CD-ROM and video catalogs are opening doors for more job seekers.  Also, Japan and other countries are far ahead of the Unites States in selling goods through vending machines.  Everything from pasta to popcorn can be sold this way, creating profit opportunities for all types of entrepreneurial business.  Creative and technical people are in demand for designing and implementing interactive kiosks, another emerging marketing channel.  Growth in television home shopping has resulted in more jobs for telemarketers to take inbound customer orders as well as for communication experts who can help marketers do a better job presenting their products to viewers.


Marketing is now entering the era of mass customization.  Future marketers must be able to develop a customer database, use that database to learn what customers are buying, and then develop value packages that will retain those customers over time.  Database management is becoming a critical part of marketing, as is establishing linkages in the value chain through electronic data interchange and wireless mobility.  Those who understand the technology and the concepts - and can apply them - will have long and successful careers in marketing.


Marketing offers a wide range of diverse career opportunities.  All kinds of organizations need people with marketing skills (Please see Table 2 above).  Some jobs will put you in direct contact with external customers while others involve functions that satisfy internal customers.  No matter what kind of marketing career you are considering, your success will depend, in part, on your commitment to both internal and external customer satisfaction.  As part of a team - working collaboratively with other employees, with suppliers, and with channel partners - you can move beyond customer satisfaction and delight your customers, forging an enduring relationship that competitors cannot easily disrupt.


A Description Of Marketing Positions


Listed below are descriptions of various marketing positions.  In addition, a description of selected job titles in marketing is contained at the end of this document.  Also, many marketing positions are available through or at least posted with the various marketing trade associations.  Table 5 lists some career paths and salary ranges for marketing positions.


Marketing Management


Marketing management spans a range of positions, including vice president of marketing, marketing manager, sales manager, product manager, advertising manager, promotion manager, and public relations manager.  The vice president directs the firm’s overall marketing policy, and all other marketers report through channels to this person.


Sales managers direct the efforts of sales professionals by assigning territories, establishing goals, developing training programs, and supervising local sales managers and their personnel.  Advertising managers oversee account services, creative services, and media services departments.  Promotion managers direct promotional programs that combine advertising with purchase incentives in order to increase the sales of the firm’s goods or services.  Public relations managers conduct publicity programs and supervise the specialists who implement these programs.


Top marketing-management positions often involve long hours and extensive travel.  Work under pressure is also commonplace.  For sales managers, job transfers between headquarters and regional offices may disrupt one’s personal life. 


For most marketing, sales, and promotion management positions, employers prefer degrees in business administration, preferably with concentrations in marketing.  In highly technical industries, such as chemicals and electronics, employers prefer bachelor’s degrees in science or engineering combined with master’s degrees in business administration.  Most managers are promoted from positions such as sales representatives, product or brand specialists, and advertising specialists within their organizations.  Skills or traits that are most desirable for these jobs include high motivation, maturity, creativity, resistance to stress, flexibility, and the ability to communicate persuasively.


Retailing and Store Management


Retailing is second only to personal selling in terms of number of job opportunities for new college graduates.  Not long ago, most entry-level marketing positions in retailing involved some kind of sales work.  That has changed rapidly in recent years because the number of large retail chains is expanding and they often recruit graduates for their management training programs. 


The two primary areas of opportunity in department store, specialty, and discount chains are in merchandising or buying and store management.  Store managers have a great deal of responsibility and authority.  A store manager’s authority related to acquiring merchandise (the buying function) varies greatly from one firm to the next.  However, once the merchandise arrives in the store, the manager has the responsibility and authority for displaying, selling, and controlling the inventory.  Store managers in most companies, either directly or indirectly through department heads, oversee personal selling, promotion, credit, personnel management, and store security.


The entry-level position for store management is typically assistant department manager, department manager, or assistant store manager, depending on the size of the store.  The performance of a store or department manager is directly measurable in terms of sales or profits.  Therefore, speed of advancement into higher positions is determined primarily by the quality and quantity of results produced by the manager.


Retailing positions tend to offer lower-than-average starting salaries – but they often provide opportunities for very rapid advancement.  In a fast-growing chain, result-oriented people can move up very quickly.  Most retailers require new employees to have some selling experience before they can manage others or buy merchandise.  A typical marketing graduate can expect to work as an assistant manager or do some sales work and manage one or several departments before advancing to a store management position – or to a staff position that might involve buying, advertising, location analysis, and so on.


Buying and Purchasing


The two key marketing functions of buying and selling are performed by trained specialists.  Just as every organization is involved in selling its output to meet the needs of customers, so too must all companies make purchases of goods and services required to operate their businesses and turn out items for sale. 


Modern technology has transformed the role of the purchasing agent.  The transfer of routine tasks to the computer now allows contract specialists, or procurement officers, to focus on products, suppliers, and contract negotiations.  The main function of this position is to purchase the goods, materials, supplies, and services required by the organization.  These agents ensure that suppliers deliver quality and quantity levels that suit the firm’s needs; they also secure these inputs at reasonable prices and make them available when needed.


Purchasing agents must develop good working relationships both with colleagues in their own organizations and with suppliers.  As the popularity of outsourcing has increased, the selection and management of suppliers have become critical functions of the purchasing department.  In the government sector, this role is dominated by strict laws, statutes, and regulations that constantly change.


Most medium-size and larger organizations employ people who specialize in buying, as opposed to selling, goods and services.  In one type of position, people select and acquire merchandise for resale.  In another type of position, people purchase goods and services not for resale but for use in a manufacturing process or in operating the organization.


Every retail organization needs people to buy merchandise for resale.  Frequently the route to the top in retailing is through the buying (also called merchandising) division of the business.  Large retailers have many positions for buyers and assistant buyers.  Each merchandise department normally has a buyer.  Consequently, you often have a chance to work with particular products that interest you.  There are also centralized buying offices that buy for several different stores or chains.  These resident buying offices are usually in New York City and a few other large cities.


A purchasing agent is the business market counterpart of the retail store buyer.  Virtually all firms in the business market have purchasing departments.  People in these departments buy raw materials and supplies for the production, office, and sales departments in their firms.  Retail buyers and purchasing agents need many of the same skills.  They must be able to analyze markets, determine merchandising needs, and negotiate with sellers.  It is also necessary to have some knowledge of credit, finance, and physical distribution.


Organizations prefer college-educated candidates for entry-level jobs in purchasing.  Strong analytical and communication skills are required for any purchasing position.  Often, new hires in the field enroll in extensive company training programs to learn procedures and operations; training may include a production planning assignment.  In private and public industries, professional certification is becoming an essential criterion for advancement. 


Buyers working for wholesalers and retail businesses purchase goods for resale.  Their goal is to find the best possible merchandise at the lowest prices.  They also influence the distribution and marketing of this merchandise.  Successful buyers must understand what appeals to consumers and what their establishments can sell.  Bar codes on products and point-of-purchase terminals have allowed organizations to accurately track goods that are selling and those that are not; buyers frequently analyze this data to improve their understanding of consumer demand.  Buyers also check competitors’ prices and sales activities and watch general economic conditions to anticipate consumer-buying patterns.


Wholesale and retail buyers and merchandise managers often require substantial travel, as many orders are placed on buying trips to shows and exhibitions.  Effective planning and decision-making skills are strong assets in this career.  In addition, the job involves anticipating consumer preferences and ensuring that the firm keeps needed goods in stock.  Therefore, the job requires resourcefulness, good judgment, and self-confidence.


Physical Distribution/Logistics/Marketing Channel Management/Supply Chain Management


Many jobs exist in the field of physical distribution, and the outlook is even brighter into the future.  Additionally, more and more firms are expected to adopt the systems approach in physical distribution to control the huge expenses involved in materials movement and warehousing. 


Careers in physical distribution and logistics involve a variety of activities designed to make sure the right products get to the right place at the right time.  Often jobs in distribution include the management of incoming materials as well as outgoing products.  Career position titles under the heading of logistics include material receiving, scheduling, dispatching, materials management executive, distribution operations coordinator, distribution center manager, and transportation manager.  The logistics function includes responsibilities for production and inventory planning and control, distribution, and transportation. 


Distribution channel management is typically handled or directed by sales managers and therefore is not an entry-level position.  However, many firms form teams of specialists who work closely with their counterparts in other firms in the channel to strengthen coordination and relationships.  Such a team often includes new people in sales or purchasing because it gives them exposure to a different part of the firm’s activities.


Career opportunities in physical distribution may be found with manufacturers of both consumer and industrial goods, in wholesaling operations, and of course, in companies such as UPS and Federal Express that are in the distribution industry.  Logistics positions in the United States today, include material receiving, scheduling, dispatching, and distribution.  These positions demand good communication skills and the ability to work well under pressure.  Computer skills are highly valued in these jobs.  Employers look for candidates with degrees in logistics and transportation.  However, graduates in other business disciplines may succeed in this field.


It also is not unusual for people to start working in a particular industry and then take a different job at a different level in the channel.  For example, a graduate who has trained to be a store manager for a chain of sporting goods stores might go to work for a manufacturers’ representative that handles a variety of sports equipment.


Product/Brand Management


Product and brand management positions are very important in consumer goods companies.  Typically, a brand manager is responsible for directing the entire marketing process for an individual brand - determining demand, establishing goals, working with advertising and other promotion agencies, contracting for marketing research services, and so on.  Product managers have even more responsibilities; they are in charge of an entire line of related products, and the job many entail coordinating marketing efforts for a number of different brands.  Both brand and product managers often deal with budgets of several million dollars.  Individuals who believe they would enjoy a career path directed toward product management positions should consider entry-level jobs with consumer goods companies.


Many multi-product firms have brand or product managers handling individual products – in effect, managing each product as a separate business.  Some firms hire marketing graduates as assistant brand or product managers, although larger firms typically recruit MBAs for these jobs.  Many firms prefer that recent college graduates spend some time in the field doing sales work or working with an ad agency or sales promotion agency before moving into brand or product management positions.


Product planner is usually not an entry-level position.  Instead, people with experience on the technical side of the business or in sales might be moved onto a new-product development team as they demonstrate judgment and analytical skills.  However, new employees with winning ideas for new products do not go unnoticed – and they sometimes have the opportunity to grow fast with ideas they spearhead.  Having a job that puts you in contact with customers is often a good way to spot new needs.




Advertising is often perceived as an exciting and glamorous marketing career.  And it is often true that people in the advertising industry are exceptionally creative and interesting.  Advertising jobs can be found in advertising agencies, the media (TV stations and networks, radio, Internet, and newspapers) and with any organization that advertises.


Advertising is one of the ten hottest career fields in the United States today.  Many firms maintain small groups of advertising specialists who serve as liaisons between those companies and outside advertising agencies.  The leader of this liaison function is sometimes called a marketing communications manager.  Positions in an advertising agency include the categories of account services, creative services, and media services.  Account services functions are performed by account executives who work directly with clients.  An agency’s creative services department develops the themes and presentations of the advertisements.  This department is supervised by the creative director, who oversees the copy chief, art director, and their staff members.  The media services department is managed by the media director, who oversees the planning group that selects media outlets for ads.  Here are some of the traditional types of jobs available in advertising:


1.   Ad agency account executives act as the liaison between client and agency.  Their job is to understand the needs of the client, communicate those needs to the other agency departments, and coordinate the agency services for the client.

2.   Media planners and buyers develop media schedules and negotiate the purchase of media time and space.

3.   Copywriters, graphic artists, and others in the creative department actually create the advertisements and other promotional materials.

4.   Full-service advertising agencies often have research, sales promotion, and public relations departments as well.


Jobs in advertising encompass a number of aptitudes and interests - artistic, creative, managerial, research, and sales.  The advertising field holds real opportunity for the artistic or creative person.  Agencies and advertising departments need copywriters, artists, photographers, layout designers, printing experts, and others to create and produce ads.


Account executive is a key position in advertising agencies.  People in this position are the liaisons between the agency and its clients (the advertisers).  Account executives coordinate the agency’s efforts with the clients’ marketing programs.


Another group of advertising jobs involves the placement of ads.  On the advertisers’ side, this entails allocating the advertising budget by planning an advertising schedule and selecting the media.  On the media side, every TV and radio network and station, all newspapers and magazines, and every other advertising outlet employ sales people.  Advertisers and agencies also often need people who can conduct buyer-behavior studies and other marketing research.


Job opportunities in this area are varied and highly competitive.  Most new hires begin as assistants or associates for the positions they hope to acquire, such as copywriters, art directors, and media buyers.  Often, a newly hired employee must receive two to four promotions before becoming manager of these functions.


Entry-level salaries in advertising are typically low.  There are sometimes good opportunities to get started in advertising with a retail chain that prepares its advertising internally.  Another way to get more experience with advertising is to take a job with one of the media – perhaps in sales or as a customer consultant.  Selling advertising space on a website or cable TV station or newspaper may not seem as glamorous as developing TV ads, but media salespeople help their customers solve promotion problems and get experience dealing with both the business and creative sides of advertising.


Sales Promotion


Jobs in sales promotion are usually to be found in advertising agencies or with manufacturers of consumer and business-to-business products.  Sales promotion specialists are responsible for developing overall sales promotion plans and for creating the individual purchase incentives used to increase sales.  In addition to planning for consumer sales promotions such as coupons or a sweepstakes, sales promotion specialists develop programs aimed at building relationships with wholesalers and retailers.


The number of entry-level positions in the sales promotion area is growing because the number of specialists in this area is growing.  For example, specialists might help a company plan a special event for employees, figure out procedures to distribute free samples, or perhaps set up a database to send customers a newsletter.  Because clients’ needs are often different, creativity and judgment are required.  It is usually difficult for an inexperienced person to show evidence of these skills right out of school; so entry-level people often work with a project manager until they learn the ropes.  In companies that handle their own sales promotion work, a beginner usually starts by getting some experience in sales or advertising.


Professional Selling


Many of the entry-level positions with producers of industrial and consumer products are in professional sales.  For this reason, many of the jobs available for new college graduates are in the sales field.  But that does not mean that sales jobs are not important to a firm.  Because sales are the only source of a company's profit, a qualified, effective sales force is essential to the health of many organizations.  Most salespeople find selling jobs both personally stimulating and financially rewarding.


For qualified individuals, sales jobs are a great opportunity.  Professional selling jobs demand people who are self-directed and able to manage themselves and their time effectively.  Many sales jobs not only offer high levels of income but also include such added benefits as a company car, a cellular phone, home computers, Internet access, and interesting travel.  Some individuals see sales jobs as a training ground for other jobs.  One reason is that many sales jobs provide opportunities to attend motivational and other sales seminars.  Activities such as attendance at trade shows provide excellent opportunities for finding out about other jobs and for networking.  Of course, many salespeople find a career in sales as an end in itself and choose to remain in sales for their entire careers.  Also, to aim for top management, it is imperative that the selling function be understood and mastered.


All salespeople must fully understand and be able to competently discuss the products offered by the company.  Salespeople usually develop prospective client lists, meet with current and prospective clients to describe the firm’s products, and then follow up.  In most cases, the salesperson must learn about each customer’s business needs in order to identify products that best satisfy these needs.  These professionals answer questions about the characteristics and costs of their offerings and try to persuade potential customers to purchase these offerings.  After the sale, many representatives revisit their customers to ensure that the products are meeting their needs and to explore further business opportunities or referrals with these customers.  Some sales of technical goods and services involve lengthy interactions.  In these cases, a salesperson may work with several clients simultaneously over a large geographical area.  Those responsible for large territories may spend most of their workdays on the phone or on the sales floor.


Work as a sales representative can be rewarding for those who enjoy interacting with people, enjoy competition, and feel energized by the challenge of expanding sales in their territories.  Successful sales professionals should be goal oriented, persuasive, self-motivated, and independent people.  In addition, patience and perseverance are important qualities for a sales representative.


The background needed for a sales position varies according to the product line and market.  Most professional sales jobs require a college degree, and many companies run their own formal training programs that can last up to two years for sales representatives.  This training may take place in a classroom, in the field with a mentor, or most often a combination of both methods.


Salaries for sales positions vary widely.  For example, those selling technical services typically earn more than those selling non-technical services.


Many students are reluctant to get into personal selling – but this field offers benefits that are hard to match in any other field.  These include the opportunity to earn extremely high salaries and commissions quickly, a chance to develop your self-confidence and resourcefulness, an opportunity to work with minimal supervision – almost to the point of being your own boss – and a chance to acquire product and customer knowledge that many firms consider necessary for a successful career in product/brand management, sales management, and marketing management.  On the other hand, many salespeople prefer to spend their entire careers in selling.  They like the freedom and earning potential that go with a sales job over the headaches and sometimes lower salaries of sales management positions.


Sales Management


For the salesperson who wants to advance with a firm, a job in sales can lead to promotion to sales management.  Although many salespeople are not interested in a management job because they enjoy the freedom of working on their own out in the field, others feel that their abilities would be better used in overseeing the sales function, and some may aspire to even higher levels of management.


The activities of sales managers include recruiting, selecting, training, supervising, motivating, and evaluating members of a sales force.  It is also the responsibility of the sales manager to plan the firm's territory structure and to develop objectives for the sales organization and for the individual salespeople.


Sales management jobs, like some salesperson jobs, require a lot of travel that can disrupt family life.  Successful sales managers, however, are good candidates for promotion to higher levels of management.


Public Relations


The public relations department is a valuable connection between an organization and its various publics.  The department must deal with, or go through, the news media to reach these publics.  Public relations people may assist management in drafting speeches, arranging interviews, overseeing company archives, responding to information requests, and handling special events, such as sponsorships and trade shows, that provide promotional value to the firm.  They must be especially good in communications.  In fact, public relations people often have college degrees in communications or journalism, rather than in marketing. 


In essence, the job of public relations is to project the desired company image.  More specifically, public relations people are responsible for telling the public about the company - its products, community activities, social programs, environmental improvement activities, labor policies, and views regarding controversial issues.  Public relations specialists are particularly important - and very visible - when a company responds to adverse publicity.  Such publicity may come from a governmental investigation or a charge of unethical practices or unsafe products, as when Johnson & Johnson dealt with the Tylenol tampering and Wal-Mart responded to charges of selling goods made with child labor.  Whether disseminating favorable publicity or responding to adverse publicity, the company’s position must be stated in a clear, understandable, and - above all - believable fashion.


Public relations specialists normally work a standard 40-hour week, but sometimes they need to rearrange their normal schedules to meet deadlines or prepare for major events.  Occasionally they are required to be on the job or on call around the clock to respond to an emergency or crisis.  Two-thirds of public relations specialists are employed in service industries.  Public relations positions tend to be concentrated in large cities near press services and communications facilities.  However, that centralization is changing with the increased popularity of new communications technologies, such as the Internet, which allow more freedom of movement.  Many public relations consulting firms are located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.


Essential characteristics for a public relations specialist include creativity, initiative, good judgment, and the ability to express thoughts clearly and simply – both in wringing and verbally.  An outgoing personality, self-confidence, and enthusiasm also are recommended traits of public relations specialists.


Marketing Research


Careers in marketing research require expertise in the collection and analysis of data from a variety of sources.  Marketing researchers must have a thorough knowledge of research methods and statistics and need considerable expertise in using statistical and data management software.  In addition, they should have strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills; they need to be able to get to the root of a problem and to communicate what they have found in actionable terms to others in the firm.  The activities of an individual with a job in marketing research range from supervising interviewers to conducting sophisticated statistical analyses.  Although a strong foundation in research methodology and statistics is usually required for entry-level marketing research positions, much of what marketing researchers do day-to-day is learned on the job.


Firms that specialize in marketing research and management consulting employ the majority of the nation’s market research analysts.  Positions are often concentrated in larger cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  Those who pursue careers in marketing research need to work accurately with detail, display patience and persistence, work effectively both independently and with others, and operate objectively and systematically.  Significant computer skills are essential for success in this field.


A bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in marketing provides sufficient qualifications for many beginning jobs in marketing research.  Because of the importance of quantitative skills, this education should include courses in calculus, linear algebra, statistics, sampling theory and survey design, computer science, and information systems.  Students should try to develop experience in conducting interviews or surveys while still in college.  A master’s degree in business administration or a related discipline is advised for improving opportunities for advancement.


Customer or Market Analyst


Opportunities as consumer analysts and market analysts are commonly found in large companies, marketing research organizations, advertising agencies, and some consulting firms.  Investment banking firms also hire entry-level analysts; they want to know what the market for a new business is like before investing.  Beginning market analysts start in thing-oriented jobs until their judgment and people-oriented skills are tested.  The job may involve collecting or analyzing secondary data or preparation of reports and plans.  Because knowledge of statistics, computer software, Internet search techniques, and/or behavioral sciences is very important, marketing graduates often find themselves competing with majors from statistics, sociology, computer science, and economics.  Graduates who have courses in marketing and one or more of these areas may have the best opportunities.


Customer Relations/Consumer Affairs


Most firms consider the customer relations function an essential part of marketing activities.  Additionally, they are becoming more concerned about their relations with customers and the general public.  Whereas many firms have always recognized the importance of customer relations, other companies have added this important function as they have adopted total quality management programs.  Although the responsibilities of customer relations vary widely across companies, the purpose is usually the same:  to enhance the value of the company and its products to its customers.  For the job candidate, jobs in customer relations are often an excellent entry point for other jobs with the company.  Employees in this kind of work, however, usually have held various positions with the firm before doing customer relations.


Direct Marketing and Database Marketing


Direct marketing involves the use of advertising, telephone sales, catalogs, the Internet, or other communications to elicit a direct response from consumers.  Because direct marketing is non-store retailing, traditional retailing activities such as developing a merchandise assortment are part of the direct marketing job.  Database marketing is an important aspect of a direct marketer’s job.  And, because the Internet is changing everything, much direct marketing involves creating websites and developing ways to attract shoppers to these websites.


Internet Marketing


Internet Marketing involves creating, analyzing, measuring, and optimizing online marketing programs to realize marketing goals.  Online marketing involves teaming up with Marketing Communications, Product Marketing, and Sales departments to create and deploy highly efficient online marketing programs, including blogs, email campaigns, co-marketing opportunities, SEM, and online advertising.  Responsibilities and duties include items such as: design, manage, and implement internet marketing programs including paid search marketing, organic optimization, blog implementation, and link-building; manage regular reporting and tracking, and report metrics appropriately and flagging issues for internal stakeholders; develop and manage budgets and metrics, understand and implement coding schemes for the purpose of tracking; analyze and report program performance; provide recommendations and results for improvement and new programs; propose new internet marketing strategies; create feature specification documents to improve the website and other online projects, and manage day-to-day client and company relationships through presentations and conference calls.


Other Marketing Positions


Where might you find other marketing jobs?  Almost anywhere.  For example, hospitals and health care organizations often have sophisticated marketing departments.  Hospital marketing specialists may be involved in physician recruitment, advertising, and patient satisfaction activities.  A variety of professionals - including physicians, law firms, accounting firms, architects, and designers - are adopting the marketing concept and hiring marketing professionals to improve their business.  Marketers in banking and other areas of the financial industry develop strategies to attract new customers and to increase the utilization of services by existing customers.  And the list goes on.  Educational institutions from public schools to private universities, the military, not-for-profit organizations such as religious groups, the U.S. Postal Service and other government agencies, private and public parks and recreation facilities, publishers - all provide exciting career opportunities for marketing professionals.


Table 3

Descriptions of Selected Job Titles in Marketing


Job Title


Account Executive


Liaison between an ad agency and its clients.  This person is employed by the agency to study clients’ promotion goals and create promotion programs (including messages, layout, media, and timing).

Advertising Copywriter

Creator of headlines and content for ads.

Advertising Layout Person

Producer of illustrations or one who uses other artists’ materials to form ads.

Advertising Manager


Director of a firm’s ad program.  He or she determines media, copy, budget, size, ad frequency, and the choice of an ad agency.

Advertising Production Manager

Person who arranges to have an ad filmed (for TV), recorded (for radio), or printed (for newspaper, magazine, and so forth).

Advertising Research Director

Person who researches markets, evaluates alternative ads, assesses media, and test reactions.

Agent (Broker)

Wholesaler who works for a commission or fee.

Art Director

Handles the visual component of advertisements.

Catalog Manager

Person who determines target market, products, copy, displays, and pricing for sales catalogs.

Commercial Artist


Creator of ads for TV, print media, and product packaging.  This artist selects photos and drawings, and determines the layout and type of print used in newspaper and magazine ads.  Sample scenes of TV commercials are sketched for clients.

Competitive Intelligence


Uses new information technologies to monitor the competitive environment.


Consumer Affairs Specialist


Firm’s contact with consumers.  The person handles consumer (Customer Relations Specialist) complaints and attempts to have the firm’s policies reflect customer needs.  Community programs, such as lectures on product safety, are devised.



Works with art director in conceptualizing advertisements and writes the text of print or radio ads or the storyboards of television ads.

Credit Manager

Supervisor of the firm’s credit process, including eligibility for credit, terms, late payments, consumer complaints, and control.

Customer Service Manager


Maintains good relations with customers by coordinating the sales staff, marketing management, and physical distribution management.

Customer Service Representative

Person responsible for order status inquiries, expediting deliveries, field sales support, and returns and claims processing.

Data Miner


Compiles and analyzes consumer data to identify behavior patterns, preferences, and user profiles for personalized marketing programs.

Direct-to-home (or office) Sales

Person who sells goods and services to consumers by personal contact at the consumer’s home or office.

Display Worker

Person who designs and sets up retail store displays.



Individual who arranges for foreign sales and distribution, mostly for domestic firms having a small presence internationally.

Fashion Designer

Designer of such apparel as beachwear, hats, dresses, scarves, and shoes.



Person who leases or buys a business with many outlets and a popular name.  A franchise often has one outlet and engages in cooperative planning and ads.  The franchise sets operating rule for all.



Person who develops a company name and reputation and then leases or sells parts of a firm to independent business people.  the franchiser oversees the firm, sets policy, and often trains franchisees.

Freight Forwarder

Wholesaler who consolidates small shipments from many companies.

Global Marketing Manager


Is an expert in world-trade agreements, international competition, cross-cultural analysis, and global market-entry strategies.

Industrial Designer

Person who enhances the appearance and function of machine-made products.

Industrial or semi-technical salesperson

Sells supplies and services to businesses.


Industrial Traffic Manager


Arranger of transportation to and from firms and customers for raw materials, fabricated parts, finished goods, and equipment.

In-house Project Director

Acts as project manager for the market studies conducted by the firm for which he or she works.

International Marketer


Person who works abroad or in the international department of a domestic firm and is involved with some aspect of marketing.  Positions are available in all areas of marketing.

Internet Marketing Manager


Develops and executes the e-business marketing plan and manages all aspects of the advertising, promotion, and content for the online business.

Inventory Control Manager


Person who controls the level and allocation of merchandise throughout the year.  This manager evaluates and balances inventory amounts against the costs of holding merchandise.

Life Insurance Agent (Broker)

Person who advises clients on the policy types available relative to their needs.  Policies offer insurance and/or retirement income.

Manufacturer’s Representative

Salesperson representing several, often small, manufacturers that cannot afford a sales force.  The person often sells to wholesalers and retailers.

Marketing Manager – Nonprofit

Develops and directs marketing campaigns, fund-raising, and public relations.

Marketing Manager (Vice-President)

Executive who plans, directs, and controls all of a firm’s marketing functions.  He or she oversees marketing decisions and personnel.

Marketing Research Project Manager

Person who develops the research methodology, evaluates the accuracy of different sample sizes, and analyzes data.

Media Analyst

Person who evaluates the characteristics and costs of available media.  He or she examines audience size and traits, legal restrictions, types of messages used, and other factors.  The effectiveness of company messages is also measured.

Media Buyer


Deals with media sales representatives in selecting advertising media and analyzes the value of media being purchased.

Media Director (Space/Time Buyer)


Person who determines the day, time (for radio and TV), media, location, and size of ads.  The goal is to reach the largest desirable audience efficiently.  This person negotiates contracts for ad space or airtime.

Missionary Salesperson

Support salesperson who provides information about new and existing products.

Operations Manager


Supervises warehousing and other physical distribution functions and often is directly involved in moving goods on the warehouse floor.

Order-Fulfillment Manager


Supervisor responsible for shipping merchandise.  He or she verifies orders, checks availability of goods, oversees packing, and requests delivery.

Packaging Specialist


Person responsible for package design, durability, safety, appeal, size, and cost.  This specialist must be familiar with all key laws.

Political Consultant


Person who advises political candidates on media relations, opinion polling, fund raising, and overall campaign strategy.

Physical Distribution Specialist

Is an expert in the transportation and distribution of goods and also evaluates the costs and benefits of different types of transportation.

Pricing Economist


Specialist who studies sources of supply, consumer demand, government restrictions, competition, and costs, and then offers short-run and long-run pricing recommendations.

Product Development Manager

Creates a road map for new products by working with customers to determine their needs and with designers to create the product.

Product Manager (Brand Manager)


Person who supervises the marketing of a product or brand category.  In some firms, there are product (brand) managers for existing items and new-product (brand) managers for new items.  For a one-brand or one-product firm, this manager is really the marketing manager.

Property and Casualty Insurance Agent (Broker)

Person who evaluates client risks from such perils as fire, burglary, and accidents; assesses coverage needs, and sells policies to indemnity losses.

Public Relations Director


Person who manages firm’s efforts to keep the public aware of its societal accomplishments and to minimize negative reactions to its policies and activities.  He or she constantly measures public attitudes and seeks to keep a favorable public opinion of a firm.

Public Relations Manager

Develops written or video messages for the public and handles contacts with the press.

Purchasing Agent


Buyer for a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer.  He or she purchases the items necessary for operating the firm and usually buys in bulk, seeks reliable suppliers, and sets precise specifications.

Real-Estate Agent (Broker)


Liaison who brings together a buyer and a seller, lessor and lessee, or landlord and tenant.  This salesperson receives a commission.

Retail Buyer


Person responsible for purchasing items for resale.  The buyer normally concentrates on a product areas and develops a plan for proper styles, assortments, sizes, and quantities.

Retail Department Manager


Supervisor of one retail department, often at a branch store.  This is often the first job a college graduate gets after initial training.

Retail Merchandise Manager


Supervisor of several buyers.  He or she sets the retailer’s direction in terms of style, product lines, image, pricing, and other factors and allocates budgets among buyers.

Retail Salesperson

Salesperson for a firm that sells to final consumers.

Retail Store Manager

Supervisor of day-to-day operations of a store.  All in-store personnel report to this manager.

Sales Engineer

Support salesperson involved with technical goods or services.

Sales Manager


Sales force supervisor who is responsible for recruitment, selection, training, motivation, evaluation, compensation, and control.



Company representative who interacts with consumers.  He or she may require limited or extensive skills, deal with final or organizational customers, work from an office or go out in the field, and be a career salesperson or progress in management.

Sales Promotion Director


Person involved with supplementary promotional activities, such as frequent-shopper programs, coupons, contests, and free samples.

Sales Promotion Manager

Designs promotions for consumer products and works at an ad agency or a sales promotion agency.

Securities Salesperson (Commodities Broker)      

Sales person involved with buying/selling stocks, bonds, government securities, mutual funds, and other financial transactions.

Supply Chain Manager

Oversees the part of a company that transports products to consumers and handles customer service.

Trade Salesperson

Calls on retailers or wholesalers to sell products for manufacturers.

Traffic Manager


Supervisor of the purchase and use of alternative transportation methods.  This manager routes shipments and monitors performance.



Person responsible for storage and movement of goods within a firm’s warehouse facilities.  He or she keeps inventory records and makes sure older items are shipped before newer ones (rotating stock).

Wholesale Salesperson

Salesperson representing a wholesaler to retailers and other firms.


Table 4

Additional Sales and Marketing Jobs List


Account Coordinator

Account Executive

Account Executive Field Sales Rep

Account Information Clerk

Account Manager Client Services
Account Manager Sales

Account Sales Representative

Account Services Director
Account Specialist
Account Supervisor
Administrative Assistant
Administrative Secretary
Administrative Services Manager
Advertising Manager
Advertising Sales Director

Advertising Sales Executive

Advertising Sales Representative
Advertising Supervisor
Aeronautical Sales Engineer

Annuities Representative
Appraiser Commercial
Appraiser Residential

Assistant Business Development Rep.

Associate Director – Marketing

Associate Product Manager
Automobile Accessory Salesperson
Bilingual Secretary
Billing Clerk

Book Publicist

Branch Insurance Sales Manager

Brand Manager
Building Materials Salesperson
Business Development Analyst
Business Development Director
Business Development Manager
Business Development Supervisor
Business Manager
Business Office Manager
Call Center Manager
Call Center Representative (General Calls)
Call Center Rep. (Specialized Calls)
Call Center Supervisor
Clerical Assistant
Clerical Supervisor Generic
Clerk Typist

Client Mangement Director

Client Team Leader

Commission Salesperson
Comparison Shopper
Computer Sales Representative

Conference Coordinator

Corporate Communications Manager
Counter Clerk Photo Finishing
Credit Authorizer
Credit Correspondent
Credit Manager
Credit Representative
Credit Supervisor

CRM Targeted Marketing Campaign Mngr.   
Dental Appliance Sales Representative

Digital Advertising Operations Specialist

Digital Campaign Director

Digital Content Manager

Digital Marketing Manager

Director of Marketing

Director of Web Strategy and Market Anal.       

Discount Brokerage Sales Representative
District Sales Manager

e-Commerce Marketing Director
e-Commerce Sales Manager
Electronics Sales Engineer

Email Lead Manager

E-marketing Coordinator

E-marketing Manager
Employment Clerk
Employment Manager
Employment Recruiter
Executive Secretary
Export Sales Manager
Field Sales Supervisor
Financial Sales Representative
Food Sales Clerk


Global Brand Manager
Government Sales Manager

Government Sales Representative
Government Sales Supervisor

Health Plan Marketing Services Director

Head of eCommerce Marketing
Hotel Sales Representative

Hotel Sales Manager
Human Resources Clerk
Human Resources Manager

Inside Technical Sales Representative
Insurance Branch Manager
Insurance Sales Agent

Interactive Marketing Manager

Internet Marketer
Leasing Manager/Property
Livestock Sales Representative
Manufacturers Representative
Market Research Analyst
Market Research Manager
Market Research Supervisor
Marketing Administration Manager
Marketing Administration Supervisor

Marketing Assistant

Marketing Communications Specialist

Marketing Consultant
Marketing Director (Experience)
Marketing Director (Revenue)
Marketing Information Supervisor
Marketing Manager
Marketing Media Director

Marketing Proposal Coordinator
Marketing Representative

Marketing Research Analyst

Marketing Research Director

Marketing Research Manager

Marketing Research Supervisor

Marketing Sales Communications Manager

Marketing Services Specialist
Marketing Survey Worker

Media Buyer

Media Coordinator

Media Director

Media Sales Consultant

Medicaid Marketing Director

Medicaid Marketing Representative

Medicaid Marketing Manager

Medicare Marketing Manager

Medicare Marketing Representative

Membership Solicitor
Merchandise Displayer
Merchandise Marker

National Account Manager

National Sales Accounts Specialist
National Sales Manager (Revenue)

New Home Salesperson

New Media Manager and Public Liaison
Newspaper Delivery Driver
Office Equipment Sales Representative

Office Furniture Sales Representative
Office Manager
Office Supervisor

Online Marketing Associate

Online Marketing Coordinator

Online Marketing Manger

Outside Sales Consultant
Payroll Clerk
Payroll Manager
Payroll Supervisor
Personal Banker
Petroleum Sales Representative
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Product Manager

Product Development Manager
Property Disposal Officer

Public Relations Consultant

Public Relations Director

Public Relations Specialist
Purchasing Clerk
Purchasing Manager
Radio & TV Sales Representative
Real Estate Agent Supervisor
Real Estate Clerk
Real Estate Development Manager
Real Estate Firm Manager
Real Estate Sales Agent

Real Estate Sales Manager
Receptionist PBX Operator

Refined Products Marketing Analyst
Residence Leasing Agent
Sales Analyst
Sales Area Manager
Sales Clerk

Sales Consultant Wholesale
Sales Correspondent

Sales Director
Sales Engineer
Sales Estimator

Sales Executive Technical Sales
Sales Home Furnishings

Sales Insurance Sales Manager
Sales Order Supervisor
Sales Representative

Sales Representative Aircraft
Sales Representative Automotive Leasing
Sales Representative (Highly Complex Products)
Sales Representative (Key Accounts)
Sales Representative (Semi-Technical Products)
Sales Supervisor
Sales Training Director
Sales Training Manager
Sales Training Representative
Sales Training Supervisor
Salesperson Ladies Wear

Search Engine Marketing Associate
Secretary to CEO
Secretary to VP
Securities Broker
Securities Clerk
Securities Sales Trader

Social Media Intern

Social Media Marketing Director
Special Events Manager
Stereo Equipment Salesperson
Stock Clerk Retail

Strategic Team Leader
Surgical Appliances Salesperson

Technical Account Manager
Technical Sales Medical
Telemarketing Manager
Telemarketing Representative
Telemarketing Supervisor
Telephone Sales Representative
Ticket Agent
Ticket Sales Supervisor
Top Fund Raising Position
Top Government Sales Executive
Top Marketing & Sales Position
Top Marketing Officer
Trade Relations Manager
Trade Relations Supervisor

Traffic Manager
Travel Agent
Truck Driver Sales Route
Web Administrator

Web Marketing Manager

Wholesale Sales Representative

Source: &fuseaction=SRSurveys.JobsList&ItemID=395&ALSurveyID=24&SurveyID=85&participate=0.


Table 5

Some Career Paths and Salary Ranges for Marketing Positions



Marketing Research





Marketing Management



Sales Executive




Regional Sales





District Sales Manager










Director of Market













































Copy Writer

Entry Level




Top Public














Relations Specialist











District Sales Manager
















Retail Sales




Vice President of

































Academic Training

Source:  Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy (2011), Basic Marketing, Irwin-McGraw Hill, 622.


Bachelors Salaries and Masters Salaries


Table 6

Additional Sources of Marketing Career Information



Information about Different Careers:


CPC Annual

Peterson's Job Opportunities for Business and Liberal Arts Graduates

Occupational Outlook Handbook developed by the U.S. Department of Labor,

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Your Career in Marketing by Boone & Kurtz

Planning a Career in Marketing by Kerin, Hartley, and Rudelius

Career Planning in Marketing by Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy


Directories of Companies in Different Marketing Industries:


      Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies

      International Directory of the American Marketing Association and Marketing Services Guide

      Fairchild's Financial Manual of Retail Stores


Other Information on Marketing Careers May Be Obtained from:


American Marketing Association 

311 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5800

Chicago, IL  60606

(312) AMA-1150


American Association of Advertising Agencies

666 Third Avenue

13th Floor

New York, NY  10017


Promotion Marketing Assoc. of America, Inc.

322 Eight Street

Stanford, CT  06901


Public Relations Society of America

33 Irving Place, Third Floor

New York, NY  10003-2376

(212) 995-2230


The American Society for Health Care

Marketing and Public Relations 

840 North Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL  60611


Marketing Research Association

2189 Silas Deane Hwy., Suite 5

Rocky Hill, CT 

(860) 257-4008


Council of American Survey Research

3 Upper Devon 

Port Jefferson, NY  11777


National Management Association

2210 Arbor Boulevard

Dayton, OH  45439

(513) 294-0421


Women in Advertising and Marketing

4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 106-238

Washington, D.C.  20016          

(301) 369-7400


National Council of Salesmen’s Organization

389 Fifth Avenue, Room 1010   

New York, NY  10016

(718) 835-4591


The Direct Marketing Association

1120 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY  10036-6700

(212) 768-7277


Industrial Designers Society of America

1142 Walker Road

Great Falls, VA  22006


American Council of Life Insurance

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 

Washington, D.C.  20004


Council of Logistics Management

2803 Butterfield Road

Oak Brook, IL  60521


National Assoc. of Purchasing Management

2055 East Centennial Circle

P.O. Box 22160

Tempe, AZ  85282


National Association of Realtors

777 14 Street NW

Washington, D.C.  20005


International Mass Retailing Association

1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.  20006


American e-Commerce Association

2346 Camp St.

New Orleans, LA  70130

(504) 495-1748

Sales and Marketing Executive International

P.O. Box 1390

Suma, WA  98295-1390

(312) 893-0751


American Advertising Federation

Education Services Department

1101 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500

Washington, D.C.  20005-6306

(202) 898-0089


Council of Sales Promotion Agencies

750 Summer Street

Stanford, CT  06901

(203) 325-3911


Marketing Science Institute

1000 Massachusetts Ave.

Cambridge, MA  02138-5396

(617) 491-2060


Food Marketing Institute

800 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C.  20006-2701


National Automotive Dealers Association

8400 Westpark Drive

McLean, VA  22102


National Association of Convenience Stores

1605 King Street

Alexandria, VA  22314


National Retail Federation Organizations             

701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Suite 710

Washington, D.C.  20004

(202) 783-7971


Product Development and Management Association

401 North Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL  60611

(312) 527-6644


Women Executives in Public Relations

P.O. Box 609

Westport, CT  06881

(203) 226-4947


Consumer Federation of America

1424 16th Street NW

Washington, D.C.  20036


Direct Selling Association

1776 K Street NW

Washington, D.C.  20006


Independent Insurance Agents of America

127 South Peyton Street

Alexandria, VA  22314


National Retail Grocers Association

1825 Samuel Morse Drive

Reston, VA  22090


American Society of Travel Agents

1401 New York Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.  20005


Manufacturers’ Agents National Association

23016 Mill Creek Road

Laguna Hills, CA  92654


Securities Industry Association

120 Broadway

New York, NY  10071