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Marketing career path: A complete overview of marketing education, jobs & skills

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If you enjoy formulating a brand, product or any idea, a career in marketing is the right option for you. Marketing offers diversified career avenues as there is something for everyone. If you enjoy playing with graphics, numbers and feel ecstatic while crafting communication projects, you will find a marketing job truly challenging.

What is marketing all about?

Marketing is omnipresent. Whether you are surfing the Internet to find your favorite apparel store or watching television, it is hard to miss the influence of advertisement and marketing industry. In a nutshell, marketing makes the entire world go 'round'.

If marketing is not behind every game, it would not be possible to bring products, brands and other services into the consciousness of the public. This is the task of marketing professionals. They are the brainchild behind all campaigns, ads and newsletters. Marketing enjoys following attributes-

  • It is about media- It encompasses all different ways through which a company interact with their potential customers. It could be done through newspapers, television, radio, computer or phone. Media has become more fragmented and diversified.
  • It is creative- Marketing job involves communication, persuasion and finding divergent ways to clearly explain the benefits of products/services.
  • It is global- Companies have become bigger and therefore, the scope of their business is vastly covering international arena. It means, marketing jobs do not only cover domestic market, but they also devise strategies to influence customers throughout the globe.

Career opportunities in marketing areas-
Marketing jobs are available across all industries and business segments. You can find career opportunities in below areas-
(A) Product management- Also called brand management, the marketing function is primarily focused on making vital management decisions, such as long-term business strategy, product development, pricing, distribution and in certain cases, profit & loss also.

This kind of marketing may find in companies that sell consumer packaged goods. Brand managers constantly put efforts in ensuring consistency and optimal messaging, pricing and advertising for different products under one brand name.
Top product management companies-

  • Coca Cola
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • PepsiCo

(B) Marketing research- People employed in this field are required to collect market analysis information for the management, which is then used for making sound decisions. Market researchers prepare questionnaires, reports and present their findings with suitable recommendations to the marketing department. It is the task of marketing research analysts to collect and analyze data on competitors, market research, product features and other divergent areas. Career opportunities can be found with manufacturers, retailers, advertisement agencies, government agencies, etc.

(C) Business-to-business (B2B) marketing- As the name itself connotes, this kind of marketing involves planning and selling products/services for commercial purposes only.
Top B2B companies-

  1. Material Stock Exchange
  2. Ask4plastics
  3. Great Indian Bazaar
  4. PCB India

(D) Customer relation management (CRM)- This a corporate level strategy which primarily focuses upon creating and maintaining profitable relationships with its vast base of customers.
Top CRM companies

  1. Amazon
  2. Oracle
  3. SAP CRM

(E) Retail- It is one of the fastest growing parts of the economy and it involves selling products to the final customer.
Top retail companies

  1. Lifestyle International Pvt. Ltd
  2. Shoppers Stop Ltd.
  3. Titan Company Ltd.
  4. Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd.

(F) Distribution management- This kind of marketing involves analyzing, planning and controlling activities concerned with the procurement and distribution of products/services.
Top Distribution management companies

  1. Nook Micro Distribution Ltd.
  2. Cadensworth (India) Ltd.
  3. ProConnect Supply Chain Solutions Ltd.

(G) Direct marketing- It includes online, door-to-door, telephone and catalogue marketing.

(H) Price marketing- Pricing plays a crucial role. Most people, for instance, won't pay Rs 500 for a colddrink at a restaurant. A rise of a nickel in a price and you can witness a drastic change in revenues. Price marketing is an indispensable analytical process by which merchants decide the optimal pricing for all products/services to achieve the company's objectives for sales volume, revenue and brand identity.

(I) Advertising- It is the job of an advertisement agency to turn marketing strategies into reality with the production of ads, print ads, website design or film shoot.
Top advertising agencies-

  1. Ogilvy & Mather
  2. McCann Erickson India
  3. Lowe Lintas
  4. JWT
  5. Mudra Communications

(J) Public relations- It is the job of public relations firm to serve as an advocate for businesses & organizations, and builds positive relationships with the target audience. A PR agency communicates the message of a company to the press and handles pivotal functions like media, consumer, employee-investor relations, etc.
Top public relation companies-

  1. PR 24x7 Network Ltd.
  2. Ethos PR
  3. Clea PR
  4. Genesis PR

(K) Digital marketing- In today's internet driven world, it becomes important to establish your online presence. Irrespective of the size and nature, almost every company has its existence in the virtual world. It is the task of a digital marketing manager to devise a suitable plan for optimizing internet and mobile channels for various marketing purposes.

Required education & qualifications
To build a career in marketing, one should possess a graduate or postgraduate degree in marketing. There are some institutes in India, offering regular or distance-learning diploma courses in marketing. You can take admission into a graduate course after completing your Class 12th in any stream.
Some of the common postgradaute courses are-

  • MBA General
  • MBA Marketing
  • Post graduate diploma courses

Nowadays, almost all colleges are conducting entrance examinations, followed by interview or group discussions. Below is a list of common entrance tests-

  • Management Admission Test
  • Common Admission Test
  • Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test

Requisite skills
To assess whether marketing is the right career choice for you or not, ask yourself if you have any of the following traits-

  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Team player
  • Analytical and strategic thinking
  • Time management

Top colleges offering marketing education in India-

  • All IIMs
  • Indian School of Business Hyderabad
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
  • S.P.Jain Institute of Management Studies
  • Management Development Institute
  • National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
  • Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur
  • Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai
  • Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi

Recently, Manipal Global Education Services has tied up with Google India to provide a three-month digital marketing certificate course for business school graduates.

Career Path
Marketing jobs are divergent and therefore, this profession offers something for everyone. Here are some common marketing job positions-

  • Product management
    Brand Manager->Group Manager->Regional Manager->Vice President
  • Public Relation
    PR Manager->PR Specialist->Vice President
  • Advertising
    Executive->Media Planner->Account Manager
  • Retail Management
    Store Manager->Regional Manager
  • Sales
    Sales Executive->Sales Manager->Sales Director
  • Market research
    Market Research Supervisor->Market Research Manager->Market Research Director
  • Digital marketing
    Sales executive->Assistant Manager->Business Head->Digital Marketing Manager->Vice President

Remuneration
Marketing jobs assure hefty salary packages along with incentive plans. As a fresher, you can earn anything between Rs 10,000-25,000/month. With years of experience and expertise, your salary can easily touch the lower-limit of Rs 60,000/month. Furthermore, there are attractive incentive plans and perks. To bolster marketing professionals, many companies include foreign trips in their incentive programs.

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