Marketing is the interface between producers and consumers. In other words, it is the one function in the organization in which the entire business comes together. Being responsible for both making money for your company and delivering satisfaction to your customers makes marketing a great career. In addition, because marketing can be such an expensive part of a business and is so critical to its success, companies actively seek good marketing people. At the beginning of each chapter in this book, we profile a person in the marketing profession and let that person describe for you what he or she does. As you will learn, there’s a great variety of jobs available in the marketing profession. These positions represent only a few of the opportunities available in marketing.
- Marketing research. Personnel in marketing research are responsible for studying markets and customers in order to understand what strategies or tactics might work best for firms.
- Merchandising. In retailing, merchandisers are responsible for developing strategies regarding what products wholesalers should carry to sell to retailers such as Target and Walmart.
- Sales. Salespeople meet with customers, determine their needs, propose offerings, and make sure that the customer is satisfied. Sales departments can also include sales support teams who work on creating the offering.
- Advertising. Whether it’s for an advertising agency or inside a company, some marketing personnel work on advertising. Television commercials and print ads are only part of the advertising mix. Many people who work in advertising spend all their time creating advertising for electronic media, such as Web sites and their pop-up ads, podcasts, and the like.
- Product development. People in product development are responsible for identifying and creating features that meet the needs of a firm’s customers. They often work with engineers or other technical personnel to ensure that value is created.
- Direct marketing. Professionals in direct marketing communicate directly with customers about a company’s product offerings via channels such as e-mail, chat lines, telephone, or direct mail.
- Event marketing. Some marketing personnel plan special events, orchestrating face-to-face conversations with potential and current customers in a special setting.
A career in marketing can begin in a number of different ways. Entry-level positions for new college graduates are available in many of the positions mentioned above. A growing number of CEOs are people with marketing backgrounds. Some legendary CEOs like Ross Perot and Mary Kay Ash got their start in marketing. More recently, CEOs like Mark Hurd, who runs Hewlett-Packard, and Jeffrey Immelt at GE are showing how marketing careers can lead to the highest pinnacles of the organization.
By facilitating transactions, marketing delivers value to both consumers and firms. At the broader level, this process creates jobs and improves the quality of life in a society. Marketing can be costly, so firms need to hire good people to manage their marketing activities. Being responsible for both making money for your company and delivering satisfaction to your customers makes marketing a great career.
- Why study marketing?
- How does marketing provide value?
- Why does marketing cost so much? Is marketing worth it?