Marketing is a fast-paced world in which creative people develop cohesive messages for businesses that can help their brands stand out from the competition. They may develop sales events, launch social media campaigns and research consumer preferences. Marketing careers may be ideal for those who thrive in a dynamic environment and enjoy a challenge. Here's a high-level look at what you need to keep in mind as you think about how to become a marketer.
What Does a Marketer Do?
Within the world of marketing, people may fill a variety of roles. Depending on their specific job, marketing professionals may have the following responsibilities:
- Working with executives and department heads to develop the look and feel of a brand
- Analyzing website traffic, search data and social message engagement to hone messaging
- Gathering information on customer buying preferences
- Monitoring sales trends to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
- Preparing reports outlining the results of marketing efforts
How Long Does It Take To Become A Marketer?
While there are two-year degree programs available in marketing, a bachelor's degree is the standard education in this field. That means it usually take four years of study for most people to enter the workforce. If you'd like to work as a marketing manager, plan to spend a few years working in a lower-level associate position first before being eligible to move into a management role.
How to Become a Marketer
As with other careers, there are a variety of paths you can take to become a marketer. However, here's one example of how people can pursue marketing jobs.
1. Start with an associate degree:
These two-year programs can be a good way to test the waters and determine whether marketing is the right field for you. Credits from associate degree programs can often be transferred and applied toward a bachelor's degree.
2. Earn a bachelor's degree:
Marketing degree programs can offer students comprehensive curriculum and may provide opportunities to specialize studies in areas such as brand management, marketing research, social media and content marketing, digital marketing, entrepreneurial marketing and more.
3. Obtain professional certification:
Earning a professional certification isn't required to work in this field, but it can help hone your skills and give you an edge over other job applicants. It may also improve your marketing salary potential. One of the best-known credentials in the marketing world is the Professional Certified Marketer designation from the American Marketing Association. It is available in following tracks:
- Digital Marketing Pro
- Marketing Management
- Content Marketing
- Sales Management
Pursue continuing education:
Professional Certified Marketers should plan to complete continuing education classes to keep their designation, but even uncertified marketers can benefit from additional training and classes. With online marketing evolving rapidly, continuing education can be a good way to stay on top of the latest trends and best practices.
Essential Skills and Qualities for Marketers
People with the following traits may find they are naturally inclined to be a good fit for marketing jobs.
- Critical thinking: Effective marketing strategies aren't always obvious, and professionals in this field need to have excellent critical thinking skills to determine what may be most appropriate for a particular brand.
- Inductive reasoning: It's up to marketing specialists to piece together data on consumer purchasing habits and shopping trends to determine how best to package and deliver branding messages.
- Fluency of ideas: To be successful, marketing teams need to come up with a variety of ideas to promote a business. This ability is known as having a fluency of ideas.
- Monitoring: Marketing campaigns are only good if they produce results, and professionals need to monitor customer reactions.
- Active learning: Marketers must be able to make adjustments to their work in response to consumer feedback and the success of past campaigns, a trait known as active learning.
Marketing Salary and Job Outlook
Marketing job growth can depend on your specialization, as can your marketing salary. Those who are comfortable with digital marketing platforms may have the best employment prospects, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Below is a closer look at employment and income data for marketing professionals nationwide.
Where Can You Work As A Marketer?
While marketers can work in many sectors, the largest percentage of marketing jobs fall into these categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Management of companies and enterprises
- Finance and insurance
- Wholesale trade
Professional Organizations for Marketers
The following organizations may be of interest to anyone interested in a career in marketing.