In a complex and competitive business environment, the best marketing strategies contribute to successful business performance. Most businesses hire marketing agents -- also known as marketing managers -- to advertise or promote their products and services, usually with a focus on increasing sales. Marketing managers can find a job in a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, finance, insurance and transportation.
Marketing managers must have excellent communication skills. For instance, when a business organizes a mobile marketing tour to meet potential customers in various regions, a marketing manager must effectively tell customers about the benefits of the product. Marketing managers also need interpersonal skills to strike positive relationships with potential customers, influencing skills to persuade customers into choosing certain products over others, and team-building skills to establish an effective and motivated marketing team.
Formulating new and effective methods for promoting products and services is the duty of marketing managers. When a beverage company launches a new fizzy drink, for example, marketing managers create strategies for promoting the product. This often involves analyzing the target market and methods competitors use to promote similar products. If target consumers are big Internet users and competitors use print advertisements, for example, the marketing managers might focus on social medial channels.
Marketing managers gather information from consumers on issues such as product or service price and quality, and preferences for new products or services. For example, when an insurance firm wants to launch a new life insurance policy, the marketing manager can authorize junior marketing staff to conduct surveys and interview families in target markets about their criteria for choosing a policy. This information helps companies to develop quick-selling products and services.
Marketing managers also estimate the need for specific products and services in particular markets, negotiate advertising contracts with advertising agencies and mass media firms, and respond to customers' about products and services. When they are not in the office developing pricing strategies that meet consumer needs, these managers attend trade shows and product exhibitions to market products and interact with potential clients.
Although an associate degree in business or marketing can secure you this job in small businesses, large businesses often prefer professionals with bachelor's degrees in international marketing, marketing research or consumer merchandising. Others, such as pharmaceutical and textile businesses, often hire marketing managers with degrees in pharmaceutical marketing and apparel or textile marketing, respectively. Marketing managers earned a mean annual wage of $133,700 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. From 2012 through 2022, the bureau estimates the employment of marketing managers to grow 13 percent, slightly faster than the 11 percent average for all jobs.