There is a great amount of demand for marketing jobs. Nearly all businesses have a need to advertise themselves, market to potential customers, and engage in public relations (PR). There is heavy competition for marketing jobs because they are so greatly prized by those with the right temperament for them. There can be a lot of money in marketing jobs, often six-figure incomes (which are typically earned through commission and/or bonus pay rather than salary alone). But this money is well-earned, because marketing jobs often entail long hours, including nights and weekends, and a lot of travel to locations such as trade shows, important corporate meetings, association meetings, and meetings with clients or prospects, although some of this travel is being reduced thanks to new Internet-based programs and services such as WebEx, which allow for ''virtual'' online meetings in real time.
To be successful in marketing, a person needs to be what they call ''Type A,'' a blood-type metaphor that indicates a person of very high energy, strong interpersonal communication skills and proclivities, and creativity. In the 21st century, a marketing job may demand that a person have a solid general working knowledge of computers and software and be able to learn new programs quickly, especially those concerning word processing and database management.
Type A personalities also typically come with a love of personal success and by their nature are very driven, competitive, and often over-achieving. For a person to be successful in a marketing job, he or she should also be motivated by money, although certainly not to the point of becoming unethical.
Advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales may all be part of a marketing job, along with other responsibilities including market research, marketing strategy, direct selling, advertising campaigns, pricing, and product development. Marketing jobs are quite often doorways to upper management with a company because the marketing professional garners high levels of public interaction and exposure, product experience and know-how, and, if successful, self-motivation, all of which are indicative of superior leadership skills.
Marketing professionals don't necessarily need to get into the profession with any education greater than a high school diploma, although college may help them beat out some competitors. The same goes for previous experience. What will be most important are self-motivation, drive, enthusiasm, great communication skills, an ability to learn new things quickly and think on your feet, persistence, and optimism. Businesses conduct interviews and often give profile tests to determine who possesses these traits. Someone seeking a management marketing job will have to have much more relevant experience and/or education, such as a bachelor's or even a master's degree, unless they are seeking promotion from within after years of being in the marketing industry with the same company.
The State of the Industry
The marketing industry has a very high turnover rate because of its demands on individuals and its general volatility. When a company is experiencing hard times, one of the very first things it begins cutting back on is marketing. Nevertheless, it is relatively easy for someone with strong marketing skills or experience to find a new job quickly because there is so much constant demand. And marketing jobs are essentially recession-proof jobs, because to be successful companies have to market during good economic times, and they need to market even more during lean economic times. Marketing success or failure, especially in the long run, is very largely determined by the individual.
Marketing is ubiquitous. English comedian Rowan Atkinson once said, ''Marketing is what gets you noticed, and that side of it… is the side of it that I least enjoy, and yet is 50% of the project.'' And actor Dirk Benedict once quipped, ''It is all about marketing; that is where the real craft comes in. The best actors do not necessarily become the biggest stars. And vice versa.''
Within the marketing industry itself, one must be on top of one's game for success. According to legendary copy writer David Ogilvy, there is an ''increasing reluctance on the part of marketing executives to use judgment; they are coming to rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post: for support, rather than for illumination.''