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How Do I Become a Marketing Executive?

Marketing executives oversee marketing departments, helping to make sure that the overall voice of a company’s brand is consistent. They oversee both internal and external communications for the company. Earning a college degree is the first step to becoming a marketing executive.

Education

Most universities offer a bachelor’s degree in marketing to further a candidate’s marketing executive education. Marketing candidates will take courses in:

  • Business
  • Communications
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Database management

Upon earning one of many marketing executive degrees, future marketing executives should earn an MBA with a concentration in marketing. The MBA program will further strengthen business management skills, and the student will take specialized courses in marketing, including marketing management, strategy, global issues, consumer psychology, project management, and marketing research. Earning an MBA with a concentration in marketing will set candidates apart from others in a competitive job market. Doctorates in marketing are also available for candidates who wish to teach and publish in the field as an industry leader as well as become company executives.

Internships

Internships are highly desired for people who would like to get an entry-level position with a marketing company and work their way up into the field. Earning spots for paid internships in large Fortune 500 companies can be just as competitive as landing a full-time job in the field. Candidates should consider completing marketing work for large, midsized and smaller companies to make sure that they have on-the-job experiences for earning an entry-level position as an assistant for a firm. It is also possible to earn an internship for a marketing firm, at an agency that specializes in marketing. Some companies offer online internships, so students can work with a company virtually from any location in the world. Online internships give candidates greater flexibility to work, attend college, and manage family responsibilities. Candidates can save time by eliminating the commute time when traveling to traditional on-site internships. Client meetings can be held virtually, giving the candidate experience in communicating with teams in real time online.

Moving Through the Ranks

A person seeking to become a marketing executive may begin work as a marketing assistant. This position may offer the candidate a broad view of the marketing department. Depending on the assignment, future executives may work as a marketing generalist or a specialist, handling small tasks for advertisements, media relations, or market research. The entry-level marketer may spend the bulk of her time analyzing research and trends. In this entry-level position a future manager may handle clerical tasks, including making follow-up calls to current or future clients. The marketer may input various data into a database, make sales calls, or arrange meetings. To move onto the next level, a marketer must set herself apart as a hard-worker who can think quickly and creatively. Spending extra time getting to know clients and the company will take the aspiring marketing director far. It is advantageous to volunteer for extra work and responsibility and offer creative ideas that will benefit clients and lure business to them and the firm. Aspiring directors should also develop a specialty within the marketing industry. Expertise in this specialty will make it easier for marketing executives and mid-level managers to take notice.

Mid-Level Positions

A mid-level marketer is usually a manager of a department. Having an expertise in a particular specialty lends itself to becoming a head of a department within the marketing division of a company or in a marketing firm. However, mid-level managers may also be generalists, able to plan execute campaigns, and follow up on campaigns. Mid-level managers may be asked to coordinate direct marketing, internet promotions, trade show promotional material, print promotional material, media releases and other marketing initiatives. Proven, results-oriented experience is the key to earning a mid-level position in a marketing firm. Mid-level managers must always have an edge over competitors who are vying for their position. During economic slowdowns, mid-level managers should have a proven ability to work within lean spending accounts while helping to gain the firm and its clients new business. Mid-level managers should be skilled in project management and working with groups.

Marketing Executives

Marketing executives have the critical thinking skills and vision to develop plans at the macro level. These executives have years of marketing experience and usually at least one marketing degree. Marketing executive schools may ask marketing executives to mentor their students or provide internships. These executives have also won their share of awards and acknowledgments in the industry. They may be called upon by the media to provide insight and guidance on marketing trends. To become a marketing executive, a candidate must prove herself through hours of hard work and delivering their clients’ needs.