"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself." --- Peter F. Drucker, Management Guru
Not everyone is clear as to what marketing actually amounts to. Many confuse marketing with advertising, others with sales. Marketing is categorically different in every sense as compared to advertising or sales.
The American Marketing association defines marketing as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
Marketing as a Profession
Marketing acts as the interface between an individual's requirements and an organization's confidence that they have a product to fulfill that requirement. Marketing is about identifying your target audience and catering to them. It also works vice-versa - marketing is as much about studying a product and identifying which section of consumers it can be projected to. Whom to project? What to project? Where to project? How to project? Having the answers to these questions form the crux of how good an individual's marketing skills are. Marketing revolves around understanding the 4 Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, Placement.
A marketing job is not as easy as it looks on paper. Along with the required degree, an aspiring marketing professional needs to have a good deal of interpersonal skills, analytical skills, knowledge of the product he is selling or promoting, and most importantly, patience. If all these skills and qualities come together, the psychological and monetary rewards in the marketing field are limitless.
Sales and Trading
The sales and trading field of marketing includes selling and buying of commodities. Achieving the sales target for a specific product and analyzing trends is another important function here. At the end of the day, better sales is what will keep the product, and possibly the organization afloat. Sales professionals need to have a persistent and persuasive character, and usually need not have high educational or experience parameters at entry-level profiles.
The sales manager has a sales team under him, and is responsible for achieving sales targets through motivation and counseling.
Regional Sales Manager:
The regional sales manager is responsible for getting his sales team to achieve the sales target in a region allotted to him. He oversees the sales and prepares reports entirely by himself for the region that is under his responsibility.
A sales architect is responsible for designing the sales strategies of a certain product or for an entire organization. His job may span the entire organization's scope, or may stay limited to a certain region allotted to him.
A business analyst's primary job is to improve business. The job requires intensive knowledge about business management as well as technology.
Retail Marketing Associate:
A retail marketing associate is responsible for all the retail operations of an organization's product or service. Right from planning and deciding a retail campaign's budget to analyzing consumer trends in the retail sector, this associate handles everything involved.
Partner Channel Manager:
An organization may have several channel partners (other organizations who do friendly promotions through various mediums) who matter to the marketing operations. A partner channel manager needs to stay in touch with these partner channels, collaborate campaigns, and handle all related negotiations.
Internet marketing is the promotion of products via the world wide web. Various online markets and social media platforms are used for this purpose, and this field has fast become the most important aspect of any organization's campaign designing. These jobs require a vast understanding of the Internet and its working, although education in a certain field isn't much of a compulsion. A technical or business management background is considered a plus.
Web Content Manager:
A web content manager oversees all the content (text, graphics, videos, etc.) posted on the website.
Social Media Manager:
A social media manager is responsible for social media campaign-related marketing, research, design, and supervision.
E-mail Marketing Manager:
An e-mail marketing manager is responsible for spreading awareness about a product or service through e-mails. These mails usually come with attached visual campaigns, and/or information about the product and its specifications.
Social Media Strategist:
A social media strategist needs to study social media trends and customer graphs, and accordingly plan online campaigns in collaboration with the social media manager.
Social Advertising Executive:
A social advertising executive is responsible for spreading a product's graphic advertisement on social media platforms. The job involves tapping possible customers and spreading awareness amongst them about the product.
Search Engine Marketing Executive:
A search engine marketing executive ensures that a particular brand name or a particular product ranks high in search engine results. Being updated about online trends is the key factor here.
Online Sales Executive:
An online sales executive is responsible for tapping Internet customers and successfully selling a product to them.
Online Community Managers:
An online community manager is responsible for building an online community of dedicated customers and patriarchs on social platforms or brand-related websites around a particular product or its brand.
The design phase of a marketing campaign is a very crucial one. This phase virtually decides how a marketing campaign looks and appears to the consumer. A marketing campaign needs to be attractive enough to communicate with the consumer all by itself. The content should be rich to hold the consumer's attention for a long span of time. The jobs that come under marketing design are more inclined towards creative thinking, and in most cases, require an arts or designing background.
A content writer needs to write, and designs creative and suitable content for a marketing campaign.
The content editor verifies the content written by a content writer, checks for language rules, grammar and punctuation, proofreads the content, and makes sure the end products has all the necessary information that the subject requires.
A web publisher publishes content written by a content writer on the web, keeping web conventions and rules in mind. He also formats and designs the content to suit web pages and mobile devices, keeping current trends in mind.
A web producer creates what a website contains. He asks his content writing team to produce material suitable to be included on the website, and supervises it. A web producer often conceives the content that is later improved upon by content writers.
Also known as a graphics producer, a visual designer designs and maintains the look of an online campaign. Designing the layout of the campaign, its styling, its color scheme, UX design, the pictures and videos used, and how they are placed (embedded), are all a visual designer's responsibilities.
An art director creates the artistic profile of an online campaign, and is virtually responsible for how a marketing campaign looks. He decides the layout of the campaign, its styling, etc., and explains it to the visual designer, who recreates it practically.
A marketing designer designs the entire marketing campaign, prior to it going in the creation and designing phase. He oversees these phases too, and decides how the campaign would be promoted and advertised.
The analysis phase of marketing involves a detailed study and examination of the campaign in all its states - before, after and during design/development. It helps the marketing team get a better understanding of the requirements as well as reach. Analysts are typically management school graduates with a considerable amount of experience in the same job profile.
A marketing analyst analyzes the reach of the organization's marketing campaigns. He is responsible to gage if a certain campaign has been successful or not, and create reports accordingly.
Supply Chain Analyst:
A supply chain analyst oversees if the supply chain statistics are in sync with the demand created by an ad campaign.
A pricing analyst studies the market for rival products and their pricing strategies. He is also responsible for gaging if his own organization's product has been priced correctly, and if customers are responding to its offers and attractions.
An information architect gathers and organizes data from all sectors. He arranges all the data in a manner, such that it is interlinked and analyzes how an organization's marketing campaign is positively or negatively affecting its other departments.
Market Research Specialist:
A market research specialist's job covers an extensive range of responsibilities. He conducts research to check what product is needed in the market. His research also includes necessary improvisation on an already-existing product, customer satisfaction analysis, and the effects of and on competition.
Consumer Research Specialist:
A consumer research specialist researches only consumer trends. What the consumer wants
and Is the consumer satisfied with the delivered product
, are two of his primary responsibilities.
Product management deals with the forecasting of a product's marketing life cycle. The entire marketing life cycle is decided and supervised by an individual in this position. Product management drives the development of a product, keeping its marketing plans in mind.
A product manager oversees all operations related to production - right from its inception, to production, to promotion.
A portfolio manager makes investment decisions related to a particular marketing campaign, or many campaigns as a set.
A product strategist assesses the market to check trending products. He is also responsible for product placement plans for products that need re-planning.
A brand manager creates and upholds a brand. Right from deciding what name suits a certain product to deciding how to project the brand, he is the whole and sole person who controls the brand and all its related aspects.
Administrative and Managerial
The administrative section of marketing jobs comprises experienced marketing professionals who supervise other aspects and employees who are working on the marketing life cycle of a product. These positions are entrusted with the responsibility of key decision-making and entity-handling of a marketing campaign. These managerial jobs normally require lots of experience and a relatively high educational qualification, preferably in the same field.
A communication manager acts like a medium/channel/interface between two sources. A single communications manager may handle all communications, or the job profile may be split into: Senior Communications Manager, Junior Communications Manager, Customer Communication Manager, Employee Communication Manager, Corporate Communications Manager, etc.
Online Store Manager:
The online store manager oversees the placement, branding, and online transactions of a product.
A PR manager is responsible for building a positive image of a brand, service or product. He designs publicity campaigns and gives out news bites in media channels.
Digital Marketing Manager:
Most organizations keep their physical and digital campaigns separate. A digital marketing manager oversees all aspects of a digital campaign of a product.
Customer Insights Manager:
The job of a customer insights manager is to collect feedback (directly or indirectly) from customers, and report it to the production and design team or the senior management.
Marketing Evangelist Supervisor:
A marketing evangelist supervisor is responsible for triggering word-of-mouth publicity of a product, and eventually create a community of customers who strongly believe in that product.
A marketing director oversees all marketing operations. He usually has more than one campaign under his supervision.
Marketing careers are many and diverse. There is no such 'general' marketing or sales job. Each one performs a very different function from the other. Sometimes, two job profiles may have the same duties, but are necessary in different contexts. Marketing jobs are witnessing a new boom and developing newer dimensions, thanks to the Internet and social media, and are only expected to grow at a fast pace in the near future.