Marketing and Sales

1. What is Marketing?
2. What are the skills necessary to have a successful career in marketing and sales?
3. What are some of the functional areas within marketing?
4. What Marketing positions are available?
5. What Sales positions are available?
6. What Marketing and Sales resources are available?

1. What is Marketing?

Marketing is the strategic function between product development and sales. The four components of marketing are product, price, promotion and place. Marketing takes a product with specific features and benefits, creates pricing and promotional strategies, and oversees the methods that will be used to bring it to market.

Marketing and Sales requires creativity, energy, organization and tenacity. You must be able to effectively communicate about projects and analytically think about your projects. The marketing world requires that you be flexible and able to handle criticism as decisions are made quickly.

2. What are the skills necessary for a successful career in marketing and sales?

  • Creative
  • Analytical thinker
  • Excellent communication
  • Motivated
  • Thick-skinned
  • Energetic
  • Tenacious
  • Outgoing
  • Organized
  • Flexible

3. What are the responsibilities of different marketing departments?

There are many aspects of marketing that may interest and appeal to you. Most marketing positions involve one or more of the following activities: cultivating relationships, managing information, speaking, researching and evaluating. The following is a sample of some of the potential departments within marketing:

Brand and Product Management: Plan, direct, and control business and marketing efforts for products; concerned with research and development, packaging, manufacturing, sales and distribution, advertising, promotion, market research, and business analysis; a newcomer will join a brand/product team and learn the ropes by doing numerical analysis and watching senior members.

Business to Business Marketing: Marketing targeted at organizations such as businesses, non-profits, government entities, and middlemen; this represents a large majority of marketing efforts.

Internet Marketing: Opportunities in this field are new and still emerging, with options in electronic retailing, web page design, internet promotions, and managing websites.

Marketing Communications: Create promotional efforts and other marketing activities that communicate with the organization’s customers; includes advertising, public relations, sales promotions and direct marketing.

Marketing Research: Define problems and identify the information needed to resolve them; determine what drives people to buy certain products by designing research projects, preparing questionnaires and samples, analyzing data, preparing reports and presenting findings.

Non-Profit Marketing: Perform marketing and public relation functions and conduct fundraising for non-profits.

Sales: A sales career path ranges from salesperson to the highest levels of management; opportunities can be found in advertising, financial, insurance, consulting and government organizations.

Securities and Financial Services Marketing: Sell banking and related services, provide many related services to clients, often in positions such as account executives, stock brokers, and registered representatives.

Sports Marketing: Promote and manage athletes, teams, and sports facilities; sports marketers may work for a team, association or marketing firm to strategize about how to best leverage sponsorship, plan and coordinate events; conduct market research and produce promotional material.

4. What marketing positions are available?

There are many types of positions within the marketing industry. Below are just a few examples of the different positions available in the marketing field:

Account Director or Supervisor: Administer client relationships with an agency. This person delivers presentations to potential clients. They also supervise the account managers. Qualities like great interpersonal, customer service and organizational and communications skills are required.

Account Manager or Senior Account Executive: Creates the strategy, organizes, direct and applies publicity campaigns. S/he confers with management to know the publicity needs and determine objective and establish annual financial plan. Directs creative and production of the advertisement media. Establish timing and calculate costs. Supervise account executives.

Account Executive: Serves as liaison to the clients to ensure a successful and timely execution of the marketing plan/project. Help clients to create strategy and secure all the business.

Junior Account Executive: Gives support to account services department. Research new business opportunities, track projects and provide assistance to managers.

Marketing Manager: Directs all the activities of the marketing department. These managers require having finest communication, organizational, analytical and managerial skills.

Assistant Marketing Manager: Help in creation and application of marketing goals. Direct market research and coordinate the creative and production teams to realize promotional materials. Need effective communication and directorial skills.

Brand or Product Manager: Creates the strategy, directs and applies brand and marketing publicity for a particular product or business.

Copy Editor: Edits the written material to be published by correcting it of spelling and grammar errors. Editor need to have good attention to detail and knowledge of grammar and spelling.

Copywriter: Develops and writes concepts for publicity campaigns. Develops materials such as scripts, print or web projects, reports, and speeches.

Event or Trade Show Manager: Creates and directs events for a company. The manager works with corporate marketing and public relations department. Identifies event locations; develops budgets for functions; acquires event permits; secures speakers, products for display and promotional giveaways; oversees set up and tear down of demo booths; ensures availability of proper equipment and supplies; books hotel or conference rooms; and coordinates activities.

Event or Trade Show Coordinator: Helps the trade show manager with all the organization of the event.

5. What Sales positions are available?

Manufacturer’s Representative: A manufacturer’s representative is a sort of independent contractor hired by a company to sell its product to buyers. A “rep” is usually assigned a territory and is free to hit the pavement (or the phone or e-mail) as frequently or infrequently as he or she likes. Reps make their own schedules and determine their own income by the number of sales (and size of each) they make. Generally, a manufacturer’s representative is a commission-only position.

Direct Consumer Sales: Sometimes called agents or brokers, these salespeople work directly with customers—no reps, retailers, or middlemen needed. Because selling the product or service often requires meeting with clients in person—they may be purchasing life insurance or real estate—the agent may spend the bulk of his or her evenings or weekends working, as this is when the customers are available.

Corporate Sales: The principles of corporate, or business-to-business sales (including everything from selling financial services to providing temporary employee help) are essentially the same as in other types of sales, but the rules are a little different. With more room to negotiate, corporate salespeople are able to tailor the services they’re selling.

Sales Management: A sales manager does very little actual selling; he or she develops and implements the training programs and incentives that motivate sales people or reps.

6. What Marketing and Sales resources are available?

Advertising Age (Marketing and Media News, Analysis and Data)
Careers In Marketing
Creative Hotlist (Career site for creative professionals)
Creativity Online
Direct Marketing Association
Know This (Knowledge source for market research, internet marketing, etc.) (Alliance of leading US marketing associations) (General marketing career information)
Occupational Outlook Handbook (Career exploration info)
Talent Zoo (Ad, Marketing, Media, Digital Jobs)
Vault Career Insider Guides (must use your WFU email to access)
Vault Career Insider – Career Guide to Marketing and Brand Management
Wetfeet Careers & Industries (Overview of marketing industry and careers within field)

Professional Associations

American Association of Advertising Agencies
Smart Brief
American Marketing Association
Business Marketing Association
The National Association of Sales Professionals
The Professional Association for Design

For a timeline of the job and internship search process and recruiting, click here to download information on Marketing and Sales and Pharmaceutical Sales.