Marketing primarily concerns understanding the potential customer or client. Students learn about methods of identifying, segmenting, and targeting potential customers. They also learn about methods of researching consumers, understanding their behavior, and developing methods of reaching them with information. Marketing is a broad field that generally includes advertising, sales, in public relations.
A marketing concentration entails learning a laundry list of skills, including:
- Researching Customers – The ability to research and identify customer needs and product development.
- Market analysis – The ability to understand and breakdown the target market or the different market segments and their characteristics.
- Product/Service Innovation – Using information concerning customer demand to develop new products or value offerings.
- Communications – The ability to strategize the delivery of service to current and potential customers.
- Brand Management – Methods for positioning the company value proposition to meet customer demand or expectations.
- Pricing – Planning methods to determine price points within specific markets.
- Data Analysis – The use of consumer information or data to make decisions.
- Strategy – How you should orient your operations or value delivery to maximize company objectives.
- Sales – The ability to create interest and consulate sales transactions with customers. Also, it might include the design and management of sales channels.
- Social Media – Methods of reaching potential customers through social media platforms.
- Marketing Software – Popular software used to interact with customers, including SalesForce.com and other popular customer relationship management tools.
Popular courses as part of a marketing concentration include:
- Principles of Marketing – This course provides an introduction to marketing principles.
- Marketing Research / Analysis – The course explores the various methods available for researching any information about the potential consumer.
- Consumer Behavior – This course focuses on the psychology of the consumer.
- Marketing Analytics – This course focuses on measuring, managing and analyzing marketing performance to maximize its effectiveness and optimize return on investment (ROI).
- Professional Selling – This course focuses the process for creating interest and consummating sales with target customers. It can includes sales to individual consumers (B2C) or sales to businesses (B2B). It introduces the concept of sales channels.
- Advertising – This course explores the process for making potential consumers aware of the business’s brand or the value proposition (product or service) that the business offers.
- Public Relations – This course deals with the method and manner by which a company communicates with the public at large.
- Social Media Marketing – This course explores the use of popular social media channels in reaching potential customers with advertisements or company information.
- Internet Marketing – Internet marketing concerns any method of using the internet to increase company awareness among potential customers. It might include search engine management (SEM).
Some programs offer concentration within the marketing concentration, such as:
- Retail Management
- Services Marketing
- Global Marketing
- Entrepreneurial Marketing
- Marketing Regulation and Social Responsibility
- Sports Marketing
- Non-Profit Marketing
What Jobs do Marketers Pursue?
A marketing degree can lead to any number of marketing-related positions. Below are some of the most common.
In large companies, a common entry-level position is that of marketing analyst. An analyst focuses on using information from marketing research to develop proposals for how to better position a product or service to meet customer needs. Individuals in this role may take part in data collection and analysis – though the statistical analysis function is often outsourced. Data collection might include surveys, focus groups, observational data, transactional information, any form of recorded consumer data, etc. Marketing analysts generally report to a brand or product manager, who in turn reports to a marketing director or VP of marketing. The brand manager employs the information derived from market analysis to make recommendations and proposals for how to position the product in the consumer marketplace. It could include recommendations for product qualities, packaging, pricing, shelf position, etc. In a small or mid-sized firm, there may not be in-house marketing analysts.
Sales is a core function of marketing. Salespeople focus on consummating the delivery of a product to customers. Much of their position is to make potential customers aware of the value offering, creating customer interest, and convincing the customer to purchase.
Public relations specialists are individuals who help develop and deliver messages to potential customers (or anyone else interested in company information). They are the representative voice of the company.
Customer relationship specialists focus on maintaining customer awareness and satisfaction through on-going contact with the consumer. They specialize in using software, such as SalesForce.com.
Social media managers are individuals who manage all campaigns for reaching potential customers through social media channels. These individuals will work closely with strategy and advertising folks to come up with targeted marketing campaigns to introduce through social media.