The customer today is spoilt for choice and the increasing competition just makes it more important for companies to differentiate themselves. Apart from innovation, another important way to stand out from the crowd is communicating with the customer. This is where sales and marketing professionals come in. Communicating with the customer would primarily consist of marketing which would include brand management, market research and advertising and sales which is a different function in itself. Let us now have a look at most popular Job profiles after MBA in Marketing. We thank Mr. Shanu Agrawal, IMT Ghaziabad 2008 Alumnus and currently working with Idea Cellular for all the inputs to make this article a big value add to all our readers.
Job Profiles After MBA in Marketing
Let us start off with brand management since this is what most of the B-Schoolers aspire to be someday. The primary target of brand managers is to increase market share and it is their call as to what kind of advertising and promotions to use after studying the customers and the other external factors like the regulatory frameworks.
A brand manager typically starts with the basics like segmentation of the customers which makes it easier to target the group that they plan to cater to. They use different methods like demographic, psychographics, geographic and behavioral studies.
Brand managers are responsible for creating a brand identity for the product; the brand should be distinguishable from the clutter in the market. Typically a brand manager is appointed for a specific product i.e. a brand manager would be appointed for Axe Deodrants rather than being appointed for HUL as whole.
Brand management also involves long term strategy for the product, interpretation of the market research, pricing and product developments and decision to either expand or curtail the brand. MBAs out of top B-Schools usually start off as Assistant Brand Managers.
Account Managers/ Executives (Advertising)
Another interesting field in the marketing space is advertising. Advertising would appeal to people who are creative and enjoy working in a chaotic environment with little structure. We would limit our discussion to account management in advertising agencies which is a career choice post MBA.
Account executives in advertisement agencies are responsible for acquiring and managing accounts. They act as a liaison between the clients (brand managers) and the creative team in the agency.
Account executives and managers take important decision like briefing the creative department, execution of campaigns and taking calls on the advertising budgets. With social media becoming a main stay, we have many advertisement agencies that specialize in internet marketing.
The starting salaries in advertising are on the lower side, but one gets good exposure working with big clients and in high profile campaigns that can be leveraged later.
Research Manager/ Senior Analyst
Marketing research is a field that supports other marketing functions. Some companies have their own marketing research departments while others prefer to outsource their marketing research to other firms which specialize in this field. Marketing research primarily involves a lot of number crunching and interpreting the outcome of that.
Marketing research revolves around finding patterns in the data that would enable companies to predict the behavior of consumers and identify trends that would enable them to be prepared for a coming change in the market.
The term big data is going to shape the way companies target and communicate with the customers. Data crunching and using new techniques that are being developed by big players like IBM and Oracle is creating a new breed of professionals known as data scientists. This tilts towards the field of analytics but is a function that would be very important for brand managers in the coming days.
Professionals are hired as Analysts for marketing research. An MBA may be typically hired for the post of a senior analyst or research managers. Some of the basic tools that are a must for professionals in this field are Microsoft Excel, SPSS and SAS.
The starting salaries in this field are competitive and with the right skills the scope for negotiating salary is good.
Though MBA aspirants mostly aspire to be hired as brand managers right out of college, in reality most of the fresh hires from B-Schools are offered sales positions. The responsibilities for a sales manager would depend on the organization and the sector. Once the marketing team is done with the go to market strategy, it is up to the customer facing sales professionals to take it from there on.
In a FMCG organisation, the sales manager would have to interact with the distributors and the retailers in addition to the customers, where as in a direct selling scenario like insurance there may be no intermediaries and the customers may have to be approached directly.
As a sales manager one would typically be responsible for a particular territory and would supervise a team of sales executives. Maintaining relations with the stakeholders in the sales and distribution channel is of prime importance for a sales manager.
Sales managers would be given sales targets that may be a reflection of either the market conditions or the current condition of the company.
Business Development Manager
A Business Development Manager works to improve an organization’s market position and achieve financial growth. This person defines long-term organizational strategic goals, builds key customer relationships, identifies business opportunities, negotiates and closes business deals and maintains extensive knowledge of current market conditions. Business Development Managers work in a senior sales position within the company. It is their job to work with the internal team, marketing staff, and other managers to increase sales opportunities and thereby maximize revenue for their organization. To achieve this, they need to find potential new customers, present to them, ultimately convert them into clients, and continue to grow business in the future. Business Development Managers will also help manage existing clients and ensure they stay satisfied and positive. They call on clients, often being required to make presentations on solutions and services that meet or predict their clients’ future needs.
Marketing analytics comprises the processes and technologies that enable marketers to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives by measuring performance (e.g., blogging versus social media versus channel communications) using important business metrics, such as ROI, marketing attribution and overall marketing effectiveness. In other words, it tells you how your marketing programs are really performing.
Marketing analytics gathers data from across all marketing channels and consolidates it into a common marketing view. From this common view, you can extract analytical results that can provide invaluable assistance in driving your marketing efforts forward.
- Define the business goals and own the results for respective products
- Plan and launch products that help the company generate revenue, while being conscientious and cautious of impacts on core user experience
- Manage a long-term roadmap for internal tools, data and analytics, and revenue-related products and improvements
- Solicit ideas and feedback, gather requirements, write specs, create wireframes and workflows, and coordinate cross-functionally
- Drive strategic product decisions via evaluation of market trends and meticulous retrospective and prospective analysis of product and revenue performance
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.
SEM is the wider discipline that incorporates SEO. SEM includes both paid search results (using tools like Google Adwords or Bing Ads) and organic search results. SEM uses paid advertising with AdWords or Bing Ads, pay per click (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to contact a company directly with one click), article submissions, advertising and making sure SEO has been done. A keyword analysis is performed for both SEO and SEM, but not necessarily at the same time. SEM and SEO both need to be monitored and updated frequently to reflect evolving best practices.
HOW TO BEGIN THE PREPARATION FOR MARKETING PROFILES
Coming to the preparation for these positions, first and foremost thing is to be well read as it always provides you an extra edge.
For starters, Marketing Management by Philip Kotler is a great place to learn the basics. Reading the book and then searching for applications in the current market scenario is a great way to imbibe the knowledge from the book. Going through the latest business periodicals gives an idea about the direction in which companies are moving.
Afaqs.com, a website dedicated to advertising is a must for aspirants who are looking to enter the field of brand management and advertising. The B-School would give you the necessary academic input needed for a career in sales and marketing, but succeeding in it would be a function of the hard work you put in, pro-activeness you show, the ability to flesh out details and strength to leverage networking.
With this, we come to the end of this article and we hope that it was informative and helped you. Since you are reading this article, we are sure that you are a marketing enthusiast, so we suggest you to go through following articles as well.
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