As the scope of marketing expands, what used to have a fairly monotone career outlook has exploded into an expansive landscape that touches many aspects of business, education, government, and other industries. Earning a marketing degree can make a wealth of opportunities available that range across verticals, job types, areas of expertise, and more. For this reason, earning a marketing degree can be a strategic career starter and make it easy to tailor your professional journey.
The Many Faces of Marketing
One large reason marketing has become such a varied career path is that the number of tools, channels, and platforms at a marketer’s disposal has exploded in recent years. Fifty years ago, print pieces and local newspapers, and—for the wealthiest organizations—crude television advertisements all facilitated the majority of marketing campaigns. However, since that time, not only has the field developed dramatically to become more strategically nuanced and sophisticated, but the methods available to capture attention spans have also increased dramatically. This diversification has had ripple effects throughout the marketing industry at large. Because the possibilities are now so varied, marketing careers come in all shapes and sizes.
What To Expect in an Average Marketing Job
At its core, marketing could be described as the process of engaging stakeholders and encouraging them to take a desired action. Some more traditional definitions of marketing might narrow its scope to “convincing potential customers or clients to purchase a product.” However, today’s marketing industry is much more all-encompassing. Marketing can include branding, awareness-building, educational content creation, advertising, media campaigns, sponsorship management, social media engagement, managing corporate partnerships, working with influencers, and more.
The average marketing role often includes a mixture of creative content creation, copywriting, client interactions, and varying degrees of strategic planning, campaign design, and project management that understandably increase with experience and seniority.
Marketers often balance their time between autonomous work, interacting with internal team members, and clients depending on the nature of their role and employer. However, though there is a conventional archetype for a standard marketing job, don’t be fooled. There’s much more to the marketing career landscape than meets the eye.
Examples of Marketing Careers Off the Beaten Track
Traditional marketing positions usually involve either working internally for a single company or for an agency that provides marketing support for external client organizations. However, there are literally hundreds of variations on the marketing career that can sometimes differ in significant ways from the nature of these roles. Though this is far from an exhaustive list, here are just some of the types of lesser-known marketing paths you can pursue within the field:
Sports Marketing and Communications
Today’s sports industry is massive. It contains everything from community leagues to grassroots initiatives, high-performance developmental organizations, associations, conferences, college athletic departments, professional franchises, and more. Within this wide landscape exists a huge number of sports marketing career opportunities.
Especially for larger organizations like college athletic departments and professional teams, their budgets often include a generous slice for marketing efforts. Performing a marketing role within a sport organization can be a unique spin on traditional marketing jobs and often comes with lots of perks.
Government Marketing and Public Relations
Though this isn’t usually the first industry that comes to mind when thinking about marketing, there currently exists huge demand in areas of government and civil services for marketing professionals. From public relations campaigns to awareness-making, branding, and communication strategies, marketing plays a huge role in politics and governance.
Government agencies, police departments, politicians, and activist groups all need marketers to help them craft their messages and get them out to stakeholders.
Especially for marketers who have established themselves or have built up some professional experience, going into marketing consulting can be a strategic career choice that can allow much more autonomy and self-direction than working for an organization. Marketing consulting might look like operating as an independent (or freelance) marketer that takes on jobs or clients on a contract basis, or it could involve providing a higher-level strategy and expertise that a client will then bring to life on its own.
Marketing Management Roles
A career in marketing and communications management can vary greatly from that of even a senior marketing professional. As a marketing manager, your responsibilities don’t just include marketing knowledge. You are responsible for team dynamics and management, personnel development, conflict resolution, strategy, and vision, and more.
Marketing management combines sets of skills within a highly nuanced field. For those that are interested in marketing but are also interested in leadership and people management, this is obviously a highly relevant career choice.
Industry-Specific Firm and Agency Marketing Careers
Marketing jobs within marketing agencies or firms are relatively conventional and were described briefly above. However, some firms focus on specific markets or client types. These specialized firms or agencies can adopt very unique working environments and natures. Sometimes they emulate the types of clients they serve.
For instance, a marketing firm that specializes in servicing outdoor brands will likely include a hint (or more than a hint) of the outdoor-loving cultures of their clients’ workplaces. These vertical-specific marketing organizations can often provide unique marketing contexts and can sometimes allow you to combine multiple passions into one job.
Have a taste for the unknown, or for building from scratch? Pursuing marketing roles in startup or early-stage companies can provide a very unique experience to working for more established organizations. As a startup employee, you may not have much to work with as far as precedent or existing systems. Rather, it’s your job to dream, envision, and create those systems to propel the company’s growth.
This can be a hugely gratifying line of work for those who are interested in blazing their own trails, wearing many hats, or bringing marketing procedures into existence where there were none before.
These, and plenty of other facets of the marketing profession, portray just a hint of the variety of career possibilities that exist for those with a marketing degree.
This post is made possible by Andrew Deen.
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash