Marketing entails a host of various job positions that all play a role in the development, packaging, distribution or advertising of products or services. While individual jobs within the broad field of marketing consist of varying duties, there are certain qualities and skills that anyone in marketing must possess. So many pieces must come together to successfully market a product or service.
The best opportunities are available to those with at least a bachelor’s degree, while a master’s offers a distinct advantage in landing upper-management positions. Typically, degrees are earned in business administration, marketing, advertising, public relations, communications, graphic design and related areas. Some workers are better qualified for their particular positions after focusing on dual studies in marketing and another area, such as science, engineering, creative writing or accounting. Fluency in a second language contributes greatly to the success of a product generated for worldwide or mass appeal.
Those in marketing must exude confidence to make sound decisions and land solid business dealings and sales. Problems are almost certain to arise, so workers must be decisive and possess great critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There is no room for wishy-washy persons who cannot commit to a final decision, and run with it. Concerns can arise in all aspects of marketing—from product design issues, to pricing disputes, advertising misprints and missed deadlines. These situations must be attended to quickly and efficiently to keep the whole process moving.
Creativity is particularly essential. The success of product sales depends widely upon conjuring up new and exciting ideas that are appealing and make products or services stand out from a crowd. Individuals must have a drive to succeed and a competitive spirit, as competition is fierce in the industry.
Most jobs require excellent computer skills for performing duties like collecting and analyzing data, managing finances, graphic designing, building websites, storing customer and client information, administering surveys, and compiling reports and PowerPoint presentations. Organizational skills are necessary to successfully juggle multiple projects and matters at the same time. Managers and directors need effective leadership skills that encourage workers to do their best and meet encroaching deadlines.
Anyone in the marketing industry must possess a deep understanding of the way customers behave and think when it comes to shopping and having interest in products or services. Each decision made during the marketing process—from the color and design of packaging to the wording of ads—must be based on what appeals to the target audience. Impeccable people skills are required for daily interaction with clients or customers. This means having good oral and written communication skills, a pleasant demeanor, sociable personality and genuine amiability with people.
The ability to work as part of a team is critical in all areas. There are multiple steps to a marketing strategy—from conceptualization to creation, advertising and analyzing. Numerous meetings and brainstorming sessions assure that everyone is on the same page and working constructively toward a common goal.
2016 Salary Information for Sales Managers
Sales managers earned a median annual salary of $117,960 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, sales managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $79,420, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $168,300, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 385,500 people were employed in the U.S. as sales managers.