Finance and marketing are distinctly different, but valuable functions within a typical organization. The finance division or department is involved in financial planning, accounting and decision making, whereas the marketing department is involved in developing marketing plans and strategies to deliver messages to target markets about the company's brands, products and services.
The main, general function of the corporate finance function is to develop strategies to fulfill a company's commitment to maximize shareholder value. This includes implementation of core functions, such as raising and management of capital funds, investment decision making and allocation of profits for reinvestment and shareholder dividend payouts. Finance departments are also heavily involved in corporate mergers and acquisitions.
People seeking a career in corporate finance have several options. One of the more straight-lined career paths is simply starting in an entry level corporate finance position and working up toward a director of finance position. Other common finance-related careers include treasurer, financial analyst, credit manager, cash manager, benefits officer, investor relations officer and controller. All of these positions are involved in helping a company develop and manage its cash and financial assets.
Marketing is a significant business function that involves taking a product from manufacturing or distribution and getting it into the hands of the final customer. This process typically centers on four main elements, which are known as the marketing mix, or the 4 P's of marketing. These are product, place, price and promotion. The product is what you are marketing, the place refers to distribution to get the product to customers, price is the point at which you will market and sell the product and promotion includes the media and tools used to deliver messages to target customers.
Marketing jobs are quite diverse. Marketing departments employ marketing specialists or representatives and marketing managers that head up marketing teams. These employees collaborate to develop marketing goals, strategies and tactics. Marketing also gets more niche, with jobs in advertising, public relations, research and development and other more specific areas. Marketing specialists are typically involved in all aspects of marketing, whereas a public relations' employee works specifically with the public relations component of the marketing function.