What is Marketing?
Manufacturing and rice production are two of the biggest industries in Arkansas. Farmers in Arkansas produce half of the rice grown in the United States. With 22 major trucking centers in the state, Arkansas also contributes largely to the distribution of goods around the country. The state also has more than 80 distribution centers and more than 85,000 people in these facilities. This makes it clear the state is a major force in moving goods across the country.
However, the biggest export in Arkansas is aerospace. This adds nearly $2 billion to the state’s coffers.
From fifth place to the first, here are the five largest Arkansas industries:
- Architecture and Engineering
- Production and Manufacturing
- Education, Training and Library
- Healthcare Practitioners and Technical
Arkansas has a growing economy with a variety of industries within its borders, meaning that professionals should be able to find a position in almost any field in which they want to work. However, even better news for those interested in marketing is that every single one of these industries uses marketing of some kind. Tiny companies need signage and websites. Mid-size companies need to reach a wider audience and make use of newspaper and TV advertisements. Even shipping companies need to reach business partners who are looking for contractors to move their goods to new markets.
Marketing Education in Arkansas
If a marketing professional earns their degree in Arkansas, they should be able to find a job in almost any one of these industries, marketing them to other businesses and to individuals who are looking for items they need. Supply chain specialists move goods, but marketers make sure companies have somewhere to move them to.
Marketing is a broad field. Graduates of various degree types might find themselves working in a variety of positions, either in supporting roles or as leaders in the industry.
Graduates of a 2-year marketing degree program may be working in an entry-level position, assisting those in leadership roles. They may help manage writers of marketing material or collect information on ad-space costs so that management can make the best decision with their existing budget. They won’t be making major decisions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary.
With a degree at the bachelor’s level, a marketing manager will lead a team of these lower-level workers to create whole campaigns for their company or client.
The truth is, the tasks you are likely to be assigned greatly depends on the education and experience you have, as well as what field of marketing you are interested in. Marketing graduates may have skills in graphic design, in which case they may work in creating print or online ad campaigns. Those who are great writers might write copy for ads, either with a larger company or a marketing consultancy service. Your interests, strengths, degree, and location can have a huge impact on where you end up in your marketing career.
Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)
Marketing majors at the community college level take classes that will help them prepare to begin working in more technical roles in digital media and general marketing. Certificates can prepare them to succeed and gain promotions by provided them with more general business skills or specific marketing skills. A Marketing Technical Certificate or Technology Marketing Certificate is another way that students can add to their skill set.
An associate degree in marketing should take between 18 months and two years to earn. Since these degrees are often offered by community colleges, they are the most accessible form of education for those students who want to get into the workforce fast, without spending a fortune.
Students planning to work as marketing associates may be able to enter this role with nothing but an associate degree. This will provide the skills in communication and analytics that are critical to this role.
Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)
Students who earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing will be better able to compete with other college graduates if they are looking to become a marketing manager. Recruiters look for graduates who have proven themselves capable by earning degrees in marketing that provide them with skills and knowledge in the field. These degrees generally only take 120 credit hours and four years to complete, though those who attend part-time will have trouble graduating within this time frame.
Students who earn bachelor’s in marketing might also choose to specialize by earning minors in graphic design, writing, computer science, and other pertinent skills-focused degrees. This allows them to compete for positions where they may create print campaigns, magazine layouts, and logos for their employer. Students who earned a minor in computer science or who earned their HTML certification may be eagerly pursued for a position that will open the door to web design and greater promotional opportunities.
Students should also consider taking a marketing internship. While this isn’t mandatory, it is likely to give them a more competitive edge over other students who didn’t complete this experience. “Experience” is the key word here; gaining experience can make all the difference in being hired for your first job after school.
Master's Degree in Marketing (MS or MC)
Graduate students earning their master’s in marketing are rightly concerned about a good return on investment. However, professionals usually find that they’ve made the right decision in pursuing their master’s degrees. These may lead to advancements into marketing management roles or corporate marketing positions.
Those earning master’s degrees have usually already gained experience working in marketing agencies, where they gained experience and put their earlier learning to work. Graduates of a Master’s degree in Marketing should find that it is easier to move upward into senior agency roles. In addition, they may manage subordinates and mov into client acquisition processes, developing new opportunities that allow the agency to grow naturally.
Marketing graduates who earned an MBA with a specialty in marketing may be assigned brand management for agency clients. They may work on product management (product planning) or manage client accounts. No matter what they choose to do, earning this degree is often their last foray into higher education.
PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)
PhD students who earn a marketing degree in Arkansas may be able to position themselves for one of several roles. They may return to the campus as a marketing professor within a college or university’s college of business or even as an undergraduate marketing professor. Many universities do require their professors on the tenure track to hold a PhD in marketing. They might even find themselves leading research.
Another possibility is that they may lead an organization’s marketing department as the chief marketing Officer (CMO), helping to create the vision for upcoming marketing efforts. To do this work, the student should be able to combine their PhD with work experience in marketing positions.
PhD students earning their terminal degree in marketing may take four to five years to complete this terminal degree. They will continue working during their studies, allowing them to take what they learn into their company or classroom. And after graduation, they may have to keep on training or earning marketing certifications specific to particular vendors, depending on their employer or the university where they find work.
Top College Programs in Arkansas for Business
- University of Arkansas
- John Brown University
- Hendrix College
- Harding University
- Arkansas State University
- University of Central Arkansas
Become a Marketing Professional in Arkansas
The State of Arkansas does not require any special certification or license for those who wish to work in marketing. You may have a hard time finding a job without a degree of some sort, but the education you choose to earn is up to you.
Marketing has changed dramatically with the introduction of digital marketing fields. Now, marketing professionals may find it easier for them to get the word out about the product or service their organization manufactures or offers, but they must also work harder to make sure that their marketing is more focused and efficient. Because of this, there are many more fields surrounding the general term of “marketing” in order to help a marketing department function at top efficiency. Let’s look at a few of these sub-fields.
- Market Research
This field involves reaching out to consumers to learn if a product, message, or service will attract the attention of these individuals/this demographic. This may also include data interpretation. Some research tactics include qualitative interviews, surveys, social media monitoring, and focus groups.
Professionals in this field expend their efforts so they are able to convert prospective customers into actual customers. They may also “mine” new customers using data techniques.
This field is one of the most diverse in the overall marketing profession, and the oldest part of marketing. Individuals working in this field should have creativity, people skills, and presentation skills. People who choose this marketing field join a profession in which organizations, advertising agencies, industries and even non-government organizations (NGOs) rely heavily on the act of advertising. Professionals are able to choose from several mediums such as public relations, services, promotions, or others.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This field relies heavily on search engine optimization. People employed in this area may also work on paid search advertising. They may use Google and buy ad space using keyword terms that are frequently used as a part of their marketing strategy.
- Product Marketing
This field markets anything being sold. The professional in this field creates messaging, creating presentations for salespeople and using the work of market researchers to learn who is the most ideal customer—all in an effort to sell specific products.
Careers for Marketing Graduates
- Special Events Manager
This role may also be called an event planner or event coordinator. This professional manages events by finding venues for the upcoming event, then booking the area. They interact with suppliers and clients. They also handle all the logistics and organize vendors. They are responsible for managing the risk and may be asked to present a report after the event has taken place if they are working for a large company or non-profit. Non-profit organizations rely on these professionals and they may work closely with fundraisers when they work in the non-profit field.
- Social Media Manager
In the field of social media marketing, organizations hire these professionals to interact with the public, their customers, and even detractors of the brand. For instance, social media marketing may use Twitter or Facebook, where marketers are able to communicate with all other site members. The professionals in this field use these sites and others to build their brand and promote new products. They are less concerned with improving sales as they are with keeping the company in the minds of the public.
- Marketing Coordinator
The marketing coordinator oversees every marketing activity within an organization. They may use market research, plan promotional campaigns and oversee how they are carried out, evaluate current trends in marketing, and identify the audiences that are their targets for specific products or services. This career requires marketing coordinators (or marketing managers) to be detail oriented and fully understand marketing techniques.
- Merchandising Manager
A merchandising manager should be analytical because they spend much of their time sourcing and managing the company’s products and promotional materials. They use their professional experience as they make their choices. They may also curate these materials and decide when products are no longer offering returns on investment. They supervise the buying process, negotiate with suppliers, and forecast both inventory demands and trends.
- Chief Marketing Manager
A chief marketing manager/officer oversees development and carrying out of advertising and marketing campaigns. They are the person who is the most responsible for ensuring that sales increase through the use of advertising; therefore, a degree in marketing may be mandatory for those wishing to hold this position. They inspect existing initiatives, assess, and improve them. They create new strategies to increase company revenues. They may decide how to use integrated marketing to help sell products.
- Media Buyer
The media buyer is responsible for finding and acquiring advertising space in print, television, and billboard campaigns. They may also be responsible for finding and obtaining space for online campaigns. They may carry out market research, source attractive media slots and space, and negotiate with advertising sales agents. Next, they verify that the medium used for advertising and placement effectively reaches the desired target audiences effectively.
- Brand Manager
A brand manager takes responsibility for the creation and implementation of all marketing programs and communication activities for a brand. They may manage a portfolio of products for the organization. In this case, they build brand awareness so that market shares improve.
- Product Manager
Products managers are sometimes called the “CEO of their product”. They take responsibility for the marketing strategy and the roadmap and feature definition of that product or line. They may use several tactical and strategic techniques as they carry out their role. They may also work with teams in a cross-functional role, blending marketing, profit and loss projects, and forecasting. The product manager operates on the “right product/right time” practice. In short, the product manager manages the product—not people.