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What is Marketing?
A marketing professional is a person who works to promote and sell products for their employer or client. Marketing professionals can be found crunching sales and other numbers that help them understand their consumer market. They may also work with creative professionals who create the visuals and clever messages that we all enjoy. In fact, those creative artists and writers are also considered marketing professionals.
Typically, marketing professionals work in offices at computer terminals. The creative marketing professional also works at computer terminals and uses graphics packages such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blender, to name a few possible tools. It's common for the analytical marketing professionals to communicate with the creatives in order to help them understand the end users or markets for the products in question.
Finally, marketing professionals can be found working in a marketing department within a larger corporate structure. They may also work for marketing firms that contract with corporations and conduct their marketing functions for them. At the end of the day, a marketing professional is a businessperson who uses statistics to understand their market and creative means to promote their products.
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Marketing Education in Colorado
Colorado is home to a diverse economy that includes powerhouse industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, tourism, and real estate, among others. Each of these industries has unique marketing needs that can only be addressed by marketing professionals. Thankfully, Colorado's colleges and universities have addressed this need with a bevy of marketing programs that graduate some of the nation's top marketing minds.
Since one of Colorado's top industries is finance, it may be important for marketing students to understand that market and how to best appeal to its core demographics. Savvy marketing students may even study finance and financial markets in order to learn how to perhaps expand the reach of the financial industry. Market research can help Colorado's financial players create new products or new packaging for older products that may appeal to consumers who previously felt that the industry had nothing for them.
Since Colorado is a huge tourist destination, marketing students can look into internships with the state's tourism board. These experiential learning programs can help students develop broader knowledge of their state and its resources. Thus, once they have completed the internship, they might seek out employment with a ski resort, municipal tourism agency, or apply their expanded knowledge of the state in other areas altogether. Entrepreneurial marketing students may even see opportunities in underdeveloped areas of Colorado and then apply their business savvy to creating new industry there.
It's important to recognize that Colorado is still a rather sparsely populated state. While the Rocky Mountain State is home to fantastic colleges and universities, some students may seek marketing programs elsewhere. Thankfully, the western undergraduate exchange program (WUE) is there to help students attend marketing programs in other western states such as California, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, among many others. Those who are accepted to the program can attend public colleges and universities in participating states for the in-state tuition rates.
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Ultimately, students who pursue marketing degrees in Colorado are sure to find boundless opportunities and success. The existing economic entities can provide fun and fulfilling employment and savvy entrepreneurs are developing new marketing opportunities all the time. For instance, Colorado is already home to some up-and-coming players in the cryptocurrency markets and currency requires strong marketing and branding before people believe in it as a medium of exchange.
Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)
A two-year degree in marketing from a college is a terrific way to get started in the marketing field. Most community colleges have low tuition costs and deliver top-notch academics. While a two-year associate marketing degree might not rocket you to the C-suites, you can surely land an entry-level job with this degree. Along the way, you'll also take all of the core college curriculum that you'll need if you decide to pursue a bachelor’s marketing degree.
During your two-year stint in college, you can take enough courses to understand where your true strengths are. You might decide that you love the statistical side of marketing and thus opt to take electives in higher mathematics or computer science. On the other hand, you may find that you have a more creative bent and choose to take graphic arts courses. Upon graduation, you'll be able to land an entry-level position where you can learn marketing from the ground floor.
Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)
A four-year bachelor’s marketing degree is your best chance to launch a strong marketing career. You can start your collegiate journey with a two-year associate degree, but it's recommended that you complete a full four-year undergraduate program. Employers tend to prefer candidates who have completed their bachelor’s degrees and are more likely to reward them with higher salaries.
A bachelor’s degree is also valuable because it allows students time to explore other fields, which may compliment their marketing courses. Some minor concentrations such as economics, statistics, graphic arts, or computer science can be very helpful in the long-term. Additionally, many four-year marketing degree programs will help students find internship opportunities. Larger schools will also have job fairs where potential employers are eager to collect resumes and interview potential candidates. Finally, a bachelor’s degree is a necessary requirement for anyone who wishes to earn an MBA or other master’s degrees. Thus, all marketing professionals should list a bachelor’s degree as a top priority.
Master's Degree in Marketing (MS or MC)
When a marketing professional earns a master of science in marketing or an MBA with a concentration in marketing, their career is sure to soar. An MS in marketing is a two-year graduate degree that focuses exclusively on marketing. Each program is sure to have its own focus area(s) such as statistical analysis, managing marketing campaigns, sales team management, or branding.
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A graduate degree is a terrific idea for any and all marketing professionals. Current undergraduate students may even want to start looking at graduate programs to enter directly after finishing their program. Some colleges and universities even offer accelerated MBA programs where students can complete a bachelor’s and master’s in five years. These programs are intensive, but they will save students time and money in the long run. That is, most MBA or other graduate programs will take an additional two years on top of the four-year bachelor’s degree. Plus, each year education is sure to become more expensive, not less.
PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)
While a PhD or doctoral degree in marketing doesn't seem necessary, there are employers who will appreciate this level of expertise. These days, the rise of big data means that many will be looking for employees who have the expertise necessary to handle all of that information. There are already marketing programs that feature a strong focus on analytics, data science, and even computer science.
Thus, many who earn a PhD in mathematics, computer science, data science, or some related field will find marketing firms clamoring for their skills. Those who earn a PhD in marketing are likely to have accrued some of these skills as well.
One other advantage of a PhD or doctorate degree in marketing is that it enables a career in academia. A doctorate is likely required to land a tenure-track position or at least a full-time faculty position at most colleges and universities.
Become a Marketing Manager in Colorado
To become a marketing professional in Colorado you need a combination of talent, desire, determination, and education. Your talent can come in a variety of forms and can be used in different ways in the marketing world. Where you might first think of creativity as the primary talent for a person who helps work with product designs, advertisements, and marketing events, there are other equally valid and necessary talents that go into marketing. One such talent is a penchant for numbers and statistics. This can be paired with computer programming skills to thus create the ideal data scientist that every marketing team needs.
You must also have the desire to work in marketing. Since the field is diverse, your desire can land in any number of places. Some have a specific love for organizing marketing events or even media campaigns. Others might love communications and writing advertisement copy or being the driver behind a content marketing campaign. There are also STEM experts who love crunching the numbers to help steer the sales and advertising teams in the right direction.
Once you've identified your talents and desire for marketing, it's important to find a college degree program that supports your goals. You might start with a two-year associate degree in marketing. This way you can save money on tuition. You could also dive into a full four-year bachelor’s marketing degree program. Regardless of whether you start in a community college or a university you should have a bachelor’s degree at the top of your academic priority list.
Depending on your specific talents and desires, you should find the right marketing degree program for you. That is, if you are more interested in the managerial and administrative aspects, seek a program that supports those desires. If, on the other hand, you are more interested in creative campaigns you can seek out a college or university that has a strong graphic arts program. Artists should also consider augmenting their creative studies with marketing courses in their school's business school.
Once you've graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, you can enter the job market with confidence. Note that you can also go ahead and complete your MBA or master’s degree in marketing and springboard your career to the stratosphere.
Careers for Marketing Graduates
- Marketing Director:
This managerial position oversees the entirety of a marketing department. They may help formulate the concepts and timelines for a marketing campaign. Directors may also need to work with the data scientists to fully understand the market. In a large corporation, they might oversee the marketing campaigns for a single product or a line of similar products. Those marketing directors who work for smaller firms may be in charge of many diverse products.
- Special Events Manager:
Certain products, especially consumer products, rely on events to help launch the product lines. Thus, event managers are needed to coordinate every aspect of these events. For instance, they need to handle promotions for the event, which can include flyers, radio promotions, television advertisements, internet promotions, and more. Then they need to secure event space, entertainment, decorations, and more. Events managers thus need to be very creative, organized, and budget conscious, as well.
- Social Media Manager:
These days nearly every product and company has a social media presence that requires management. A social media manager can be in charge of daily posts, social media promotions, and even managing the comment sections. Effective social media managers are adept at creating eye-catching, popular, and viral social media posts. They should also be able to respond to public comments, which can sometimes be rather rude and triggering.
It takes a great deal of savvy to work as a media buyer. You must understand your product and its primary market before you undertake a media purchase. That is, if you are marketing chain saws you should know what sort of television and radio programming they prefer. Then you need to understand when they are most likely to be tuned in. You'll even need to have strong negotiation skills to make sure your firm gets the best rates for their advertisements.
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- Digital Marketing Manager/Director:
Internet marketing is key to success for most products these days. Digital marketing managers should understand their market demographics and then help create marketing campaigns that will reach those buyers. For some products, this may entail detailed YouTube videos where others may only require banner ads on specifically targeted websites.
- Product Manager:
These professionals often work with more than just the marketing. Product managers often oversee a product's manufacturing, shipping, and overall branding. They should thus be able to coordinate with the marketing team to ensure that product launch events, advertising campaigns, and all of the affiliated artwork is consistent and in full support of the product.
- Merchandising Manager:
Merchandising is a complex field that is dedicated to helping move product off of retail shelves. Merchandising managers address issues such as pricing, shelf placement, special promotions, and more. They might coordinate with the rest of the marketing team to help boost sales in specific stores or regions. They can also work with retail managers to coordinate special sales or other promotions including in-store events or displays.