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What is Marketing?

Every business has a product or service they are selling, which means they need people and ways to sell them. To do this, companies have to analyze the market, identify where there is a need for a product or service, and then create the means to reach these people. Marketing professionals create the tools used to get these products and services in front of potential buyers as well as identifying who these potential buyers are. They research the market to find the trends and gaps in services and then come up with ways to fill those needs. Many people think advertising and marketing are the same thing. In actuality, advertising is a form of marketing and takes place after much of the marketing work in done. Without marketing, advertising would just get thrown into the wind with the hopes it will land where it is needed. Marketing removes the guesswork and allows for advertising to reach the right audience using the right vehicle.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 2,100 people employed in the marketing industry in Idaho. With manufacturing and real estate being the biggest industries in Idaho, it’s no surprise that marketing is a needed industry. The average marketing employee makes $64,000 and the need for marketing professionals is expected to remain steady for the next few years. If helping companies meet the needs of its customers sounds like something you might enjoy doing, there is information regarding how to break into the industry below, including some of the more popular careers in the industry. Some of the listed careers require a formal education, while others can be entered without one. But, as with any career, the more education a person has, the further they can advance in their career.

Have you ever been driving down the highway listening to the radio and an advertisement comes on for a product or service and it immediately piques your interest? Or maybe you’ve been scrolling through your social media feed and an ad for a product pops up and you are interested enough to click the link and find out more about it? You’ve just been target marketed. You match a specific demographic for that product, so the ads are being shown to you.

Often this happened because a marketing professional or twelve spent countless hours finding you and people like you who would be interested in that product. And that’s the gist of what a marketing professional does. They first recognize a need for the product, then they determine who is most likely to buy that product and then they cerate the ads on platforms their potential buyer uses. They accomplish this through research and an intimate understanding of who would want it and why.

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Marketing Education in Idaho

Most marketing programs are embedded in business administration programs, but there are some colleges that offer standalone marketing degree programs. Below are the four educational levels a marketing professional can complete. And again, the more education a marketing professional has, they further they may be able to advance in their career. It’s certainly possible to have a successful marketing career without a formal education, but earning potential is better for those who are formerly educated and advancement also happens at a quicker pace for these professionals.

Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)

A two-year degree in marketing will allow a person to attain an entry-level marketing position. The associate degree also helps a person decide if becoming a marketing professional is something they are interested in pursuing.

Most of the courses in this program are business based, and students will take the following courses:

  • Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Business Ethics
  • Consumer Psychology
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Business Statistics

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The degree is usually four semesters or two years to complete. An associate degree is also a great basis on which to continue with your education and eventually earn a bachelor’s. This is, in part, because an associate degree lets you complete the majority of the general education courses that may be required in a bachelor’s degree, meaning you’ll only need to complete another two years of courses to finish your bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)

A bachelor’s degree in business administration and/or marketing is the level of education at which a person can expect to start advancing in their careers. This degree is normally a mix of business administration classes as well as marketing, psychology, and sociology courses. The idea is that, to market to people, a person needs to understand how people think and what motivates them to buy the things they do. Armed with this information, as well as selling and marketing techniques, a person is ready to start their careers as marketing professionals at companies and advertisement and marketing agencies.

Courses a student will take may include:

  • Accounting I and II
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Marketing Research
  • Promotion and Advertising
  • Marketing Management

Bachelor’s degrees typically take four to six years to complete. With this degree, a person can seek entry-level up to lower management level positions, depending on the industry and experience level.

Master's Degree in Marketing (MS or MC)

For those who want to move into management, a graduate degree in marketing or a master’s in business administration is an option worth considering. Graduate level studies will provide the student with a better understanding of the marketing process, as well as providing more insight into how businesses are run, employees are best handled, etc. To complete the program, a master thesis, comprehensive exam, and various marketing campaigns must be completed.

While studying for a graduate degree students will take courses in the following:

  • Marketing Management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Digital Marketing Techniques
  • Other marketing courses, depending on the specialization

Upon completion of a graduate degree, mid-level or upper-level management positions could become available, depending on work experience.

PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)

At this level of education, a person is either trying to establish themselves as a subject matter expert, considering a career in academia, or shooting for the upper levels of management, such as CEO. A doctorate in marketing of business is focused on leadership and a thorough understanding of how a business operates and how its customers make their buying decisions. A PhD program takes between five and seven years to complete and often requires a dissertation and the defense of the document. There is also often coursework in general business classes, leadership classes, and other areas that an executive would have to focus on. Upon completion of the program, a person could be highly sought after for upper-level management positions, especially if they have the relevant work experience and a proven track record. Colleges and universities could also try to recruit this person for research and teaching positions.

Become a Marketing Manager in Idaho

Figuring out which elements of marketing are of the most interest to a person is the first step to becoming a marketing professional. Is their interest in the research for the right demographic and form of marketing, or is the creation of the marketing and advertising the primary motivator? Once that has been determined, a person should decide on an industry. Real estate and manufacturing are the biggest industries in Idaho, so focusing on those two industries is a good place to start but, considering all businesses in all industries must market themselves to their potential clients, pretty much any industry is fair game.

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Once a person has narrowed down their specialization and industry focus, they can start looking for entry-level positions in those areas. This can be done before a person’s formal education is completed. Entry-level marketing jobs are rather plentiful, especially if the person has any interest in sales. The jobs can range from sales position to phone work. Once a person has a job in the marketing field, they can start to create the path they are interested in, whether it’s making it into management or becoming a marketing expert. As a person starts to complete degrees, this information combined with work experience will make them increasingly attractive for management positions.

Careers for Marketing Graduates

There are many different careers a marketing professional can explore in Idaho. Below are some of the most popular careers that a person can investigate.

  • Marketing Director
    Marketing directors manage the marketing process for a company. They create the marketing, implement the campaigns, and manage the campaign’s budget. If there is a team, then the director is the head of the entire team and assigns a person to be the leader of the team that reports to them. Directors must have experience working on marketing teams and generally have a graduate degree or a bachelor’s degree with at least 10 years of experience working on marketing campaigns.
  • Special Events Manager
    Companies will hold events for various reasons and, for the companies that do this on a regular basis, they might hire a special events manager. These professionals are experienced in putting events together. They have the correct connections in productions, advertising, and the media. They create ideas for the events, including the theme and then implement the plan and put the function together. Special events often include special items, either the ones that are the point of the event or the items given away at the events. The manager handles the design of either the theme behind the event or the items given away and ensure the event stays on brand.
  • Social Media Manager
    Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of a business’ overall marketing scheme. A social media manager handles all the social media pages for a company. They create posts on the pages, monitor the activity, and engage with customers to keep the page interactive. They monitor metrics and determine what is working and what needs to be changed. They also make sure that the social media pages include any upcoming events and photos from previous events that have taken place. Finally, the social media manager ensures that the social media pages stay on brand and match the company’s mission and ideals.
  • Media Buyer
    Media buys are those who purchase time on television, the radio, or space in a newspaper or magazine for the company’s ads. With that purchase, they advertise their business and talk about the product and services they are offering. This person may also be responsible for researching the needs of a community or specific demographic, determining where this demographic is most likely to hear/see their ad, and basing their media purchases on that information. And it is important that they correctly match the media with the potential customer because media buys can be expensive.

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  • Digital Marketing Manager/Director
    Digital marketing is the newest form of marketing to be introduced to the industry. Because an increasing number of people get their information from the internet, finding ways to reach them as potential customers has evolved to include websites and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Digital marketing managers and directors are tasked with finding out where those within a target demographic frequent when online and creating campaigns that will most interest them. Since this is a form of targeted marketing, choosy businesses only choose the platforms where their target market will see their advertisements instead of doing a blanket marketing campaign. The manager oversees those who find markets, where they’re located, and the best way to reach them.
  • Brand Manager
    A brand manager makes sure that a businesses’ messaging and advertising match the goals and purpose of the business. Managers make sure the company stays “on brand” and that nothing representing the company strays from the information the company wants to convey. Brand managers meet with a management team on a frequent basis to ensure that needs are met.

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