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What is Marketing?
A marketing professional is anyone who works in marketing, online or traditional. Marketing is a form of sales, so people who work in the industry are interested in helping people and businesses get what they need. There is a lot of persuasion involved in the profession, so the ability to determine a person’s needs and find a way to match them with products that meet those needs is important. Marketing professionals not only know how to nail down the needs of their customers, but they also understand the industry and market in which they work, so a person who is excellent at research and profiling both customers and products is important.
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Online Marketing Education in Missouri
Missouri has more than 3 million workers spread out over dozens of industries. The largest industries in the state are professional services, manufacturing, and real estate. In other words, there are plenty of accountants, dry cleaners, construction companies, and real estate agents who could all use some help getting their products and services in front of the right people. After all, no customers means no sales, and no sales means no business. So, real estate agents need people who can make their houses (and their services as agents) sound great, someone needs to sing the praises of the latest building or home that was built, and business services need a way to let the general public know these services are out there, ready for them to take advantage.
So, how do they do that? Through marketing. Marketing is the art of selling. Those who hone that skill and do the selling and persuading are marketing professionals and they are everywhere. No industry could exist without some form of marketing. It’s how people find businesses and how businesses find customers, so every industry is looking for qualified professions. And, because they are so important, they’re paid decently as well, with the 10,000 workers employed in marketing fields making an average of $70,000 annually in this state.
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So, if you think you’d enjoy matching a business with customers and giving a business the tools they need to be successful, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you will find educational requirement, tips for breaking into the industry, and even examples of the types of jobs people in the field have. Whether you want to work face-to-face with customers or behind the scenes making things happen, for those who want to become marketing professionals, the opportunity is there. Keep reading to get the information you need to make an informed decision.
Online Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)
An online associate degree in marketing provides the education and training needed for entry-level marketing positions in organizations. A two-year degree is enough to allow a person to decide if a marketing career is something they want to pursue and it can prepare you to finish a bachelor’s in half the usual time. Courses in an associate degree are generally lower-level general business and introductory marketing and management courses.
They might include the following.
- Business Ethics
- Business Law
- Business Statistics
- Consumer Psychology
An associate degree consists of four semesters of courses and usually takes two years to complete. A more motivated student could complete the degree in less time, but many require more than two years if they attend part-time or take time off in the middle of their degree.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)
A four-year degree in business administration and marketing is a step onto the first rung on the ladder for someone who wants to rise through the ranks of marketing professionals. This degree is a combination of general education, business administration courses, and specialized marketing classes. Many marketing majors are required to create a portfolio, a file that contains all the marketing projects they completed through their college career. This portfolio can be used as a sample of work when it's time to land their first marketing job.
course is a student might take in this program include:
- Consumer Behavior
- Marketing Management
- Marketing Research
- Principles of Marketing
- Promotion and Advertising
Bachelor’s degrees in marketing consist of eight semesters and generally take four to six years to complete. Upon the completion of this degree, a marketing professional will have a general idea of how to market to people, how to decipher how people think, and what motivates them to make specific purchases. This is the groundwork needed to be a successful marketing professional.
Online Master's Degree in Marketing (MS)
For those who have goals of moving into executive positions within the marketing industry, a graduate degree in marketing or a master’s in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in marketing may be the next step. A graduate degree will provide the student with greater understanding of the marketing process, as well as helping them gain more insight into running a business, how to handle employees, and other general business tactics. A capstone project or a comprehensive exam, along with various marketing campaigns completed throughout courses, must be completed to attain the degree.
Some of the courses a graduate student of marketing might take include the following.
- Consumer Behavior
- Digital Marketing Techniques
- Marketing Management
- Consumer Psychology
- Other business or marketing courses depending on the specialization
A graduate degree in marketing or business administration generally takes three to five years to complete. Upon completion, mid-level or upper-level management positions could become available, depending on the organization and the graduate's work experience.
Online PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)
For those seeking a terminal degree, it is assumed that this person is either attempting to establish themselves as a subject matter expert or are considering a career in academia. Top levels of management, such as executive officer positions, are also an option after attaining this level of education.
A doctorate in marketing of business focuses on leadership and attaining a thorough understanding of how businesses operate and how customers make their buying decisions. A PhD program takes between five to seven years to complete, and requires a dissertation as well as the successful defense of the dissertation. The combination of the doctorate degree, solid work experience, and a proven track record as a marketing professional could easily land a person a top-level executive position for a business or organization.
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Become a Marketing Professional in Missouri
To become a marketing professional in Missouri, you should approach the task from two different directions. First, you need to decide the industry in which you want to work, and then you must determine what aspect of marketing interests you the most. Marketing is the backbone of a business’ sales generation regardless of the industry, so finding a job in marketing in your chosen field should not be much of an obstacle. So, choose where you interests lie, and learn everything you can about it. If you can find work in the industry, that experience will serve you well.
Once you have an idea of the industry in which you want to work, you can focus on attaining an education in marketing. During your education, you will cover many types of marketing forms and techniques. You will most likely prefer some forms over others. For example, you might enjoy direct marketing but not like telemarketing or marketing for special events. Once you find an area that is of interest to you, take as many classes in that area as possible. However, you do want to ensure you have a well-rounded marketing education, which will mean including some courses in the methods that aren’t that interesting to you.
Once you’ve attained an education in marketing, if you aren’t already, seek marketing positions in the industry that interests you. For example, if you want to work in manufacturing and enjoy direct marketing and media events, you could seek out marketing positions for manufacturing companies that attend media events and conventions. Or, maybe you want to work in the entertainment industry. You could apply for jobs in media buying or writing marketing materials for entertainment organizations. And, if you are fond of customer service, you could seek telemarketing jobs where you handle inbound or make outbound calls.
Potential Careers for Marketing Graduates
There are many different careers a marketing professional can pursue. Below are a few examples of the types of jobs a person with a marketing background might consider.
- Marketing Director
Marketing directors run marketing teams that execute marketing plans and campaigns. This person communicates with the client to ascertain their needs and then relays this information to the marketing team tasked with creating the campaigns and marketing materials. The director is also often the person who presents the campaign, especially if they are the point person of the team. Some marketing directors run one team, while others oversee several teams and have under-directors who run point for the marketing teams. This is a high-profile position that required excellent communication and written skills, as well as management experience.
- Special Events Manager
Special events are often one of the most popular places for businesses to reach target markets. A special events manager is tasked with planning events and ensuring the right customers attend the event. The manager matches the audience with the companies and then creates an event that brings them together. A good example is the meeting Apple has every year. iPhone users are always eager to hear about the newest phones and gadgets, so Apple holds a major event each year and makes presentations targeted to these people.
- Social Media Manager
Social media managers handle the social media accounts for a business. They make posts to generate engagement with customers and they answer questions customers pose. A person who works in this area needs to be familiar with all the major social platforms, know the rules for posting, and know how to best engage an audience on each platform since the techniques can vary from one platform to another.
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- Media Buyer
Media buyers analyze the needs of the client, take into consideration what type of marketing is best for their business to reach the target demographic, and initiate the purchase of media space. For example, if a business’ target demographic spends its time on Instagram and Facebook, the media buyer will purchase ad space on those platforms. If the target demographic spends a lot of time in their cars, the media buyers use this information and purchase ad time on the radio or streaming services. Knowing the type of media the target market consumes is necessary to make sure clients get the most value for their money.
- Brand Manager
A brand manager makes sure that a business’s messaging and advertising are correct (aka on brand). Managers make sure the company stays on brand and that nothing representing the company strays from what the company wants to convey. Brand managers meet with a management team on a frequent basis to ensure that everything is on track. When changes need to be made, they often do the research to determine what needs changed.