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What is Marketing?

Oklahoma's economy is best known for its mining, quarrying, and oil/gas extraction industries. In fact, it ranks #2 in these sectors nationwide. Since demand for those sorts of products tends to remain steady, Oklahoma has a very sold economic base that supports its other top industrial sectors such as real estate, manufacturing, professional & business services, and social services (education and healthcare).

To help fuel sales for its native goods and services, in addition to those that enter from outside the state and nation, Oklahoma's businesses need strong marketing professionals. To ensure that the state's population of marketing professionals is strong and growing, the state’s colleges and universities continually bolster their marketing departments.

A marketing professional is a business executive whose primary mission is to promote the sale of their firm's goods and services. They do this primarily through two means: data analysis and direct marketing campaigns. Data analysts take all sorts of data about consumer behavior and use it to determine what sort of product consumers will prefer. They also help determine things like optimum pricing, specific target demographics, and even packaging decisions.

The marketing professionals who put together marketing campaigns are the creative advertising and public relations executives we might first think of when we consider marketing. They take the results from their data analysts and craft fun and creative marketing campaigns that help make the final sale. Then, there are others who purchase time on television shows and who target specific advertising media.

All marketing professionals tend to work on computers and in offices. They traditionally work in office buildings where they maintain regular business hours. However, the pandemic may have shifted some of this behavior. These days there are whole marketing teams who work remotely.

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Online Marketing Education in Oklahoma

In fact, marketing departments are a major part of any good business school. Department chairs seek out the best in academic talent from both within Oklahoma and from the rest of the nation. They also balance their departments with academic talent in both the analytical side and the non-technical side. Schools also consider that other, non-business schools and departments may also help strengthen the state's body of marketing professionals. For instance, marketing always needs skilled graphic artists, writers, video production experts, and web professionals.

Oklahoma's colleges and universities work hard to build faculties that bring both strictly academic experience and industry experience, as well. Students always love when professors and instructors have anecdotes from the field. Such real-world experience can be invaluable, especially when students are interested in working as marketing professionals in Oklahoma. An Oklahoma based marketing professional may have special insights into the state's regulatory agencies that students need to learn about. They may also be savvy with regards to marketing non-flashy items such as minerals, oil, and gas.

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Ultimately, Oklahoma's institutions of higher learning are working hard to ensure that marketing students are prepared for the working world. Not only will Oklahoma's marketing students be able to thrive in the state's unique economy, but they should have no trouble if they move to any other state.

Online Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)

Students who are interested in getting a start in the world of marketing should consider an associate marketing degree from their local (or online) community college. Most community colleges will support marketing degrees, as well as other business-related associate degrees. And there are many reasons to pursue an associate degree.

One of the chief reasons to pursue an associate marketing degree is the cost. Community college credit hours tend to be far more affordable than their four-year counterparts. Don't think that community colleges are low quality, though. Instructors in community colleges are apt to have degrees from the nation's top universities, not to mention experience in the field. Plus, community college professors are dedicated to teaching and not to advancing their academic careers.

Upon graduating with an associate marketing degree, students can seek out an entry-level position with a local marketing firm or department within a larger company. Since all associate degrees require that students complete the core college general education curriculum, each graduate is primed to move on to a university, where they can complete their four-year bachelor's marketing degree.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)

Most employers these days seek out candidates who hold a bachelor's marketing degree. This is because a four-year degree allows students to dive deeper into marketing as a discipline. Those who wish to focus on the data analysis portion will have more opportunities to learn modeling and even the computer programming languages that data analysts rely on. Those who prefer the creative side will likewise have more opportunities to study things such as graphic arts, communications, and more.

Since a bachelor's degree takes more time than pretty much any other degree, students have time to explore and grow. To assist that, most marketing departments will provide opportunities for internships or other experiential learning. Some marketing departments will offer students the option of a co-op learning experience. In a co-op degree system, students spend every other term working full-time for a firm. This is based on special agreements with these firms and they bring their student workers back after each term they spend in school. This is more intensive than an internship, since students could spend multiple years working in the same firm as full-time employees, paychecks and all.

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Online Master's Degree in Marketing (MS)

These days, a master’s marketing degree is increasingly important to one's long-term success. Whether students elect an MS in marketing or an MBA, the advanced degree will surely impress any employer. Employers are sure to be more impressed when those degrees come from programs that carry accreditation from program-specific agencies such as AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. Those agencies specialize in business related programs from the associate level through to doctoral programs.

When it comes to deciding on a MS in marketing or an MBA with a concentration in marketing, there are several factors to consider. An MS will focus squarely on marketing and allow students to spend a full two years focused solely on their field. On the other hand, an MBA will require one year of general business education followed by a year concentrated on marketing. Thus, the MBA is perhaps better suited towards those who prefer a more well-rounded business education or plan to aim specifically for management and aren’t only looking to manage a marketing department or firm. However, there's a third option; a dual MBA option allows students to complete an MS in marketing concurrently with their MBA. For their MBA, students can either concentrate on marketing or perhaps a topic such as data science, leadership, or entrepreneurship.

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Online PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)

The topmost academic degree is the PhD. However, the business community doesn't necessarily seek out employees with this degree. This could be changing, however, especially when it comes time to hire a data scientist. This growing part of marketing and business in general is highly technical and demands a high level of expertise. However, those who have achieved this level of expertise can also charge a premium for their work.

A professional with a PhD or doctorate in marketing can also seek a path in consulting or as an independent entrepreneur. Again, this option may be best suited to those who specialize in data analysis. They can boast their credentials to prospective clients who need top-level data crunching to help their firm succeed through the next fiscal quarter or year.

However, most who pursue a PhD in marketing will have an academic career in mind. A doctorate degree gives graduates access to opportunities to land a tenure-track position either as teaching or research faculty. Either job description is sure to open up the possibility of consulting on the side with firms who have special projects.

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Become a Marketing Professional in Oklahoma

Marketing is an attractive business career for many students. Often, they are drawn to the field based on the creative advertising campaigns they see in print, on the web, and on television. Others may desire the career as a way to apply their love of mathematics and statistical analysis, while others may be artists who need a way to pay bills while they work on their masterpiece.

Students in Oklahoma may not be as exposed to marketing professionals as their cohorts in, say, New York City, so it may be more difficult for you to imagine how you could become a marketing professional in Oklahoma. The short answer is that there are many ways to get into this field. There is no licensure, or even a degree required for a marketing position. In fact, many work in the field with no degree whatsoever. However, those with more lofty business aspirations will surely want to earn a marketing degree from an accredited university.

The path to a career in marketing can start before students even land on a college campus. During high school, it may be possible to start taking marketing courses and it's definitely possible to start gaining experience. A summer job can be invaluable to a budding marketing executive. After all, most high school jobs involve selling various products at the retail level. Those with more of an entrepreneurial bent might start a lawn-mowing business that they have to market to clients that need their services.

As high school comes to a close, students should start researching business degree schools in Oklahoma. One key attribute of a good marketing degree program is its accreditation. The minimum accreditation credential is a regional accreditation from a CHEA approved agency. The top tier, however, will hold credentials from either the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE.

On top of the vital accreditation question is whether to pursue the more creative or analytical side of marketing. Those who are eager to create and plan marketing campaigns should look for programs that support that desire. They may even look for schools with top-notch programs in graphic art and design, if not video production, too. Analytical students should not only find the best marketing programs but also schools that have strong computer science and mathematics programs.

Along the way, it's vital for students to seek out internship opportunities and even campus clubs that support their long-term career aspirations. Students should also start looking at graduate programs, especially once they begin their final two years.

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Careers for Marketing Graduates

  • Marketing Director:
    This is a position that requires years of experience and often a master's marketing degree. Whether an MBA or MS in marketing is preferred will vary depending on the employer, but a solid portfolio of marketing success will surely matter more. Marketing directors should have a good working knowledge of all aspects of the marketing process.
  • Special Events Manager:
    To rise into this position, it's necessary to have a strong resume that reflects successful events. Events managers may not need a master's marketing degree because the position is more practical, and experience should matter more than a degree. Special events managers may find work at large convention centers or with industry associations who hold annual conventions, among other events.
  • Social Media Manager:
    These days, every business needs a social media presence. Social media managers should be able to create effective social media campaigns while also fielding customer feedback. As the social media landscape adds major players, social media managers should be savvy with how to best utilize each.
  • Account Manager:
    These marketing professionals work with clients and see that their marketing campaigns are effective. The account manager often has the job of seeking out new accounts and then maintaining them by continually providing them with good marketing content. Thus, the account manager often acts as a liaison between the marketing teams and the clients. To succeed in this position, account managers need excellent communication skills as well as top-notch knowledge of marketing, and business generally. An MBA with a marketing concentration would be perfect for an account manager.

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  • Media Buyer:
    This position is often underrated, but without a strong media buyer, all of the marketing team's efforts may be moot. Media buyers analyze their marketing campaign, its target demographics, and the media landscape. They then purchase the best times on television or the best spaces for ads on the internet in order to reach the chosen audience. They also purchase ad space in print media and even the ads we see on bus benches, etc.
  • Merchandising Manager:
    Merchandising managers are a vital part of any retail marketing. These experts are adept at placing their products in stores at the precise spot needed to maximize sales, and thus profits. Merchandising managers also specialize in pricing, display designs, discounting, and virtually every aspect of presenting a product to a customer.
  • Marketing/Research Analyst:
    While we often consider marketing to be somewhat of a soft science, marketing research analysts are experts in statistics. In fact, marketing analysts are data scientists who use their data sets to help steer products and brands toward success. To succeed in this field, marketing analysts often hold degrees in marketing, computer science, or even mathematics.
  • Digital Marketing Manager/Director:
    These days most goods and services are sold or at least marketed using the internet. Digital marketing managers thus know how to best target their advertising to reach the customers they need. This may involve overseeing newsletter campaigns, social media, and even how to utilize SEO in YouTube videos.

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