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What is Marketing?

South Dakota is a relatively small state population wise, but it holds substantial financial power. It’s a major hub for financing agencies and credit card companies. For those interested in marketing careers, South Dakota has some excellent opportunities that make it a good place to seek employment. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), South Dakota employs roughly 1,200 people in the marketing field, with an average salary of $63,000.

Products and services don’t sell themselves. Even the greatest product in the world will remain on the store shelves or in the warehouse if people don’t know it exists. This is where marketing comes in.

When a business has a product or service it wants to present to the world, they employ different vehicles to get the word out. This process is called marketing and it can take a variety of forms. For example, companies might choose to present at conventions (this is big in tech and computers), attend career fairs and industry seminars, or even local events, depending on the size of the company.

All of the planning and much of the presentation is coordinated and executed by a marketing department or firm. They are tasked with finding the target market for the product or service and getting it in front of them using any means available and feasible. Marketing professionals are expert researchers, especially where customer needs and preferences are concerned. They use this information, as well as more general information such as demographic, geographic, and other info to create a marketing campaign the reaches and speaks to the target market.

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Online Marketing Education in South Dakota

All industries use marketing, so marketing skills are desired and considered an asset, and those who have degrees in marketing can set themselves up as experts pretty quickly. Because of the need for qualified marketing professionals, most South Dakota colleges and universities offer online programs in marketing. That said, marketing has several specializations and each require their own techniques and skill sets so, if you are considering a particular area of marketing, you’ll want to make sure to choose a school that focuses on it.

Marketing majors often combine marketing with general business degrees so that they will have a more well-rounded education. Advanced marketing degrees in South Dakota can be attained in marketing alone and, for those who want to become career academics, a doctorate degree in marketing is also available. The most important thing to remember is that, whether you choose a private college of business school or go to a public college or university, you should make sure the school holds accreditation that is recognized by the US Department of Education.

Companies either do their marketing in-house or they hire an agency to fulfill their marketing needs. Either way, there is usually one point person that a company works with. This person has studied the company, understands the organization’s needs and goals, and creates campaigns that foster the meeting of those needs and goals. And companies’ needs can vary greatly. An approach or technique that works with one company might be the worst idea for another. Because the field and the needs of the customers are so specific and varied, there’s always a need for qualified and talented marketing professionals to help businesses share what they have to offer.

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There are several levels of degree a person can achieve in the marketing industry. Like many industries, your level of education can dictate how far you can progress in the industry. For the most part, the more education you have, the higher you can advance, but experience and talent also play key roles in your career path. Below is some information about degrees in the marketing field.

Online Associate Degree in Marketing (AS)

An associate degree in marketing is a good way to get the experience to work in lower levels of direct marketing and call center work. Most associate degrees are used as groundwork for a bachelor’s degree and courses include general education courses, general business classes, and some marketing and sales courses. These programs aren’t very common because most people pursue a four-year degree instead. This is because marketing firms nearly universally require a bachelor’s degree for their new employees, even at the entry level. However, with luck, you could land a role at a smaller firm with an associate degree and a plan to earn a higher-level education. If nothing else, then you will likely save money by earning a transferrable associate degree from your local community college before moving on to earn a bachelor’s.

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Online Bachelor's Degree in Marketing (BS)

A bachelor’s degree in marketing is where the majority of potential marketing professionals start. This degree is a combination of general business and marketing courses that set a person up to run marketing campaigns as well as step into lower-level management positions.

Some of the courses covered in a four-year marketing program include:

  • Intro to Business
  • Organized Report Writing
  • Macro- and Microeconomics
  • Financial Accounting
  • Data Analysis for Business
  • Application of Statistics
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Professional Business Communication
  • Buyer Behavior and Retail Marketing
  • And More

Many programs also assist students with completing marketing portfolios so they have something to present to potential employers to showcase their abilities. Students also get practice in giving marketing presentations so that they can arrive at any employer prepared for the task of not just creating a campaign but presenting one as well.

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Online Master's Degree in Marketing (MS or MC)

Many marketing professionals who choose to pursue an online graduate degree earn a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in marketing. This degree is more versatile than a master’s (MS or MA) in marketing, and it still showcases advanced education and knowledge in the field. This degree typically takes three years to complete, but there are accelerated programs that students can complete in 18 months. Students often have the choice of either taking a comprehensive exam at the end of their program or completing a capstone. These programs cover the same areas as the undergraduate degree, just at a deeper, more analytical level. The course path will depend on which areas of marketing you choose to pursue.

Some of the courses in graduate programs may include the following.

  • Marketing Research
  • Marketing Analytics
  • New Product Innovation
  • Marketing Consulting (Practicum)
  • Strategic Brand Management
  • Data Visualization and Technology
  • Technology Product Marketing Management
  • And More
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Online PhD Degree in Marketing (PhD)

A doctorate degree in marketing takes a similar approach to that of an MBA. The degree is based in business with a highly specialized marketing path. The path taken will depend on the marketing direction of the student. Most people who pursue a terminal degree do so to set themselves up as subject matter experts and possibly pursue a career in academia after they have attained practical work experience. A doctorate degree can take up to ten years to complete, requiring coursework and either a doctoral study or the completion of a dissertation and its defense.

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Become a Marketing Professional in South Dakota

If you want to become a marketing professional in South Dakota, there are certain skills you need to obtain. Many of these skills you can learn on your own, but formal training in the form of college courses is ideal because it will make you more attractive to potential employers.

Some of the skills you will need include the following.

  • Identifying markets
  • Knowing how to research different demographics
  • Familiarization with marketing trends
  • Communication skills
  • Writing skills
  • Knowledge of what SEO is and how it works

Knowing how to identify a market for a company’s products and services is very important. Marketing campaigns can cost thousands of dollars or more and companies expect a return on the investment, generally in the form of sales. This means that they need to know who to market to and how to do it. As a marketing professional, you’ll be required to provide this information. For example, marketing to women in the 18–26-year-old demographic is entirely different than marketing to retirees or even men in that same age group. You will need to learn what works for each demographic and how to reach them.

Excellent writing is also a valuable skill for those who want to become marketing specialists or managers. Those who work in the industry often write marketing materials, so knowing how to write engaging and compelling copy is a bonus skill to have.

Once you have the skill set for targeting demographics, attaining knowledge in general business and honing your communication skills is also required. Knowing how a business operates helps in navigating the business environment, while honing your communication skills will help with creating marketing materials and speaking with potential clients. With these skills in hand, you are ready to seek out your first marketing position.

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Careers for Marketing Graduates

Since every industry requires some form of marketing, there are plenty of avenues a person with an education and experience in marketing can take to find a suitable job. Below are several career options for marketing professionals. This is not an exhaustive list, but just some suggestions based on some of the more commonly available jobs in the field.

  • Marketing Director/Coordinator
    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 often oversee several teams and have under-directors who run point for the marketing teams.
  • Marketing Specialist
    Marketing specialists use different types of data to create marketing strategies for organizations. They research demographics such as gender, age, geographic location, and sales trends and use that information to determine the best audience for marketing strategies and campaigns. Those who create the marketing materials use the information compiled by the marketing specialist to create those materials.
  • Special Events Manager
    Special events are one popular place for businesses to reach their target markets. A special events manager is tasked with planning these events and making sure that the right customers are drawn in to attend. This manager matches audiences with companies and creates an event that brings them together. A good example is the meeting Apple has every year.

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  • Social Media Manager
    If a company has a social media presence, they generally need someone experienced in using and understanding social media to run their account. This manager might write and approve posts, make sure there is proper engagement on posts, and ensure that the social media posts stay on brand and convey the correct information.
  • Media Buyer
    Media buyers analyze the needs of the client, take into consideration the best type of marketing for their business to reach their target demographic, and initiate the purchase of media. For example, if a business’ target demographic spends its time on Instagram and Facebook, the medial buyer will purchase ad space on those platforms. Knowing the type of medial the target market consumes is important in ensuring that the clients get the most bang for their buck and it’s the media buyer’s responsibility to make sure those funds are spent wisely.

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