Every career field has its drawbacks. Hopefully when weighed against the advantages, your choices come out with enough advantages to tip the scale. Marketing includes all activities that organizations need to undertake in order to sell products and services. This includes product development, pricing and promoting the product, researching customer preferences and habits and working with sales and distribution teams. Both creative and analytical types can find a job in the marketing arena.
Organizations need to market their products or services to drive sales; the more sales they have, the more revenue they generate. This makes marketing virtually ubiquitous in every type and size of business. Some organizations may place more emphasis on one area of marketing than another -- for example, a company may have a higher sales budget than promotions budget -- but creating and facilitating a mutually beneficial exchange between seller and buyer is the backbone of a monetary economy. You are at least guaranteed that a need for marketing exists.
The parameters for some career fields are narrow: It doesn’t do you any good if an employment counselor tells you that the demand for chemical engineering is high if chemistry is a foreign language to you and your engineering acumen is non-existent. Marketing is different; marketing envelops diverse careers. If you can lead the proverbial horse to water, consider a career in public relations. If you can make him drink, sales might be your forte. If you can make a mud puddle look like a tropical oasis, your calling may be in advertising. If you added alfalfa to the water to attract the neighbor’s horses, you may have a knack for product development.
There are no guarantees, but according to 2012 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean, or average, salary for marketing managers for the top-paying metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas ranged from high five figures, to high six figures. For example, the lowest paying metropolitan area among the top 10, Boulder, Colorado, still averaged $153,250 annually. Among the top five highest paying non-metropolitan areas, the bottom-ranking New Hampshire paid $129,040. Nationwide, the average annual wage in 2012 was almost $130,000.
You can gain a footing in a marketing career with a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as advertising, communications, marketing, statistics or business. An entry-level foothold could translate into a management position with just a few years’ experience. Also, if you start in advertising and discover that you have a knack for market analysis, you can make a horizontal move while still giving the marketing department the benefit of your experience.
Based in Central Texas, Karen S. Johnson is a marketing professional with more than 30 years' experience and specializes in business and equestrian topics. Her articles have appeared in several trade and business publications such as the Houston Chronicle. Johnson also co-authored a series of communications publications for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in speech from UT-Austin.