A marketing specialist is a business professional with an educational background in marketing — a multidisciplinary field that combines communication, sales, and advertising to generate interest in a company’s products and services. Marketing specialists work for companies of all sizes in nearly every industry. They also provide marketing support for institutions and government agencies. Anyone wondering how to become a marketing specialist will find the process begins with a formal education and continues with hands-on experience.
What Does a Marketing Specialist Do?
Marketing specialists apply their broad communication skills to promote and publicize a company’s products and services. In this role, marketing specialists develop strategies designed to encourage businesses and consumers to purchase a product or service, such as coordinating events like trade shows and conferences. The position may report to a marketing manager, market research manager, communications manager, or marketing director.
Marketing specialists develop marketing programs that foster brand awareness, strengthen a company’s reputation, promote products, and increase sales. Most people in the profession work as part of a team in which they may collaborate with internal departments — and often outside organizations — to create and execute marketing campaigns.
What marketing specialists do has evolved with digital marketing’s expansion. Marketing specialists now have broader responsibilities that involve social media, web marketing, predictive analytics, and other market research. As a result, their job description varies based on the market focus, industry, company, and nature of the products and services being marketed.
While many marketing specialists are full-time employees of a single company, others are independent contractors who are hired to work on specific projects. Marketing specialists are responsible for tasks such as brainstorming ideas for marketing campaigns, creating brand messages to improve brand awareness, researching and analyzing data, and developing sales presentations. Areas of research include marketing trends, competition, new products, and pricing. Marketing specialists use software designed specifically to promote targeted campaigns and help companies create relevant experiences to win business and achieve brand affinity and brand loyalty.
Steps for Becoming a Marketing Specialist
There are two major steps for becoming a marketing specialist. Since professionals in this role are expected to help make strategic marketing decisions, most employers seek candidates who have earned a marketing-related degree and have some marketing experience.
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Marketing specialists generally must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as marketing, business, or advertising. Degree programs such as the online Bachelor of Marketing and Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Maryville University teach students critical skills required to succeed in the role of marketing specialist, which may enable them to enter the marketing field with the confidence, persuasiveness, and digital savvy needed to devise winning marketing campaigns and promotions. Whichever major they choose, students should take courses that allow them to develop an understanding of core marketing principles, communications, and advertising.
Gain On-the-Job Experience
Gaining relevant work experience is an important component of becoming a marketing specialist, as employers commonly seek candidates with several years of experience in marketing.
Experience enhances the contributions that a marketing specialist brings to brainstorming sessions, pitch meetings, and presentations. Marketing experience can be gained while earning a bachelor’s degree in communication by participating in internships and taking on entry-level positions. As they gain direct marketing experience, marketing specialists may qualify for positions with expanded responsibilities.
Professional Certifications for Marketing Specialists
Aspiring marketing specialists may pursue voluntary professional certifications to prepare for career advancement and demonstrate that they are ready to manage the challenges of modern marketing. For example, the American Marketing Association offers two certification options in its Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) program: PCM Digital Marketing and PCM Management.
Google and the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter also offer digital marketing certifications. In addition, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) provides multiple programs for digital marketers, such as the Digital Media Sales Certification and the Digital Media Buying and Planning Certification.
Marketing Specialist Salaries
Marketing specialists are in a profession that is in high demand by organizations of all types. As of January 2019, marketing specialist salaries ranged from about $58,000 to about $77,500, with an average of $67,728, according to Salary.com. Earnings for a market specialist can vary based on education, certifications, experience, special skills, and job location.
Job Growth Outlook for Marketing Specialists
A career as a marketing specialist offers long-term potential and future growth opportunities. Demand for marketing is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth will vary by the area of marketing specialty, industry, and location.
Begin Your Journey to Becoming a Marketing Specialist
You can get started on a career as a marketing specialist by pursuing an online Bachelor of Marketing or Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Maryville University. The specialized curriculum of the degree programs builds a foundation for gaining the skills to excel in roles that employers require to stay competitive: tech-savvy marketers, digital writers, and content strategists. marketing knowledge and skills, The flexibility of the programs make them excellent choices for those who want to become marketing specialists.