How to Become an International Marketing Executive

International marketing executives are trained professionals who specialize in global business tactics. They have knowledge of business, economics, and sales strategy as well as skills such as strong communication, strategic planning, and management. The international marketing executive is the company’s worldwide brand ambassador, positioning it in the best possible way to audiences around the world.

If you’re researching how to become an international marketing executive, you will likely find that the profession requires a commitment to gaining education and experience, as well as an ability to stay current on global business trends. Read on for a discussion of the responsibilities and qualifications associated with this career path.

Two international marketing executives shake hands in front of a world map

What Does an International Marketing Executive Do?

International marketing executives are responsible for developing and executing business strategies to promote sales of their organization’s products or services in multiple global markets. These leaders may have a range of different job titles, such as chief international marketing officer, international marketing director, or strategic global marketing executive.

While their specific duties also vary by company and industry, international marketing executives are often at the forefront of cultivating and maintaining relationships with clients; coordinating major marketing campaigns across a variety of traditional and emerging channels; and guiding global market research efforts. They must continually monitor market conditions in the parts of the world where they do business and adjust their strategies based on changing sales trends.

International marketing executives must have extensive sets of skills, including:

  • Communication. International marketing executives need to communicate clearly and diplomatically, as they regularly interact with employees and build relationships with clients and customers.
  • Strategic global planning. Securing a foothold in the international business market is no small feat. Extensive planning with an eye to global trends is necessary to connect with a worldwide audience.
  • Management. At the executive level, the ability to effectively manage other professionals is key to maximizing team performance and cohesion.

Steps to Become an International Marketing Executive

A combination of the right education and experience can translate to a successful career as an international marketing executive. Here is an overview of the key elements involved in this professional path.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in marketing, economics, or business is a minimum requirement for those pursuing careers as international marketing executives. An online bachelor’s degree in marketing introduces students to different aspects of the industry, such as advertising, marketing strategy, and public relations. Students in these programs learn how to plan, execute, and manage effective marketing campaigns.

Further education, such as an online Master of Business Administration (MBA), can often help improve a professional’s prospects for advancement to senior management and executive positions. An MBA program can help students develop an elevated knowledge of marketing, managerial concepts, and issues relevant to businesses expanding overseas.

Professional Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There is no standard credential for all international marketing executives, but individual organizations may require candidates to attain certain licenses or certifications, depending on the nature of the role. For example, companies may require marketing executive candidates to possess certifications offered by organizations such as the American Certification Institute, American Marketing Association, and Sales and Marketing Executives International. While such requirements vary between companies, aspiring marketing executives can also seek these professional credentials on their own to improve their skills, job prospects, and earning potential.

 

On-the-Job Experience and Career Advancement

For those who are just getting started in their careers, internship programs provide opportunities to apply their skills in the real world while working alongside established marketers and their clients. After completing an internship and a bachelor’s degree, marketing professionals usually begin their careers as marketing specialists, marketing assistants, or sales specialists. In these positions they can gain valuable experience that they will build upon as they advance in their field and prepare for opportunities to grow into international marketing executive roles.

Those hoping to reach the executive level in international marketing usually need several years of management experience, ideally in several global markets. To accomplish this, it is important to establish strong professional networks, compete for promotions, and develop specialized skills that may be needed to oversee different types of marketing teams, such as digital marketing specialists and research analysts.

International Marketing Executive Salaries

International marketing executive salaries depend on factors such as education level, experience, location, and industry. Earnings also vary by seniority and job title, as there are many types of international marketing executives who have different roles in their organizations. According to Glassdoor, the average annual base salary for an international marketing manager is $81,078; Glassdoor lists the average base salary for an international marketing director at about $114,500.

Employment Outlook for International Marketing Executives

Between 2016 and 2026, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the category of top executives to grow by 8%, adding another 193,100 jobs to the industry. As the marketing and business worlds become more globally connected due to advances in technology, marketing executives who specialize in international business may prove to be highly sought after.

Learn More About International Marketing Careers

International marketing executives play key leadership roles in positioning their companies to better understand and connect with potential customers around the world. If you’re interested in pursuing this high-level position, Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Marketing program can help you develop the fundamental marketing skills that can get you started on your professional journey. Visit the program website to learn more about what international marketing executives do to make their organizations more competitive on a global scale.

Sources:
American Certification Institute, Home
American Marketing Association, Home
Glassdoor, International Marketing Director Salaries
Glassdoor, International Marketing Manager Salaries
Maryville University, Careers with a Marketing Degree
Maryville University, Online Marketing Degree
Sales and Marketing Executives International, About SMEI
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Top Executives