Modern marketing incorporates a range of complex techniques that leverage traditional as well as digital media to capture consumers’ attention. While different in concept and execution, these two forms of marketing can be performed by anyone with a firm grasp of fundamental marketing skills.
To those asking, “What can you do with a marketing degree?” the answer is clear. A bachelor’s degree in marketing helps prepare graduates to contribute to their employers’ marketing strategies in different capacities, opening up exciting career opportunities.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Marketing?
So, what can you do with a marketing degree? The possibilities are virtually endless, because marketing exists across all sectors and industries. This means there are many opportunities to pursue employment in both private and public sector organizations, ranging from nonprofits, to retail, to all types of commercial businesses.
Upon obtaining a marketing degree, graduates should have the competence necessary to pursue the following relevant occupations.
Social Media Specialist
Social media specialists create and share content with the public through social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Their messages are designed to promote a positive image of a company’s brand, or spark interest in a new product or event. They also follow online conversations, interact with customers, and engage digitally with the public.
A bachelor’s degree is typically sufficient to land a position as a social media specialist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes social media specialists alongside public relations specialists, who earned a median salary of $61,150 as of May 2019. Growth for social media jobs from 2018 to 2028 is projected to be 6%, according to the BLS.
Becoming a marketing manager generally requires a broad range of skills and work experience in marketing project management, marketing strategy, and marketing data analysis.
Marketing managers must have leadership skills to lead teams of marketing specialists and professionals, and to provide guidance around meeting performance deadlines and key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s typical for marketing managers to have the following.
- At least a bachelor’s degree, though some jobs may require a master’s degree in marketing or a related field
- Google AdWords and Google Analytics certification or equivalent, depending on the field
- Experience serving in brand management, marketing, or sales roles
Marketing managers can expect a median annual salary of $136,850. Between 2018 and 2028, the growth of marketing manager jobs is projected at 8%, faster than other industries on average, according to the BLS.
Digital Marketing Manager
What’s the difference between a marketing manager and a digital marketing manager? A marketing manager may be more of a generalist, working in both print and digital media. As the title implies, digital marketing managers are specialists. From developing digital marketing campaigns to overseeing mobile advertising, social media, and e-commerce activities — digital marketing managers develop strategies to achieve business goals in the online arena. They help promote products and services, grow sales and brand awareness, and strengthen customer loyalty through digital marketing tactics and by integrating digital campaigns with traditional marketing efforts. By using data analytics tools, they monitor digital marketing campaigns and develop strategies to improve their performance.
Digital marketing managers often lead teams of social media specialists, marketing coordinators and other professionals, which means they need leadership and team management skills. Digital marketing managers also have effective communication and presentation skills, competencies in search engine optimization and strategic planning, knowledge of e-commerce, and a deep understanding of internet standards and laws.
Digital marketing manager roles typically require at least a bachelor’s degree and experience with marketing and e-commerce. In terms of salary, PayScale.com reports a median annual salary of $66,122 as of May 2020. The future for digital marketing roles looks bright. According to a 2019 report by the American Marketing Association, digital marketing spending is expected to increase by 12.3% nationally. From 2018 to 2028, digital marketing managers and related roles are projected to grow by 8%, according to the BLS.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts source market data and process it into actionable insights. These insights are then used to plan advertising campaigns and direct promotional efforts. Job duties can include tasks such as conducting product research, analyzing consumer trends to determine product and service demand, and providing sales projections on new projects. Market research analysts package data into easily understandable formats, enabling senior management to use it to guide future advertising and marketing strategies.
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification for entry into this field. At the same time, some roles will be more suited to a master’s degree. The median annual wage for market research analysts was $63,790 as of May 2019, according to the BLS. Demand for this job is projected to grow by 20% between 2018 and 2028, faster than average for other industries and occupations during the same time period.
Sales managers are less involved in marketing planning and execution compared to the other roles listed. A typical sales manager will direct a team of salespeople whose primary objective is to sell products, services, or advertising. Almost every industry needs sales managers, including businesses of all types, technology organizations, and media companies such as TV and radio stations. Sales managers may direct the sales of print, web, social media, television, or radio ads.
In addition to leadership skills and a sound understanding of business practices and sales methods, it is fundamental that sales managers possess an in-depth knowledge of marketing. They also need to know how to gather information, understand consumer behavior, and determine which forms of marketing generate the best results.
A bachelor’s degree is typically suitable for a sales manager role. However, candidates with a master’s degree may be preferred for higher-level positions. Sales managers earned a median annual salary of $126,640 as of May 2019. Projected growth for sales manager roles is 5% between 2018 and 2028, according to the BLS.
Public Relations Manager
An organization’s public image plays an essential part in its marketing strategy. Public relations managers drive efforts to promote a positive image for their organization using various channels, especially social media.
What is public relations? It “is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics,” according to the Public Relations Society of America. While marketing tactics typically involve the use of paid media, such as advertising, promotional materials, and sponsorships, public relations is a marketing tactic that relies on earned media.
Public relations managers often oversee efforts to gain the attention of media and partners who can cross-promote their brands. Tactics used in public relations include writing press releases, content marketing, pitching stories to journalists, and forging relationships with media and business partners.
Public relations managers must have effective verbal communication and presentation skills to present their organization’s point of view through news outlets, press conferences, video, and beyond. They also use their analytical skills to determine which social, economic, and political trends impact their organization’s image. A subset of public relations is fundraising, which involves implementing capital campaigns and soliciting major gifts from donors.
The BLS reports that public relations and related roles are projected to grow by 8% from 2018 to 2028. The median annual salary for public relations managers is $116,180, according to the BLS.
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
A CMO oversees the entire marketing function, typically within large organizations. It is common for CMOs to have an MBA degree, extensive experience, and a record of advancement serving in marketing manager roles. Job duties may include the following:
- Planning marketing and advertising strategies
- Overseeing marketing budgets
- Leading teams to execute marketing tactics in line with marketing strategy
- Participating in high-level meetings and representing the marketing function
- Ensuring brand management is maintained to the highest possible standards
- Overseeing the delivery of all areas of marketing and branding
According to PayScale.com, CMOs can expect to bring home a median annual salary of $174,982 as of May 2020.
Marketing Fields: Traditional vs. Digital
In today’s world, there are two main types of marketing: digital and traditional. However, the distinction between them is becoming increasingly blurred as more marketing strategies blend both traditional and digital elements for maximum reach and impact. Marketing professionals understand the strategic importance of using both traditional and digital marketing strategies.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing evolves as internet technologies and innovations transform the business landscape. Popular forms of digital marketing today include the following:
- Paid search marketing — Coordinating marketing strategies that involve paying search engine companies, like Google, for targeted advertising services
- Paid social media marketing — Structuring marketing strategies that involve paying social media networks, such as Facebook, for targeted advertising services
- Social media management — Guiding non-paid social media strategies by planning posts, creating posts, and engaging with audiences
- Influencer marketing — Identifying public figures who can effectively promote products for an organization, then forging a mutually beneficial relationship
- Search engine optimization (SEO) — Improving an organization’s online visibility by improving its ranking in search engine results
Digital marketing strategies that involve paying for services, like paid search or social media marketing, typically leverage data that has been compiled by the company hosting the advertisements. This data is used to place a company’s message directly in front of users who are most likely to be interested in it. Other specializations, primarily social media management and influencer marketing, use relationship building to drive organic traffic to a company’s website or products.
Traditional marketing methods preceded modern digital marketing strategies. Still, traditional marketing has retained a considerable footprint in the digital age. Print media, television advertising, and billboards are the archetypal forms of traditional marketing. Traditional marketing tactics can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Direct mail — Involving bulk letters delivered to recipients addressed by location or expressed interest
- Radio — Advertising between songs and through sponsored segments
- Print advertising — Traditional magazine or newspaper style advertisements
- Leaflets and brochures — May be featured as a part of direct mail or distributed by handouts or other means
The Future of Marketing
Marketing is a fast-moving field, rapidly changing the consumer buying environment through digital messaging and promotion. Yet traditional concepts that underpin marketing and advertising remain constant.
Many companies are now working with new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, to discover innovative ways to communicate with consumers. Others are investigating ways to optimize data analytics, which helps with understanding consumer behaviors and market trends.
So, what can you do with a marketing degree? As marketing grows as a discipline, so does the potential for businesses to grow their profitability through cutting-edge marketing strategies that incorporate the latest marketing techniques and technologies.
Earning a bachelor’s in marketing is a sound strategy for students who wish to enter the marketing arena with a running start. The curriculum of Maryville University’s online bachelor’s in marketing program helps equip graduates with the essential technical expertise to identify and engage with consumer audiences and support business objectives. It also teaches students how to adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape.
Start Your Marketing Career Journey at Maryville University
What can a marketing degree do for your career? Explore how Maryville University’s online bachelor’s in marketing program can help prepare you for exciting opportunities in the field.
American Marketing Association, “The 2019 Marketing Jobs Outlook Is Bright”
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations Specialists
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sales Managers
Forbes, “What Is Content Marketing, And How Can Your Business Use It to Sell?”
Forbes, “What Is The Future Of Digital Marketing?”
PayScale, Average Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Salary
PayScale, Average Digital Marketing Manager Salary
PRSA, About Public Relations