Students interested in the field sometimes ask, “Should I major in marketing?” In order to answer that question, it helps to know that a bachelor’s degree in marketing is a valued commodity in the industry. Through the degree, business-minded students can expand their holistic understanding of marketing and its many sub-disciplines including market research, content generation, and brand management. The relevant knowledge base that marketing graduates acquire should make them valuable candidates to employers.
Discover the Many Disciplines within Marketing
Why should you major in marketing? One reason is that the diverse array of sub-disciplines within the field means that there are many possible directions for a marketing career. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as ‘the activities and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging products and services that may be valuable to consumers.’
While marketers of the past relied mostly on reaching consumers directly through print, television, and radio advertising, the digital age has brought a range of new internet-based outlets for marketing. Each of the following digital marketing disciplines has a unique business function. Marketing degree holders who are able to master these disciplines are well positioned to explore promising career prospects.
Search Engine Optimizations (SEO)
Today, search engines drive a massive portion of internet activity. In 2017, Google’s average number of daily searches was approximately 3.5 billion, or 1.2 trillion annually. Search engine optimization is a vital tool to increase the quality and quantity of traffic driven to a website organically through search engine results.
How it works:
- Search engines such as Google deploy “crawlers,” or programs that automatically find and scan websites by following links between pages.
- That information is compiled in Google’s index.
- A complex algorithm then matches user search queries to the information stored in Google’s index, generating a list of sites that correspond to the search keyword.
By structuring online content in a search-engine friendly manner and leveraging other SEO tactics, SEO specialists can optimize their site to potentially rank more favorably in Google’s search results. But the algorithms that are used by search engines are constantly changing; so marketing degree programs teach their students the value of adapting SEO strategy on the fly.
Social Media Marketing
This methodology involves using social media platforms to market brands to potential customers. Social media marketers must know which platforms offer the best places to reach their target audience. For example, Linkedin might be the best option for businesses selling products to other businesses, while a family-oriented consumer brand might target users on Facebook or Pinterest. Through relevant coursework, marketing students are exposed to the unique advantages and disadvantages of different social media platforms, as well as to the difference between paid advertisements and organic marketing campaigns.
By compiling lists of email addresses, or purchasing lists from third-party companies, marketers can send messages to large segments of the population or defined niche segments, depending on their goals. Email marketers strategize the best ways to engage users with their content and cultivate the right audiences for their email campaigns. They can also use software to optimize their email marketing strategy, as well as track users’ engagement with their messages. They use this data to determine which messages are performing best and improve future campaigns.
An influencer is someone who has built an audience that companies may be interested in leveraging to promote their brand or products. Celebrities are the most well-known influencers, but ‘ordinary’ people with smaller online followings are also able to effectively promote products on social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. The objective of influencer marketing is to target influential people who can promote a company’s image or products in their posts or content.
Content marketing is a practice that involves creating and distributing relevant content to target audiences. This content can range from blog articles to viral videos. The key to content marketing is creating materials that are not overtly promotional, but instead are meant to spark interest in a brand among potential consumers. For instance, rather than making a video directly promoting a line of lawn care tools, a landscaping company may produce content that explains how to perform lawn maintenance using their products. This would engage consumers who are interested in learning lawn care techniques. This audience would then presumably be more likely to purchase the company’s lawn care products in the future.
Careers for Marketing Majors
If you are weighing your future career options, perhaps asking yourself, “Should I major in marketing?” — here are a few occupations in the industry that might help you with your answer:
Marketing managers oversee a company’s marketing efforts, including campaigns, strategy, and analytics. They work closely with art directors, sales teams, and finance professionals to coordinate their efforts. The typical requirements for becoming a marketing manager include a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related subject. The job usually entails managing a multidisciplinary team, so previous experience in advertising, marketing, or promotion can make it easier to qualify for this position.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $132,230 in 2017. The BLS also expects a 10 percent growth in available jobs continuing to 2026.
Market Research Analysts
This position involves analyzing market studies to discover how well a company’s products or services will sell. A multifaceted occupation, analysts work with detailed data about consumers, industry competitors, and various market conditions. This information is then presented to marketing managers or other decision makers within the company. While market research analysts are considered more entry-level than marketing managers, the position still requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for market research analysts was $63,230 in 2017. The field is growing quickly, with projected 23 percent growth in available jobs expected through 2026.
Social Media Specialist
Social media specialists spread awareness of their company’s brand or products by creating content for social media platforms, as well as engaging users and following online conversations. They generally strategize to determine the best ways to reach their target audience and use tools to measure the effectiveness of their efforts.
Most social media specialists hold a bachelor’s degree, although some might have a master’s degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies social media specialists alongside public relations specialists, whose median salary in 2016 was $59,300. Public relations specialist careers are expected to increase by 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Courses You Will Find In Maryville’s Online Bachelor’s in Marketing Program
If asking “Why should I major in marketing?” — you may also be wondering about the curriculum involved in obtaining a marketing degree. If so, you may be interested in the following courses at Maryville.
Consumer Market Behavior
This course teaches students how to understand the factors that influence consumer behaviors. By evaluating the psychological processes, personal differences, and environmental factors that impact consumer purchasing decisions, markets can develop strategies that perform well even in competitive environments.
Marketing and Digital Media
To implement the digital marketing skills mentioned in previous sections of this article, marketers must gain experience in creating data-driven digital media strategies. This course provides students the opportunity to develop a marketing plan from beginning to end, using various key marketing tools.
Marketers must often communicate with company management and clients to ensure that marketing strategies are carried out properly. This course is designed to teach students how to communicate effectively, efficiently, and persuasively in a professional setting, whether face-to-face or in a written format.
You Should Major in Marketing to Launch Your Career in this Exciting Field
Marketing is a complex field that incorporates general business techniques with various research and sales concepts. While it may be possible to learn some concepts independently or on the job, pursuing a marketing degree can help you build valuable skills and expertise and make you a more appealing candidate for marketing jobs. If you’re interested in a marketing career, find out more about the online bachelor’s in marketing at Maryville University. It blends deep-dive marketing courses, traditional business principles, marketing strategy and advanced technology — providing a well-rounded foundation for students to further their career ambitions.