Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations Manager Career and Job Highlights
Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations Manager Career Overview and Job Desription
All firms seek to promote and sell their products and services profitably. In many small companies, the owner or chief executive officer must assume all responsibilities for sales, marketing, advertising, promotions, and public relations. Large firms have an executive vice president to direct these areas for the firm’s products and services, which they may offer nationally or internationally. They also employ managers in each of these areas to coordinate the many factors of marketing strategy, including market research; public relations activities; and product development, advertising, sales, promotion, and pricing.
Marketing managers and their subordinates, who include product development and market research managers, develop detailed marketing strategies for a firm. In doing so, they analyze the demand for the firm’s products and services. They also identify competitors and potential markets such as businesses, retailers, wholesalers, government, and the general public. Marketing managers aim to maximize the firm’s market share and profits by developing effective pricing strategies, all while maintaining customer satisfaction. They also collaborate with managers in sales, product development, and other departments to monitor trends indicating a need to develop new products and services. They would then oversee appropriate product development. Marketing managers team up with various managers to attract consumers by promoting the firm’s products and services.
Public relations managers, who oversee public relations specialists, direct publicity programs. They tend to specialize in a particular field, such as crisis management, or industry, such as healthcare. In their efforts to target a specific audience, they use every communication medium available, because the organization’s success depends on this group’s continued support, be they consumers, stockholders, or the general public. In one possible scenario, public relations managers might explain or defend their firm’s position on environmental issues to a special interest group.
Public relations managers play a critical role in protecting and improving a firm’s image. They monitor social, economic, and political trends that could affect the firm, looking for ways to enhance the firm’s image based on such trends. They also look out for the interests of top management by evaluating advertising and promotion plans to verify compatibility with public relations efforts.
Public relations managers may meet with financial managers to draft company reports and with labor relations managers to write internal company communications, such as newsletters about employee-management relations. Public relations managers help company executives draft speeches, set up interviews, and maintain other types of public contact; they help organize company archives; and they respond to requests for information. Some are responsible for special events management—directing charity tournaments, organizing parties to unveil new products, and working on other events that can help indirectly promote the firm.
Sales managers lead sales programs for the firm. Their primary responsibilities include assigning sales areas, setting sales objectives, and helping sales representatives improve their performances through recommendations and training programs. Sales managers keep in regular contact with dealers and distributors, and in large, multi-product firms, they oversee regional and local sales managers and staffs. With their staff, they strive to maximize profits and identify potential product-development needs by gathering and analyzing sales statistics and other vital information, which they use to calculate sales potential and inventory requirements and to monitor customer preferences.
Employment Statistics for Marketing, Marketing and Public Relations Managers
In 2002, advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers held approximately 700,000 jobs. Distribution of jobs by specific occupation as shown below.
These managers were employed in nearly all industries. Sales managers, who held almost half of the jobs, worked mostly in manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, and finance and insurance. Over one-third of marketing managers worked in manufacturing or in scientific, professional, and technical services industries. Over one-third of advertising and promotions managers were also employed in scientific, professional, and technical services, as well as in publishing, advertising, and other information industries. The majority of public relations managers worked in services industries—insurance, educational, scientific, professional, and technical services, or in health care and social assistance services, for example.
Career Training and Job Qualifications
There is no fixed educational path for those interested in managerial jobs in sales, advertising, marketing, promotions, and public relations. Many employers prefer those who have a broad liberal arts background and relevant work experience. Requirements vary according to employer and specific position, but many will companies look favorably on a bachelor’s degree in a field like literature, journalism, sociology, psychology, or philosophy.
Employers may prefer a bachelor’s degree in journalism or advertising for positions in advertising management. Preparation for a career in this sector should include a solid foundation in sales and marketing, consumer behavior and market research, communication methods and technology, and visual arts.
Advancement to management positions in advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales generally comes through promotion of experienced staff or related professional personnel. For example, many managers worked as sales representatives, purchasing agents, or product, advertising, and public relations specialists before being promoted. Large firms have more management positions, so there are more opportunities for promotion. Small firms have fewer management positions, so promotion to management may occur rather slowly.
Promotion reviews usually emphasize experience, ability, and leadership, but employees who participate in management training programs can improve their chances. Many large firms offer such programs in addition to offering continuing education opportunities, either in-house or at nearby colleges and universities, and these firms encourage their employees to participate in seminars and conferences, which are often put on by professional organizations. Outside training courses are also available from numerous marketing and related associations, who collaborate with colleges and universities to sponsor local and national management training programs. Among the course offerings of these programs are market research, brand and product management, international marketing, sales management evaluation, telemarketing and direct sales, interactive marketing, promotion, marketing communication, organizational communication, and data processing systems procedures and management. Many companies will pay some or all of the costs for employees who successfully such courses.
Certification programs, offered by some firms, can give these managers an important professional qualification. Certification is a sign of competence and achievement in one’s field and can be especially valuable in a competitive job market. At the moment, certification is relatively rare for advertising, sales, marketing, promotions, and public relations managers, but an increasing number of managers are expected to enroll in certification programs. Options for certification vary. One group, Sales and Marketing Executives International, allows managers to certify based on education and job performance. Another, the Public Relations Society of America, allows public relations practitioners to certify based on job experience and successful completion of an examination.
Those seeking to become advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers need to possess certain characteristics and abilities. They should be mature, creative, decisive, flexible, highly motivated, and resilient under stress. Solid interpersonal skills are vital. These managers need tact, good judgment, and an outstanding ability to create and maintain effective personal relationships with supervisory and professional staff members and client firms, and they should be able to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, with other managers, staff, and the public.
Many advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers are able to move up through the ranks because of the importance and high visibility of their jobs. In fact, they can move up to high positions within a firm—even becoming top executives. Promotion for successful or experienced managers may come from within their own firm or from outside firms. Another option for managers with broad experience and sufficient capital is to form their own business.
Job Outlook and Employment Opportunities for Marketing, Advertising and PR Managers
Competition for jobs as advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers is keen. These positions are highly coveted and will be actively pursued by other managers and many highly experienced professionals. Job opportunities are most open to college graduates who have related experience, a high degree of creativity, and solid communication skills. Employers are particularly interested in people with the computer skills necessary to use the Internet for advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales activities.
Stimulated by the intense domestic and international competition in products and services available to consumers, employment of advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers through 2012 should grow faster than the average for all occupations. Projected employment growth does, however, vary by industry. In some fields, including scientific, professional, and related services (computer systems design, advertising, etc.), employment rates are projected to greatly exceed the average rates because businesses increasingly avoid hiring additional full-time staff in favor of hiring contractors for these services. In contrast, many manufacturing industries are expected to experience little or no change in employment.
Historical Earnings Information
In 2002, median annual earnings for advertising and promotions managers were $57,130, $60,640 for public relations managers, $75,040 for sales managers, and $78,250 for marketing managers. For advertising and promotions managers in the advertising and related services industry, median annual earnings were $72,630. The range of earnings went from below $30,310 for the lowest 10 percent of advertising and promotions managers to over $145,600 for the highest 10 percent of marketing and sales managers.
The table below shows the median annual earnings for the industries that employed the most marketing managers in 2002:
The following table shows the median annual earnings for the industries that employed the most sales managers in 2002:
For public relations managers employed by colleges, universities, and professional schools in 2002, median annual earnings were $55,510.
Many factors contribute to the levels of salary variation: level of managerial responsibility, length of service, education, firm size, location, and industry all figure in. These managers generally earn higher salaries in manufacturing firms, for example, than in non-manufacturing firms. For sales managers, however, the size of their sales territory is an important determinant of salary. Bonuses can add significantly to a manager’s regular yearly earnings: many firms award their managers bonuses that equal 10 percent (sometimes more) of their salaries.