The complexity of the marketing sector is reflected in the wide range of job titles, roles and career paths available. An in-house role means you are effectively working on the organization's marketing whether that be for a specific brand/product line (e.g. in FMCG) or for the company overall. Particularly in smaller companies these roles can be quite broad and involve elements of planning, promotion, market research, media relations and advertising and PR. An agency based position offers the opportunity to specialize in a particular ‘type’ of marketing early in your career.
Marketing careers can be developed in a number of ways: by specializing in a marketing function such as research, communications, brand management; or in a type of marketing, such as product, service, consumer or business to business (B2B); or within a sector, such as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), financial services, public, not for profit or entertainment; or in a marketing consultancy or agency, developing marketing strategies and campaigns for clients or providing expertise on a specific aspect of marketing, such as sales promotion.
Typical agency roles
In charge of the accounts team, ensures projects runs on time and to budget and sources new clients. This position requires about five years agency experience and a history of working with blue chip clients.
Liaise with your own team and other teams within the agency to ensure the smooth running of a client's account. As you gain more experience in this entry-level position an account executive may have contact with clients.
Manages entire accounts to ensure campaigns are delivered on time, on budget and to the client's requirements. Tends to require 2-3 years of agency experience.
Client services manager
Ensures all aspects of the client interaction is fruitful and profitable. They work closely with designated clients to ensure the development of marketing strategies and brand promotion. With careful management they are also able to drive high profit for the agency.
Uses consumer data to develop marketing strategies from analysis of consumer behaviours and characteristics. They contribute to creating an effective marketing plan.
Add value to a client's portfolio by analysing and evaluating data to make sound marketing suggestions.
Group account director
Provides support, management and advice to the team of account handlers. They develop communication and promotional strategies for clients and create financial reports, forecasting revenue and profit.
Works with clients enabling them to meet company objectives by using their marketing budget to create advertisement through appropriate media platforms. Work includes creating a plan to do this. Using above the line advertising methods, media planners are also increasingly having to construct advertising campaigns which target individuals, use digital methods, product placement and new emerging methods.
Handles all aspects of promoting a product, ensuring they stay within financial and brand guidelines. This work involves below-the-line activities.
Has overall responsibility for ensuring a marketing campaign functions smoothly.
Identifies the type of information needed for a client's project and sources it, taking into account market trends. A research manager would work in collaboration with the brand planner and client services team. They also take an all round interest in worldwide developments and conduct research into competitors' activity.
Market researcher / Research executive
Help clients make effective decisions about their product through researching and analysing information about customer opinions. Finding out what the market wants, what people buy, who buys what, when, where, format (quant) and why people choose the brand, why do they buy that product (focus group, qualitative methods). Works with brand strategy, marketing and trend setting.
Typical client side roles
Brand manager / Product manager / Brand planner
Responsible for conveying a positive image and improving the reputation of the brand to customers. Interested in strategy (is it in line with what the customer is after), long term and short term brand marketing plans, implementing events for a specific brand or sub-brand, market data and customer insights.
Working on a number of campaigns simultaneously a campaign manager needs to be up to date with the company brand, its positioning and how other products and services relate to the brand. They communicate with the research team in order to fully understand the consumer's wants, needs and characteristics.
Channel marketing manager
Responsible for promoting the brand/product/service to specific trade sectors. Manages the marketing process in order to increase profit within the sectors.
Keeps up to date with movements and changes in the company's business. Tracks information relevant to the industry and encourages company profit and growth through high quality research.
Manages the communications side of a marketing campaign, which includes writing and getting published news stories about the product, managing online content for the product and a wide range of copywriting duties. They also manage the communications budget and communicate news to colleagues.
Customer information manager
Responsible for looking at customer data to predict buying trends in order to make suggestions to increase customer satisfaction with a view to improving sales.
Customer insight manager
A research focused role, the customer insight manager promotes the use of good/innovative research across the company informing their colleagues of the benefits of research. They manage the research agenda across the company and encourage the business to incorporate research into their business plans. They also commission external companies to conduct research (qual and quant) and use this data to evaluate trends and make recommendations.
Customer relationship manager
Uses cross-selling and up-selling to drive targeted, well-timed marketing campaigns to consumers, using profiles of existing customers to target new consumers.
Direct marketing executive
Responsible for marketing a product or service to current and potential clients through targeted marketing campaigns and strategies. This role also includes meeting with clients to discuss products and services and ensuring the campaign runs smoothly. They may also manage budgets.
Digital marketing executive
Digital marketers are involved in developing an organisation's multi-channel communication strategies with a focus on using technology and social media. Key areas include using eg Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to increase customer reach, search engine optimisation (SEO), mobile marketing and pay per click (PPC) campaigns.
Marketing communications manager
With over six years' experience in a variety of marketing roles, the marketing communications manager creates and implements the marketing strategy and develop effective marketing communications. They also manage projects inline with brand requirements and tight deadlines.
Marketing executive / Sales promotion marketing executive
This role can involve many aspects of the marketing process, including planning, advertising, PR, product development, distribution and research. A marketing executive would be expected to have an overall view of a marketing plan and implement this through liaison with various colleagues and the client. They would also be in charge of devising and coordinating plans for promotion of a product, in order to increase sales.
Looks after the strategic direction of all marketing activities in the company, ensuring the product matches the brand.