The diversity of marketing opportunities is reflected in the many types of marketing careers, ranging from advertising
to marketing research to public relations to product management. The growing concern with marketing in many nontraditional
organizations, such as hospitals, financial institutions, the performing arts, and government, has added to the many
opportunities offered by traditional employers such as manufacturers, retailers, consulting firms, and advertising agencies.
Although some graduates enter general management training programs or begin graduate school, most accept entry-level
positions in one of the following areas: product/brand management, sales management,
advertising, retailing, or consulting and marketing research.
Many organizations assign one manager the responsibility for developing marketing plans for a particular product or a
group of products. For example, Procter & Gamble has separate brand managers for each brand of coffee and Bayer has
separate brand managers for products such as children's vitamins and adult vitamins. Product managers are involved in
commissioning and interpreting market research studies, analyzing sales data and identify trends, working with advertising
agencies to develop new campaigns, and working with sales managers to coordinate new promotions. New college graduates
generally begin product management careers as brand assistants who work directly for the brand or product manger. In some
firms, some experience in sales is also viewed as useful preparation for product management.
A wide variety of industrial, consumer goods, and service organizations come to the University of Notre Dame to seek
individuals for entry level jobs that will lead to sales management and general marketing management positions. Nearly
all these jobs offer an exceptional level of independence: salespeople are largely responsible for controlling their
own time and activities. Because of the large number of sales positions and the importance of developing customer and/or
distributor relationships, sales positions are usually very lucrative. Indeed, many individuals turn down opportunities
for promotion into sales management due to these qualities.
Sales and sales management jobs do vary considerably across industries in terms of the amount of time spent on solving
customer problems, helping distributors merchandise a product, monitoring competitors' activities, and demonstrating new
products. Firms seeking people for sales careers include Business-to-Business firms (such as IBM and GE Medical), consumer
goods firms (Procter & Gamble, General Mills), and firms providing services (Merrill Lynch and AT&T).
Advertising careers have high visibility and, for some, a glamorous image. This creates strong competition for a
relatively small number of jobs. Advancement from entry-level positions, however, can occur quickly. Advertising executives
often suggest that students interested in advertising seek summer programs and internships in addition to advertising
Advertising positions are available in three kinds of organizations: advertisers, media, and agencies. Advertisers
include manufacturers, retail stores, service firms, and many other types of companies. Often they have an advertising
department responsible for preparing and placing their own ads. Advertising careers are also possible with the media:
television, radio stations, magazines, and newspapers. Finally, advertising agencies offer job opportunities in account
management, research, media, and creative services.
Most entry-level positions in advertising are as a media buyer -- the person who chooses and buys the media that will
carry the ad -- or as a copywriter -- the person responsible for the to begin as an assistant account executive, who acts
as a liaison between the client and agency creative department. Although few advertising agencies recruit on college
campuses, some do recruit at the University of Notre Dame.
There are two management tracks in retailing: merchandise management and store management. The key position in
merchandising is that of a buyer, who is responsible for selecting merchandise, guiding the promotion of the merchandise,
setting prices, working with suppliers, training the sales force, and monitoring the competitive environment. The buyer
also must be able to organize and coordinate many critical activities including specifications of product needs and
evaluations. In contrast, store management involves the supervision of personnel in all departments and the general
of all facilities, equipment, and merchandise displays. In addition, store managers are responsible for the financial
performance of each department and for the store as a whole. Career paths to senior retail management almost always involve
moving between these two tracks.
Most entry-level jobs in retailing are trainee positions. A trainee is usually placed in a management training program
and then given a position as an assistant buyer or assistant department manager. Advancement and responsibility can be
achieved quickly because there is a shortage of qualified personnel in retailing and superior performance of an individual
is quickly reflected in sales and profits -- two visible measures of success. Firms such as Lord & Taylor, Abercrombie
& Fitch and Target recruit regularly at the University of Notre Dame.
Consulting and Marketing Research
Consultants and marketing researchers play important roles in many organizations today. Many are responsible for
obtaining, analyzing, and interpreting data to facilitate making marketing decisions. This means consultants and
are basically problem solvers. Success in the area requires not only an understanding of statistics and computers but also
knowledge of buyer behavior and an ability to communicate with management. Individuals who are inquisitive, methodical,
analytical, and solution oriented find the field particularly rewarding. These careers are available in three kinds of
Marketing research consultants such as Gallup, Market Facts, or BASES contract with large companies to provide research
their products or services. Advertising agencies may provide services to help clients with questions related to advertising
and promotional problems. Finally, some companies have an in-house research staff to design and execute their research
Marketing researchers may start as assistants performing routine tasks, the potential for learning is enormous. Survey
interviewing, report writing, and all aspects of the research process are challenging learning tasks and useful skills.
research projects deal with very diverse problems such as consumer motivation, pricing, forecasting, and competition.
The field of marketing research offers many opportunities for creative and challenging work.