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Marketing Careers

Marketing is a business discipline that focuses on interactions with the customer. A concentration in marketing provides the opportunity to utilize different skills such as problem solving, analytical modeling, and applied psychology in creative and innovative ways.

Since our students are hired by a diverse number of firms, the UW Foster School marketing department has designed its course offerings to cover the basic principles of marketing. These principles can be applied in organizations large or small, for-profit or non-profit, local or international. We also offer elective courses that allow students to tailor their coursework for the type of marketing career they may want to pursue.

Careers in this field are wide-ranging and in an array of organizations and industries. These guides below are designed to give students a basic outline of the coursework they may want to follow to seek careers in specific marketing areas.

Here are just a sample of career areas within the field of marketing:

AdvertisingDigital MarketingMarketing AnalyticsMarketing ConsultingMarketing ManagementMarketing ResearchSales

Advertising is a $210 Billion industry in the US alone. To deliver results to the firm’s bottom line, advertising professionals must have solid analytic and communication skills. The primary entry points into advertising for Undergraduates are at the Assistant level in both advertising agencies and within a Client/Corporate Organizations. There are numerous agencies in the Seattle area as well as multiple companies who have in- house agencies. Agencies come in all sizes from specialty shops to full-service and positions within agencies include both strategy-driven positions and tactic-driven positions. Some entry points for careers include:

  • Advertising Strategy Development: Strategic efforts focused on targeting and positioning to create blueprints for Creative and Media direction either within an agency team or as part of a company (in-house) team. Although these efforts are often led by more senior individuals, these groups often need assistants.
  • Consumer and Media research where you become almost the voice of the customer — using fact based insights to inform the work of your Strategy partners. These roles can also be found in the Planning Department of an agency.
  • Public Relations (PR) and Promotions can offer great hands on experience. Sometimes these firms are part of standalone agencies, and sometimes they are part of a larger agency or company. Things like event management would come under this area. And you may even be asked to write a blog or press release.
  • Social and Mobile Media communications skills are sought after across the board! They require using critical thinking, experience application, and in some cases even writing for a project.

The essence of work in the field of Advertising is team organization and leadership. A demonstration of those abilities is important – whether you work in a small agency, or as part of a larger organization. In addition, being able to present ideas is essential. Foster’s marketing curriculum provides multiple opportunities to fine tune those abilities.

Recommended Courses

MKTG 456 – Advertising
MKTG 450 – Consumer Behavior
MKTG 452 – Brand Strategy
MKTG 460 – Marketing Research
MKTG 466 – Digital Marketing

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 335 – Principles of Selling
MKTG 370 – Retailing
MKTG 454 – Strategic Product Management

Courses Outside Marketing

Some courses in non-business fields which may provide specialization and/or depth in relevant areas include courses in the UW School of Art and in the Communications Department.

The marketing landscape has been drastically transformed by the advancement of digital technologies over the past decade. Digital technologies have changed how firms target and interact with consumers, and have facilitated the tracking and analyzing of consumer behavior. The rise of smartphones has enabled location-based targeting and personalized marketing. Online advertising now accounts for more than two third of total advertising expenditure in the US, and is expected to reach 80% in the next few years. All of these have created a large and growing demand for those with expertise in this domain.

Potential career opportunities for those with expertise in digital marketing include: Digital Marketing Manager, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Specialist, Strategic Analytics Manager, Digital Marketing Consultant, or similar job categories involving design of online advertising campaigns or strategies, controlling the social media accounts of small/midsize companies; or being part of an analytical marketing team at a larger company like Starbucks or Nordstrom. Many tech companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and more recently Amazon, are increasingly relying on online advertising as a main source of revenue. These companies conduct millions of online experiments to refine their platforms. Graduates specialized in digital marketing, who have a good understanding of this landscape and possess sufficient analytical skills, are well positioned to join these companies as Product Managers or Program Managers to help define the roadmap for future products or experiments and contribute to improving the experience for advertisers and consumers alike.

Recommended Courses

MKTG 466 – Digital Marketing
MKTG 456 – Advertising
MKTG 462 – Customer Analytics
MKTG 464 – Analytics for Marketing Decisions

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 415 – Pricing Strategies
MKTG 452 – Brand Strategy
MKTG 460 – Marketing Research

Complementary Business Courses

IS 320 – Fundamentals of Application Programming (4)
IS 445 – Database Management (4)
IS 451 – Data Mining for Business Intelligence (4)

Marketing analytics is the practice of iterative, methodical exploration of data for the specific purpose of informing marketing decisions. As such, it involves the application of data analysis concepts to the problems and opportunities of marketing, and the emphasis on both analytics and marketing is critical to the success of any marketing analytics career. As opposed to pure data analytics, marketing analytics includes an applied focus on selection of productive marketing decision problems. Successful marketing analytics professionals should not only possess a deep understanding of key marketing issues but also be equipped with a combination of business skills, decision-making capabilities, and underlying technical skills that allow them to analyze data and implement models. A Marketing Analytics professional creates these data insights with the goal of turning them the marketing strategy of tomorrow. The goal of the Marketing Analytics specialization offered by MIB is to integrate marketing knowledge, i.e., knowing what relevant marketing questions to ask, and teach the technical skills needed to address the underlying marketing question by using data and models, i.e., how to turn the marketing problem into a marketing analytics problem.

While data analytics has now moved to all mainstream business functions its use is especially heavy in marketing given the richness of the data available on (online) consumer behavior. In fact, the Harvard Business Review calls the business analytics “sexiest job of the 21st century.” And career prospects in the business analytics area are forecast to be quite strong. Business-analyst jobs are predicted to increase by 22 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent IBM report on Big Data finds that 39% of analyst positions require a Master’s or Phd degree. According to a recent McKinsey & Company big data report, by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 professionals with deep analytical skills, as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

Recommended Courses

MKTG 462 – Customer Analytics
MKTG 464 – Analytics for Marketing Decisions
MKTG 466 – Digital Marketing

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 411 – Business to Business Marketing
MKTG 415 – Pricing Strategies
MKTG 460 – Marketing Research

Complementary Business Courses

IS 320 – Fundamentals of Application Programming (4)
IS 445 – Database Management (4)
IS 451 – Data Mining for Business Intelligence (4)
QMETH 450 Spreadsheet Models in Managerial Decision Making (4)

Complementary Courses outside of Business

CSE 142/ 143 – Computer Programming I/II (4/5)
CSE 373 – Data Structures and Algorithms (3)
CSE 410 – Computer Systems (3)
ECON 481 – Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (4)

Although marketing consulting firms tend to prefer experienced persons, entry positions are sometimes offered to promising marketing undergraduates. Marketing majors in the Michael G. Foster School of Business have found management consulting careers at firms such as Accenture, DeLoitte, Bain, and Hitachi. Careers in management consulting tend to attract high potential, well-motivated individuals who can accept broad responsibilities easily and with little supervision, communicate well with other people, are willing to do a lot of travel, and thrive on constant change. Starting salaries are good, with career and compensation advancement based on achievement.

Recommended Courses

MKTG 415 – Pricing Strategy and Tactics
MKTG 454 – Strategic Product Management
MKTG 460 – Marketing Research
MKTG 462 – Customer Analytics
MKTG 466 – Digital Marketing

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 370 – Retailing
MKTG 430 – Sales Force Management
MKTG 452 – Brand Strategy
MKTG 455 – Entrepreneurial Marketing
MKTG 464 – Analytics for Marketing Decisions
MKTG 470 – International Marketing

This area deals with understanding the research, forecasting, planning, and control activities involved in the marketing function and coordinating them into an integrated effort to achieve the organization’s objectives. In recent years, most organizations have realized that a focus on increasing customer value is needed throughout the organization, not just in the marketing area. This also necessarily increases the marketing manager’s responsibility and power to determine the organization’s course of action.

A successful marketing manager is generally a person who can analyze the entire environment in which the firm operates, identify problems and opportunities, develop appropriate strategies, and direct the organization to ensure that the strategy is correctly implemented. This requires both technical problem solving skills and interpersonal skills in dealing with all business function areas.

Initial positions in a marketing management career tend to be in sales or in management as marketing management trainees or assistant brand or product managers. Employers want employees who will have the capacity to handle responsibility as well as become familiar with the organization’s operations. Successful employees are promoted to higher management positions. Many executives of both large and small organizations began their careers in the marketing area.

Recommended Courses

MKTG 411 – Business to Business Marketing
MKTG 415 – Pricing Strategy and Tactics
MKTG 430 – Sales Force Management
MKTG 445 – Multicultural Marketing and Business Development
MKTG 452 – Brand Strategy
MKTG 454 – Strategic Product Management

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 455 – Entrepreneurial Marketing
MKTG 456 – Advertising
MKTG 460 – Marketing Research
MKTG 462 – Customer Analytics
MKTG 464 – Analytics for Marketing Decisions
MKTG 466 – Digital Marketing
MKTG 470 – International Marketing

Courses Outside Marketing

MGMT 300 – Leadership and Organization Behavior
MGMT 401 – Leadership, Critical Thinking and Decision Making
MGMT 403 – Motivating High Performance
MGMT 404 – Organization Development and Change
COM 270 – Interpersonal Communications
COM 376 – Nonverbal Communications

Marketing research involves collecting, analyzing, and reporting all kinds of information on which marketing decisions are based. Research includes primary (initially collected) and secondary (previously collected) information about consumers, competitors, products, prices, advertising, distribution, the sales force, and any other factors which might impinge on a firm’s marketing effort. Research deals largely with learning about individuals and organizations; what they have done, are currently doing, and might do in the future, with particular attention to “why” certain behaviors do or do not occur.

The special skills required in research frequently cause firms to employ advertising agencies and marketing research specialists. The ideal candidate for a market research position is a person who possess both qualitative and quantitative analytical ability, because the job depends on your ability to gather data from human subjects, crunch numbers, and interpret the results accurately.

Students concentrating on marketing research may work in the marketing department of many organizations as more and more firms see the need for on-going market research. Other companies place their marketing research activities in economic forecasting, business research, or new venture departments.

Recommended Courses

MKTG 450  – Consumer Behavior
MKTG 460  – Marketing Research
MKTG 462 – Customer Analytics
MKTG 464 – Analytics for Marketing Decisions

Other Useful Courses

MKTG 335 – Principles of Selling
MKTG 456 – Advertising
MKTG 370 – Retailing
MKTG 430 – Sales Force Management
MKTG 466 – Digital Marketing

Please visit our Sales Certificate Program to learn more about a career in sales.