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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 course work.
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.