Definition: The development and implementation of strategies aimed at enhancing the profitability of a product.
General: Marketing is about idea leadership. Working with a marketing team, you will have the responsibility for the design and execution of marketing strategies for a particular product. A marketing strategy includes researching consumer demand, developing product positioning (value proposition), analyzing competitive activities, developing sales promotions, coordinating advertising development, creating new packaging strategies, developing sales forecasts, and analyzing and implementing pricing strategies based on internal manufacturing costs and the pricing strategy of competitors.
Key Connecting Points:
Leadership skills: Marketers are visionary leaders. They take control of a product strategically setting forth the vision for what a product should stand for in the eyes of the customer. More importantly, they use their leadership skills to motivate the organization to buy into a vision by communicating consistently, efficiently, and effectively. In essence, you are the “hub at the center of a wheel” in that you will interact with every group in the business, yet you have no direct authority (sales, R&D, manufacturing, logistics, finance, and legal, as well as advertising agencies, market research firms, trade publications, etc.). Think of times in the military when you took the initiative to get others going on an important project and played a leading role in producing results.
Creativity: In marketing, creativity means always looking “out of the box” at new ways to get improved results. You must have a track record of going beyond the “status quo” and looking at problems from a different perspective. Keep in mind that companies are not talking about artistic creativity, but rather strategic thinking (a new way to get better results).
Analytical skills: In marketing, you will analyze market trends, competition, consumer buying habits, pricing, shipment reports, market research data and much more. Thorough analysis allows companies to reduce the risk associated with complex business decisions. You must be able to discuss examples of complex problems that you solved in the military where you used data/numbers to make decisions. Some examples of data: historical information, collaborating with others, After Action Reviews, inspection results, budget estimates, testing results, training evaluations, etc. You should not only discuss how you gathered information, but more importantly, how you used the data to uncover the root cause(s) of a complex problem.
Strategic thinking skills/initiative: Marketing has the responsibility of developing new ways to make a product more successful. With your analysis, you will have a large role in conceptualizing, developing and implementing new strategies that improve business results. Companies want to see that you have a track record of “championing” ideas in high school, college and in the military. Prepare examples of times you developed a high demanding goal (organizational goals are best) and played a key role in making it happen. Make sure you focus on how the results produced a significant and lasting impact.
Communication skills: You must present your ideas in a clear and logical manner where they can be easily understood. Your ability to “sell” your ideas to a broad array of people, as well as management, is critical.
Possible Job Titles:
Sample Job Description – Marketing Please keep in mind the following job description is just one of many possible job descriptions for the career field of Marketing.
You will start your career assigned to a specific product team. The mission of your team is to maximize volume, market share, and profitability of the product to which you are assigned. In essence, you will be part of a team that runs a business within a business fully responsible for all business results for your product. You will conduct in-depth analysis to become an expert on your product and its consumers, and develop (in collaboration with your team) an annual business plan for your product. This includes conducting analysis on industry trends, consumer dynamics, competitive activity, product segment, product positioning, advertising strategy, packaging, volume forecasts, and profitability. While you will spend a great deal of time analyzing numbers and information to understand your customers and the market, you will be expected to go beyond the numbers, to contribute actively and constantly to the success of the product. Based on your knowledge of your consumers and the competition, you will get involved in developing and evaluating advertising, promotions, volume forecasts and promotion budgets directed toward attaining sales volume and profit objectives for your product. While you will provide a lot of analytical expertise to maintain a pulse on retail and competitive dynamics, you will also play a big role in developing initiatives to help position your product to win in this competitive industry. Marketing is highly interactive where you will collaborate across the organization with groups such as market area staff, channel partnerships, corporate management, market research, legal, field sales management, distributors, retailers and more. This position requires strong analytical skills (using numbers to solve problems), excellent leadership skills (ability to develop a vision for your product and implement it across functional lines), and a track record of producing results despite complexity and adversity. Excellent career opportunities in all areas of a company exist for the successful marketing candidate.