There's more to marketing than dreaming up catchy slogans—although that's a fun way to spend a workday.
Indeed, the idea that all marketers are the same and have the same daily responsibilities is one of many misconceptions about marketing. The American Marketing Association defines the field as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." Because the field is multifaceted and complex, it requires talented people with expertise in myriad areas, such as content creation and project management.
Though Hollywood portrayals of the industry might not suggest it, marketing offers a diverse array of career opportunities. Here's four common misconceptions about marketing, and some career possibilities you might have with a marketing degree.
1. It's all about traditional media.
Print, television, and radio promotions continue to play important roles in marketing, but some of the most exciting opportunities are in the digital world. This marketing field innovates with internet-based tools; digital marketers need to be proficient in digital media and data analysis.
A digital marketing manager, for example, manages an organization's website, blog, e-newsletter, and social media accounts, according to Zip Recruiter. They also manage an organization's online presence, and work to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty through digital campaigns. Large organizations often hire digital marketers who specialize in social media strategy or search engine optimization (SEO). According to Glassdoor, digital marketing managers earn an average annual salary of around $73,000.
2. Only creative types need apply.
You don't have to have a penchant for visual branding concepts or snappy copy to find your place in marketing. If your talents lean more toward the quantitative and analytical than the creative, you might make a good market research analyst.
This job involves studying marketing and sales trends, consumers, competitors, and market conditions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and if you have one, you can expect to earn about $63,000 a year. Research and analysis are vital to any company's marketing strategy, especially as consumers increasingly turn to technology for product research and purchasing. As big data initiatives grow, so, too, will the need for market research analysts.
3. Marketers are stuck in offices.
Planning meetings and some desk work will likely be a part of any marketing career you choose. But there are marketing jobs for those who prefer to get out of the office.
Event marketing allows you to be out and about, planning projects and often traveling to manage events on site. Event marketers promote their brand or a cause at festivals, concerts, sporting events, seminars, speaker forums, and other similar events. A job in event marketing is a good fit for the marketing professional who excels at managing projects and people, and can earn you about $48,000 year, Glassdoor says.
4. Marketing's sole purpose is sales.
Yes, every organization needs to generate revenue from sales, donations, or investments to survive, and the ultimate aim of marketing is to turn targets into consumers. But not every marketing endeavor takes a directly promotional approach.
For the specialist in content marketing, the focus is more on educating and inspiring the audience. The emphasis of content marketing is less on selling and more on storytelling, content marketing expert Neil Patel says. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketers develop useful and relevant content—such as articles, blog posts, white papers, and videos—to help customers and potential customers solve their issues. Content marketing managers earn on average about $81,000 a year, according to Glassdoor.
If any of these job descriptions sound intriguing enough for you to rethink your old assumptions about marketing, look further into marketing career possibilities and the marketing degree that will help you achieve your goals.