Advertising and Marketing Careers Outlook
Advertising and marketing grow in direct proportion to the national economy. As a result of the favorable economic climate in the United States during the late 1990s, both industries enjoyed considerable growth. In the early 2000s, employment growth in these industries slowed as a result of a weaker economy. Economic conditions are expected to improve, and the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the advertising and marketing industries will grow faster than the average through 2014. Such growth will be accelerated through the development of new products and services and the resulting increase in competition among producers of both industrial and consumer goods.
Greater competition among producers will, in turn, spur more intense advertising and marketing efforts for their products, and competition for these advertising and marketing jobs will be fierce. Creative college graduates who communicate well will have the best job prospects. Those who have knowledge of and experience with cutting- edge technology will have an enormous edge. People who know how to create Web sites, for example, are hotly pursued in the advertising and marketing arenas, as are Web professionals, graphic designers, and interactive marketing specialists. As the global economy continues to expand and opportunities to market foreign products increase, those who speak a foreign language also will be in demand.
More than half of all advertising firms employ fewer than 20 people. These small shops will offer strong employment opportunities for people with experience, talent, and flexibility, but competition is especially intense and jobs—which depend on attracting and keeping clients—are often not guaranteed.
In addition to smaller agencies, self-employment and home-based businesses are on the rise. Marketing and advertising professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit are starting their own marketing and advertising firms or offering consulting services to a growing number of small businesses and services that have opened in recent years in response to cutbacks and salary reductions.
On the other side of the coin, the mega-agencies— multinational agencies created from mergers and acquisitions— still dominate the advertising industry. Of the approximately 47,000 advertising agencies and public relations firms in the United States, most of the large firms are located in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles and offer higher pay scales than smaller agencies. About one in five firms and more than one in four jobs are in New York or California. One way these advertising giants attract and keep clients is by offering integrated services: advertising, marketing, sales, and promotion services all in one package. As a result, many agencies seek employees with not only advertising experience but public relations, packaging, and/or sales promotion experience as well.
Another important trend that continues to affect employment opportunities in the advertising industry is specialization. Many agencies are increasing their focus on niche markets, and they will continue to specialize. Expected high-growth areas include foreign-language programming, advertising aimed at specific ethnic groups, advertising targeted at the over-50 market, special events advertising and marketing, and direct marketing campaigns for retailers and technological companies.
Many nonindustrial companies will create advertising jobs as a result of the growth of the managed health care, nutrition, and fitness industries. And banks and local governments will use both marketing and advertising techniques in order to deliver services more cost effectively. Banks, for example, will require researchers to guide them in creating more competitive consumer investment tools. In addition, local governments will use marketing research techniques to locate the best sites for schools and hospitals and advertising techniques to promote special events and new services.
Part of the satisfaction of advertising work is in the sense of creative accomplishment, such as seeing and hearing your own ideas as they appear before millions of people. But there is less glamour than is commonly supposed and much more of the day-to-day routine that requires painstaking attention to detail. In addition, advertising employees need to have people and communication skills, common sense, and the ability to solve problems. Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree, preferably with a concentration in the liberal arts.
Employment in the marketing industry is projected to grow faster than the average through 2014. There will be more emphasis on selling quality products, increased marketing segmentation, shorter life cycles for products, and increased demand for new and better-quality products. In addition, many chief executive officer positions in businesses of all kinds will be filled by those with marketing experience, because marketing will play an increasingly important role in differentiating and creating need for products. This is good news for manager-level marketers. As for those just starting out, the ability to anticipate trends will become more valuable than the traditional skills in technical marketing.
On the downside, many marketing jobs will be temporary. In addition, the hours of the marketing worker can often be quite long, with overtime a frequent requirement in every level of the marketing profession. Stress is a continual element of the job, since inaccurate product estimates can mean the difference between survival and failure for a small company.
Employees who fare the best in marketing are detail-oriented people who work well under pressure and enjoy the challenge of developing a new product for sale. Human resource professionals recommend refresher courses at local colleges and universities to stay abreast of new trends and processes.
Browse all Advertising Careers and Marketing Careers.
Careers in Advertising and Marketing:
- Advertising Account Executives
- Advertising and Marketing Managers
- Advertising Workers
- Art Directors
- Business Managers
- Graphic Designers
- Marketing Research Analysts
- Media Planners and Buyers
- Public Opinion Researchers
- Writer Careers