Marketing careers involve anticipating customer needs and directing a flow of need-satisfying goods and services from producer to customer. A combination of events led to the creation of the marketing industry as it exists today. After the Roaring Twenties, which produced an abundance of products, it was no longer true that a good product would sell itself. Competition for customers increased, and producers sought ways to boost awareness of their products in order to remain viable in the market. When radio broadcasting flourished in the United States during the 1920s, advertisers quickly capitalized on the new medium.
Marketing Careers List
- Advertising Account Executives
- Advertising and Marketing Managers
- Advertising Workers
- Antiques and Art Dealers
- Art Directors
- Automobile Sales Workers
- Business Managers
- Counter and Retail Clerks
- Franchise Owners
- Graphic Designers
- Jewelers and Jewelry Repairers
- Marketing Research Analysts
- Media Planners and Buyers
- Merchandise Displayers
- Personal Shoppers
- Public Opinion Researchers
- Purchasing Agents
- Retail Business Owners
- Retail Managers
- Retail Sales Workers
- Sales Representatives
- Stock Clerks
- Supermarket Workers
A second major influence on the development of the marketing industry was the Great Depression of the 1930s. As money became scarce, an increased number of producers competed for dollars in an ever-shrinking marketplace. Up until then, producers had been willing to market anything with the assumption that someone out there somewhere would buy it. But businesses soon discovered otherwise. Sales began to drop. If there was no interest in or need for a product, an advertising campaign might carry the company through the first wave of purchases. After that, however, there would be little chance of improving sales.
The business discipline of marketing began to take shape as sellers realized that if a group of potential buyers could be found for a product, the product could be better designed to suit the needs of those buyers. Sellers also discovered the importance of identifying a group of buyers before starting an advertising campaign. By doing so, the producer could style the campaign to reach that specific group and would have a better chance of launching a successful product. Marketing, therefore, provided a service for both sides of the business world, the seller and the buyer.
This market-driven thinking is now a major part of business decisions and begins long before product development, manufacturing, and sales. In fact, the market is the central focus of both today’s advertising and marketing trends and those that will take industries into the next millennium. Database marketing, for example, allows companies to identify their current and potential markets and provide customer service—before, during, and after the sale. Relationship marketing—developing long-lasting relationships with customers—requires companies to examine customers’ needs, offer products and services that satisfy those needs, supply products and services quickly, and offer customers choices with respect to the products as well as ways to purchase and pay for them.
Marketers work with advertising professionals to determine how ads should look, where they should be placed, and when the advertising should begin. The look and message of an ad are researched by employees in advertising and marketing to make sure that the ad effectively interests the targeted audience. Timing of advertising is extremely important to the success of a marketing strategy as well; launching an advertising campaign too early may create interest well before the product is available. In such cases, by the time the product is released, the public may no longer be interested.
Research usually starts long before a product is developed. Since competition is often intense, marketing department personnel go to work compiling data about similar products in the marketplace. If there is some chance that a product will sell well enough to cover initial expenses, the cost to manufacture and launch the new product is determined. The price of the product to consumers will then equal the overall cost of production plus the desired profit.
The marketing department is also responsible for developing a distribution plan for products. If a product is expected to sell well to a certain group, for example, then marketing professionals must decide how to deliver to members of that group based on when and where they shop. Large companies often handle sales and distribution from inside the company, while smaller companies may sell through wholesalers, who supply retail stores with products from many different manufacturers.
Once markets are evaluated and merchandise is designed, the actual production begins. The marketing department’s work, however, is not yet done. Along with the public relations department, marketing professionals contact members of the press with the aim of getting product information out to the public.
The failure rate for new products is very high. Once a product is released, marketers evaluate sales and look for ways to make improvements in features and designs. Package research studies show how a product looks on the shelf. Designers explore new color combinations, more appealing shapes, interesting patterns, and new materials. If problems can be easily corrected, a company may decide to launch an improved version of the product. If, however, the target audience is not being reached or is not interested, the company might redesign the product or the advertising or discontinue production altogether.
Although it is not an exact science, marketing uses a scientific and statistical approach in answering a client company’s questions about selling a product to the public. The advertising aspect of a marketing campaign must get attention, arouse interest, secure belief, create desire, and stir action. Beauty, comfort, convenience, and quality are the promises that sell all kinds of products, from consumables to cars.
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