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MBA Marketing Job Description

Brand Management

The scope of a brand manager's function varies from company to company, but the core job function is to search for the most productive way to build long-term profitability for a product. How you reach this goal can vary widely between consumable and durable goods. Traditional brand management focuses on consumable goods with a short repeat purchase cycle, in which sales respond rapidly to changes in price, product, packaging, distribution and promotion. The typical career path for an MBA is to enter as an assistant product manager and move up to brand manager after three to five years.

A brand management team shares the ultimate responsibility for a particular product. Brand management involves developing a strategic direction for a brand based on what consumers want. It is not just about lowering price or creating commercials, although they are elements of a strategic plan. Rather, managing a brand means finding a way to deliver value to consumers. Brand managers lead cross-functional teams to achieve the goals outlined in annual brand plans. Whether it's managing a spending budget or convincing upper management through numeric analysis to "size-up" a package size to boost sales, everything you do funnels towards the goal of selling more units, thus making more profit for the company and putting smiles on shareholders' faces.

Although the needs of a particular brand and product often dictate the level of exposure you have to different issues, one thing all brand managers have in common is a fast-paced schedule. Seldom does a day go by where you won't be running from meeting to meeting and visiting employees from Legal, Packaging, Finance, Market Research, Consumer Affairs, Operations, Public Relations, and Research and Development, among others. Given the broad exposure to so many aspects of business and the supply chain, these positions are often general managers.

High-Tech Marketing

High-tech marketing is a dynamic industry, with companies often racing to unveil a new development before its competitors. Even within the same product group, high-tech marketers must manage rapid introductions and phase-outs of different products, develop strategies for ongoing support of older products already purchased by consumers, and differentiate their services or equipment from those of the rapidly proliferating competition. In certain product categories, high-tech marketing resembles consulting, and some companies actually have consulting business units (Sprint and AT&T, for example).

Within high-tech marketing, you also have new product development, integrated business solutions, and Internet/intranet business solution and ongoing product groups.

Services Marketing

Services marketing presents a number of challenges for a marketing professional because services are intangible. Services are produced and consumed simultaneously, with people being a key part of the services "product." Service marketers must understand the tangibles and intangibles of high-quality service, not to mention distribution channels and methods, pricing decisions and promotions. Careers in this arena tend to be fluid, allowing a great deal of opportunity to gain diverse experience.

Business Development

This career is exactly what it sounds like: figuring out how to build or develop a business. You can find business development jobs in all industries-at startups as well as at established, bricks-and-mortar companies. The description of tasks varies depending on the companies' business models and dates of establishment.

The objective of business development professionals is to expand the market reach, revenue, or membership base of their companies in ways that make the most of their companies' resources and capabilities. Biz dev executes a company's strategy by "doing deals" with complementary businesses.

Exactly what that means varies from company to company as well. Given the growing interest of MBAs in these types of positions, companies will often title a position "business development" to attract MBAs, so be sure you ask probing questions to determine the nature of the job and to ensure it is not simply a sales job. Also, be sure to clarify the department to which the position reports (finance, sales, marketing, etc.) and the stability of the company to ensure the opportunity is as it appears.

Market Research

Market research is the art and science of gathering, compiling and analyzing data to provide a company's management with information needed to make decisions on the design, distribution, and pricing of products and services. The information may be used to determine the advisability of adding new lines, opening new branches or otherwise diversifying the company's operations. During the past two decades, companies have also made significant investments to understand how customer satisfaction impacts their buying decisions.

E-Commerce Marketing

With the rapid expansion of the Worldwide Web in the 1990s came an interesting phenomenon of a new sales channel that needed to be added to the marketing and distribution mix. As you might expect, e-commerce marketers focus on using the Web to market and sell a company's products and services. With the leading position in the e-commerce area, there are many opportunities to explore and understand the ramifications of this continuously changing marketing channel.

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