5 Hot Marketing Career Areas Worth Checking Out
Few career or educational paths offer as many great options as this one. That's because selling products or services requires organizations to undertake an incredible variety of activities, many of which fall under the large umbrella of marketing.
In fact, this field is so broad that it's filled with opportunities for people of all types. You can be creative, analytical, technology-minded, or a mix of all three and still have plenty of ways to find success as a professional marketer.
Plus, it's completely possible to align your marketing skills with one of your major interests. For example, some marketers choose to specialize in particular areas such as fashion or sports marketing. Others decide to focus on Internet or digital marketing, business-to-business (B2B) marketing, or helping governments or not-for-profit organizations.
The digital marketing sector, in particular, continues to draw more and more interest. Just consider that, from 2012 to 2013 alone, Canadian revenues from online and mobile advertising grew by 14 percent to more than $3.5 billion.1
And don't forget about the potential to earn exceptional pay. For instance, the median full-time salary for a sales, marketing, or advertising manager in Canada is nearly $82,992, with top earners making $137,134 and above.2
With those facts in mind, take a look at five of the best areas of marketing to pursue below. Unless otherwise noted, the marketing salary information cited below is based on data for the 2016-2017 reference period, and the job outlook information is for the 2016-2018 period as per the Government of Canada's Job Bank.2
1. Advertising and Brand Management
Organizations that want to succeed, especially within competitive industries, typically need a distinctive identity. And they need their potential clients or customers to become aware of that identity and form a lasting connection with it.
That's where branding and advertising come in. This involves developing strategies for helping an organization stand out within the marketplace, along with its products or services, and promoting a tailored message through various forms of media.
In 2017, more than 5,780 businesses across Canada employed people to help provide advertising or similar services to other organizations. Ontario alone was home to more than 2,650 advertising-related businesses with employees. In BC, about 820 conducted business in this industry and hired employees.3 And in 2016 alone, the collective operating revenues of firms in this industry totalled almost $9.4 billion.4
Specific job titles that you might find in the advertising and brand management sector include account executive, account coordinator, account planner, advertising sales representative, brand specialist, and brand manager. Take a look at some additional career details for advertising account executives:
- Median salary—$59,426
- Top-end salary—$98,134 or more
- Top-paying provinces and territories—Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario
- Job outlook—Moderate across Canada with the exception of BC, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan where the outlook is strong
2. Media and Public Relations (PR)
Public perception can play a major role in whether an organization or talented individual succeeds or not. So media coordinators, communications specialists, and publicists are often essential for ensuring that people like journalists and bloggers have the information necessary for producing stories that are fair or favorable to the organizations or clients they work for.
Listed below, you can discover additional details pertaining to working as a public relations and communications professional in Canada. Upon completing your training and beginning your job search, you may be qualified to take on positions such as communications specialist, community liaison officer, marketing and communications coordinator, media coordinator, multimedia coordinator, or public relations specialist. It is worth noting that some of the best opportunities go to experienced PR pros who've earned the APR (Accredited in Public Relations) designation through the Canadian Public Relations Society.
- Median salary—$82,992
- Top-end salary—$137,134 or more
- Top-paying provinces—Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario
- Job outlook—Moderate across Canada with the exception of BC, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario where the outlook is strong
3. Market Research and Analytics
As consumers, we all have different habits and preferences. As a result, it can be challenging for marketers to pinpoint the right combinations of product and service offerings, pricing strategies, and promotions.
But that challenge gets easier to overcome when market researchers and analysts are involved. They understand how to gather data about clients and customers and turn that information into useful insights. Those insights can then be used to come up with effective new marketing strategies. The use of analytics is particularly extensive within the Internet marketing sector.
As you prepare to set out in this career field, you may come across jobs like market research analyst, marketing analyst, marketing consultant, marketing coordinator, and marketing specialist. Take a moment to explore key information regarding marketing researcher and consultant careers below.
- Median salary—$71,469
- Top-end salary—$111,114 or more
- Top-paying provinces—New Brunswick and Alberta
- Job outlook—Moderate across Canada with the exception of Alberta and Manitoba where the outlook is minimal
4. Product and Customer Experience Development
When an organization truly understands its customers or clients, it's able to develop products or services that actually resonate with them. For some marketing professionals, that's what their daily role entails. They might be involved in anything from aligning the features of a single product to the preferences and desires of customers to refining all of the possible interactions that a client or customer may have with their organization's brand.
Depending on the type of role that you assume, you could find yourself responsible for tasks such as the following:
- Developing marketing materials that detail items like a product's features, price, and availability
- Preparing technical documents
- Educating the company's sales and distribution teams
- Proposing new product development specs
- Tracking quality issues
- Assisting with successfully launching new products
- Creating sales plans and forecasts
- Developing and building positive customer-business relationships
By completing marketing training, you could be ready to take on positions such as account development representative, business development manager, customer development coordinator, sales development representative, or product marketing associate, coordinator, manager, or specialist. You could enjoy a great salary in one of those positions too. For example, product development managers typically earn the following:
- Median salary—$72,1965
- Top-end pay—$102,969 or more5
5. Sales and Distribution
A lot of marketing pros become experts at closing the deal, which is always the ultimate goal. They practice effective selling techniques and are able to get consistent results. In a lot of cases, that means interacting directly with clients or customers. But in many other cases, it means making sales to retail store buyers or product distributors.
Many people who take on sales jobs tend to work in positions as sales representatives. Those positions can be in retail (selling direct to consumers) or wholesale (selling in larger quantities to other businesses). And wholesale-trade sales jobs tend to be broken into one of two categories: technical or non-technical. Technical products are those that can range from construction equipment to software, whereas non-technical includes things like services or food items. You may also come across positions such as sales associate, consultant, coordinator, or manager.
If you opt for a job in distribution, then you will likely work on the back-end of your company's sales accounts rather than selling directly to customers. In a distribution-related position, you could be responsible for managing the warehouse, overseeing incoming and outgoing shipments, coordinating the distribution department's workflow, preparing reports, and handling a variety of other sales, distribution, and logistics-related activities. Sample job titles include logistics and distribution manager, supply chain manager, and distribution analyst, assistant, clerk, or manager.
To get a better idea of the potential earnings and job outlook within the sales and distribution sector, check out some of the pertinent job information for technical-wholesale sales representatives:
- Median salary—$50,003
- Top-end pay—$90,667 or more
- Top-paying provinces—Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan
- Job outlook—Moderate across Canada with the exception of BC where the outlook is strong
Marketing Schools and Careers: Frequently Asked Questions
You can be almost certain that at some point in time—if not daily—marketing professionals have influenced your purchase decisions. The ads that you see on websites, commercials that you see on TV, packaging on the products that you buy, placement of products on store shelves, and so many other circumstances that you encounter every day are carefully thought out and executed by marketing professionals. You may not even realize how much marketing affects your daily interactions.
Marketing is a broad field that covers a lot of different areas, so many people often find it a little perplexing, especially if they are considering marketing schools and careers. You might be one of the people asking, "What is marketing?" or "Is marketing a good major?" or "Is marketing a good career?" You may even be wondering, "Why work in marketing at all?" These are all good questions, and we aim to help you find some answers. Keep reading to discover some common FAQs and answers that potential marketing students have!
What Is the Definition of Marketing?
Ultimately, the goal of marketing is to promote an organization, brand, product, or service and also sell products and services. Marketing starts with a lot of research. You need to identify your target market, which is the group (or groups) of customers that you intend to reach. Once you have done that, you have to address the "four Ps," which are referred to as the marketing mix. They are product, price, place, and promotion. They help you identify what you are selling, how much you are selling it for, where you are selling it, and how people will learn about it. And as simple as that may sound, it is actually a complex process.
Once you have identified those key areas, then you can develop a detailed marketing plan. Marketing is not an isolated activity though. And it is important to make sure that your marketing goals are in line with all of the other areas of your business, including production, customer service, finance, and legal. You have to be sure that the rest of your organization is able to meet the goals that you have set out in your plan and that your marketing goals are serving the greater needs of the organization and its stakeholders.
Marketing is a fluid process. The most successful organizations spend a lot of time researching, analyzing, and adjusting their strategies. Many factors can quickly make your marketing strategy out of date or no longer effective, and it is important for you to stay on top of changes and trends. One example is the advancement of technology. The emergence of social media opened up an entirely new way to reach target customers, and the organizations that updated their marketing mixes to include social media early on likely had an advantage over those who chose to avoid social media (or those who adopted it much later than their competitors did).
So, although the fundamentals of marketing remain fairly static, the field is always changing and the best marketers are always learning.
What Is the Best Way to Become a Marketing Professional?
Because the field of marketing is so broad and varied, there is no one way to become a marketing professional. Some people are able to start out in entry-level positions with nothing more than a high school diploma. They work hard, learn on the job, and build their careers over many years without having any formal education. But in today's economy, some level of post-secondary education is the norm (and often required) for many marketing jobs. And it can certainly help you advance your career more quickly.
A 2011 survey found that almost 87 percent of recent marketing degree and diploma graduates were employed. And in 2013, 77 percent of diploma holders and over 89 percent of degree holders were working in positions that were related to their education.2 So a large majority of marketing college students have found that an education has helped them find jobs.
What Could Marketing School Teach Me?
What you learn about in marketing school can be dependent on whether you are earning a certificate, diploma, or degree. From print advertising to digital marketing courses, you could learn about many different subjects when you attend one of the top marketing schools. Here are some topics that could be covered:
- Marketing fundamentals
- Marketing research and analysis
- Marketing management
- Online media
- Social media
- Public relations
- Crisis management
- Services marketing
- Internet marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM)
- Google Analytics
- Website structure and programming
- Website analytics
- Content management systems
- Graphics creation and integration
- General business administration principles
What Types of Marketing Jobs Are There?
You may be one of the many people who wonders, "What do marketing majors do?" The answer is a lot. Because marketing is such a wide and varied field, you will likely find that the types of jobs you can pursue are varied as well. You could find a job with a marketing firm or advertising agency, or you could find a position within an organization's internal marketing department. Depending on the size of the organization, you could be part of a large marketing team, or you could be the one and only marketing employee.
You may come across positions such as marketing assistant, coordinator, specialist, planner, consultant, manager, director, or executive. When you attend school, you could focus on digital marketing training or take social media marketing courses in order to pursue jobs that focus on those areas. Additional areas that you could specialize in include the following:
- Brand management
- Client or community relations
- Event planning
- Fashion marketing
- International marketing
- Marketing research
- Media and communications
- Mobile marketing
- Online marketing
- Print advertising
- Product research and development
- Public relations
How Much Do Marketers Make?
When you opt for a marketing major, salary potential can be excellent. However, there can be quite a range in the wages that are paid. It is hard to identify a marketing starting salary since it really depends on the type of position that you attain. As of 2016-2017, the median wage for retail salespeople is $12.50 an hour. The highest earners make $22.00 per hour or more. But on the other end of the spectrum, advertising, marketing, and sales managers earn a median wage of $39.90 per hour, and the top earners make $65.93 or more.2 That equates to an annual salary of $82,992 and $137,134, respectively. So the potential to build your career and earn good money definitely exists.
Is There a Strong Job Outlook?
Overall, most sales and marketing careers have a relatively good outlook. As technology advances, global competition becomes fiercer, and new businesses enter the scene, a number of new openings are expected. That, combined with the fact that up to 50 percent of the marketing workforce could retire by 2035 to 2040, means even more job opportunities could be generated over the coming years. Check out the job-opening predictions across Canada for the period from 2015 to 2024:6
- Advertising, marketing, and public relations professionals—40,300 openings
- Market researchers and consultants (part of a broader occupational category that also includes business development officers, economists, and economic policy researchers and analysts)—15,400 openings
- Advertising, marketing, and public relations managers—16,600 openings
Certain provinces and regions are projecting a stronger marketing outlook than others. So the opportunities that you find may depend on where you live. For example, marketing researchers and consultants in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Barrie region of Ontario, as well as the Thompson-Okanagan region of BC face good outlooks. And advertising, marketing, and sales managers in the Northwest Territories have a particularly strong job outlook.2
Will I Need Additional Industry Certifications to Work in the Field?
There are no legally required certifications in order to work as a professional marketer. But, although most employers do not require industry certifications, many place additional value on being certified. Certain credentials can show employers that you have achieved a high level of knowledge or that you possess skills in a specific area. And that can help you stand out from other job candidates and possibly have access to better jobs and more promotions.
If you want to become industry-certified, then here are some options that you can consider:
- Certified Marketing Specialist (CMS)—This credential is offered through the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA). You are required to complete five of the association's online courses prior to taking the exam to become certified. The courses are designed for marketing professionals who already possess an education or related experience.
- Certified Marketing Management Professional (CMMP)—This designation is recognized by the International Institute of Marketing Professionals (IIMP). There are four levels of certification: (1) Associate, (2) Manager, (3) Executive, and (4) Chartered. Along with having a diploma or marketing degree, requirements include demonstrating specific levels of work experience and completing additional coursework prior to taking the exams.
- Google AdWords- or Analytics-Certified—Google offers free study materials and exams in order to become certified for two of its most popular services.
- Additional industry certifications—There are many organizations and professional associations that offer marketing certifications that cover almost all of the marketing topics that you could think of within the sector. Copyblogger, Hootsuite, and HubSpot offer some of the top certifications preferred by marketers.
Are There Opportunities for Advancement?
Due to its broad and varied nature, the field of marketing is one that offers a lot of great advancement opportunities. As you build your experience, add to your education, and even obtain industry certifications, you can open yourself up to all kinds of advancement possibilities. From an entry-level marketing position, you can work your way up into areas related to research, coordinating, or planning. And from there, you can gain the experience and expertise needed to eventually move into manager, director, and other executive-level positions. So for those wondering how to become a marketing manager, it usually involves a great amount of hard work and dedication while working your way through the ranks.
Are There Any Tips That Can Help Me Succeed in a Marketing Career?
You may be wondering how to be a good marketer. Well, the answer is as broad as the field itself. Many abilities, skills, and traits are valued in the sector, so it is hard to pinpoint just one or two qualities. However, here are some points to consider that can help lead you to success in marketing:
- Learn as much as you can. A knowledgeable marketer is a powerful marketer. You should even study the areas that don't particularly interest you right now. You never know where your career may take you and what information could prove useful down the road.
- Ask questions all the time. This point ties back to always learning. What do your customers want or need? What problems can you solve for them? Is there a better way you can communicate to them? The best marketers never stop asking questions.
- Gain as much experience as you can. Take on a side project that involves helping a small business with its social media marketing. Help your friend build a website. Start your own blog. Every bit of experience counts, and the lessons that you learn could be surprising.
- Familiarize yourself with technology. You may not be responsible for updating your company's website or running analytics reports. But it doesn't hurt to learn how to do it. You never know when those skills could help you down the road, such as when a staff member is away and you needed a report or update completed yesterday.
- Make money. This may seem obvious, but many people have the perception that marketing consists of many branding and awareness campaigns that are not tied to revenues or sales cycles. Although that may be the case at times, the reality is that most—if not all—companies expect that all of their marketing departments' activities are working to drive revenues up.
- Discover your niche or specialty early on. You are not going to excel at everything in marketing, and you are certainly not going to love it all either. The sooner that you uncover what you love and are good at, the better. You can start focusing on becoming the best in your chosen area rather than being in a situation where you focused on a career in sales only to realize years later that your calling was in public relations.
- Stay tuned to the latest trends and fads. Marketing is always changing, and what may look like a passing fad today could quickly turn into a huge opportunity. Staying ahead of the curve is to your advantage. For example, many organizations were slow to adopt Facebook and did not imagine that the site would have 1.65 billion active users worldwide by 2016.7 By the time those organizations caught up to Facebook marketing, they likely lost a lot of ground and revenue to their faster-moving competitors.
- Learn how to collect and analyze data. Some people go into marketing because they don't like math, and that is an oversight. Marketing is driven by data and statistics. Most of your decisions will be backed by data that you have collected and analyzed.
- Admit your mistakes and learn from them. You're going to make mistakes, and that is OK. All marketers make mistakes. Not all campaigns and strategies are going to be successful. What you learn from those mistakes and how you move forward is what is most important.
How Do I Find a Good Marketing School?
Marketing schools can help you embark on a fascinating, exciting, and bright career path. And it is simple to find the right one for you. Enter your postal code below to uncover a list of some of the top universities, colleges, and career schools that are offering marketing degree, diploma, and certificate programs in your area. Don't hold yourself back from a successful future any longer!
1 Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, website last visited on May 31, 2017.
2 Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on February 28, 2019.
3 Statistics Canada, "Canadian Business Counts, with employees, December 2017," website last visited on July 17, 2018.
4 Statistics Canada, "Advertising and related services, summary statistics," website last visited on July 17, 2018.
5 PayScale, website last visited February 28, 2019.
6 Government of Canada, Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS), website last visited on July 26, 2016.
7 Facebook Newsroom, Company Info, website last visited on July 26, 2016.