When someone wants to pursue management education through MBA, there are many options for specialization like finance, Human resource, international business, marketing etc. If someone wants to select marketing as his/her specialization, the questions that comes to his/her mind are
- Is there a demand for the skills I am acquiring?
- What are the prospects of financial growth?
- Will there be all-round growth in my career?
- Will I get to learn new things?
- Will my profile be challenging?
- Will it help me grow faster?
- What is the time and effort required?
- And many more…
Let us try to get information to get answers to some of these questions.
Opportunities Landscape for marketing
World is changing due to disruption in technology innovation. Every business and sector is going through many levels of revamp. The changes are in every process starting from acquiring customers to deliver services to them. Companies are struggling to stay afloat in this tsunami of rapid changes. To make the matter worse, worldwide economies are slowing down due to many reasons. In such environment, generating sales and revenue is a key challenge. Hence it is not surprising that sales and marketing profiles are witnessing more and more demand.
The number of marketing hires is estimated to increase by 6.4% in the next year, according to the survey, and the largest change is expected in B2C product companies (9.7%).
- The CMO Survey
Innovation and marketing
The business world expects out-of-the-box thinking and ability to create solutions. Without an innovative thinking approach and use of latest technologies it is not possible to meet the growth targets and dynamic customer demands. Currently there are various technologies dominating business landscape. Big Data, artificial intelligence and digital marketing are some of the key examples.
It is said that data is the new electricity. All the decision making is based on lots and lots of data. Data is coming from various sources internal systems, external public systems, internet, social media etc. Customer behavior and their changing tastes are evident from the data collected from various sources. Now, one need not wait to do a sample market survery to know what customer feels about your product or service. Crunching and analyzing the data, one can track customer sentiments almost in real time. This helps in quickly creating a new product offering or changing the existing one to suit the demand.
Using the data, machine learning algorithms can do magical things. They can predict or forecast the sales, tell you better ways of your marketing budget allocation, recommend best suitable product for your customer based on his/her taste and so on.
As a 21st century marketer one need to know which data is important and how to use it effectively to generate insights. Marketing expert need to know how to cut the hype and look at what is real. How to employ these machine learning and artificial intelligence tools product and service strategies for.
Digital ways of marketing is a critical part of the entire gamut. New ways of engaging customers on internet, social media etc. are emerging. Creating a crisp meaning video, email or a blog post has a lot of value in attracting and engaging the customers. There are various tools and techniques like search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media Optimization (SMO), social media marketing (SMM) in the digital marketing space. It is important for a marketing manager to understand how to utilize and monitor his marketing budget.
Marketing function is also immensely benefitting from automation. There are platforms which manage the entire customer life cycle starting from enquiry to post sale/service. We know that it takes very less effort and expense to retain the existing customers than acquiring a new one. There are platforms called Customer Relationship Management (CRM). These promise to track and improve customer engagement over longer period of time. Based on the past history, many new strategies can be designed to acquire new customers and get more value from existing customers. A marketer should be aware of such tools and platforms as many companies are using them. SalesForce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics are some of the popular CRM platforms.
Skill building using distance MBA in marketing
A marketing manager is required to carry out many responsibilities. Some of them are list as follows.
- Plan overall communication strategy to create brand awareness.
- Plan and coordinate with agencies to create and run various campaigns for products and services.
- Design and oversee comprehensive marketing strategies for company’s business activities and brands.
- Get market Research and competition data.
- Create product offering by studying competition, market trends and consumer behavior.
- Plan and create product positioning strategies
- Identifying key stakeholders and decision makers from organizations which can be potential customers
- Arranging demos or walk through for potential clients
- Participation in product events and exhibitions
- Manage marketing campaigns.
- Periodically visiting key customers
- Plan and use automation tools like CRM
Aspiring candidate has to delve deeply into all facets of business and develop comprehensive understanding. In-depth business knowledge is very critical for a marketer. Using this understanding a marketer can create compelling product offerings.
There is a good career growth possible in in sales and marketing domain. There are various roles available. Starting from Marketing executive, marketing manager, sales and marketing manager, business development manager, and brand manager etc.
In the current environment of slowdown, profile in demand is of sales and marketing for obvious reasons. Sales and marketing has no remained as it was a few years ago. It had changed with the market and technologies. To jumpstart or take a leap in a career, pursuing a program like distance MBA in marketing is not just useful but it is the need of the hour.