Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations and Sales Manager Career

Sales, public relations, promotions, marketing, and advertising managers supervise and coordinate their organizations' public relation activities, product development, pricing, promotion, advertising, sales, marketing strategy, and market research. At smaller companies, the owner or chief executive officer will likely supervise all advertising, marketing and promotions, sales, and public relations duties. Whereas, larger organizations with a national or worldwide presence may assign executive vice presidents to oversee marketing and advertising, promotion and sales, and public relations policies.

Advertising and Marketing Managers
Advertising managers supervise the usually smaller promotion and advertising departments, unless the organization is larger. Smaller firms may hire outside advertising or promotional agencies, so managers at these firms act as liaisons between the agencies and the firm. Advertising managers at larger firms supervise the internal account, creative, and media service departments. Account executives supervise the account services department and determine the company's advertising needs, but account executives at advertising agencies oversee the accounts of clients. Creative service departments develop advertising content and strategies for presenting the content, and the creative director supervises the art director, copy chief, and the associated employees. A media director supervises planning groups responsible for determining how the advertisements will reach potential consumers whether by radio, television, newspapers, magazines, billboards, or internet advertising.

An organizations' marketing manager develops detailed marketing strategy. With the assistance of product development and market research managers, market managers estimate the market demand for their organizations' products and services as well as the demand for their competitors' products and services. Likewise, business managers identify potential markets for their products such as government agencies, retailers, wholesalers, business firms, or the general public. Marketing managers develop pricing strategies to maximize profits and market share while maintaining customer satisfaction. Marketing managers with the assistance of sales, product development, and other managers monitor product development and market trends that may indicate the need to develop new products and services. Working with advertising and promotion managers, marketing managers are responsible to attract new customers while promoting the organizations existing products and services.

Promotions Managers
Promotion managers supervise promotion specialist employees and direct promotion programs designed to increase sales by combining advertising with purchase incentives. To reach purchasers, dealers, distributors, or consumers, promotion managers can use direct mail advertising, telemarketing, special events, product endorsements, in-store displays, web site advertisements, newspaper advertisements, catalogs, or radio and television advertisements. Promotion managers can use discounts, contents, sweepstakes, coupons, rebates, gifts, and samples to create purchase incentives.

Salary and Compensation
Public relations managers oversee public relations specialists and manage programs to target specific audiences. Public relations managers usually specialize in such field as crisis management, or industries such as health care. They must also maintain the support of stockholders, consumers, and the general public, groups vital to an organizations' success, by utilizing available communication services. For example, public relations managers can inform special interest groups and the public about its positions on environmental, health, and other important public issues.

Public relations managers also determine whether advertising and promotions programs are consistent with public relations efforts and monitor these programs for upper management. They evaluate social, political, and economic trends affecting the firm and recommend to management solutions to improve the firm's image.

Public relations managers work with labor relations managers to develop internal communications, for example, memos detailing employee-management relations, and public relations managers collaborate with financial managers to produce organizational reports. They assist company executives with arranging interviews, maintaining contact with the public, drafting speeches, responding to information requests, and overseeing organizational archives. Moreover, certain public relations managers coordinate specials events such as new product introduction parties, sponsorship of sporting events, and any other activities intended to gain public attention without using direct advertising.

Sales Managers
Sales managers supervise an organizations' sales strategy. They set goals, develop training programs for salespeople, and assign sales territories, and sales managers consult sales representatives about performance strategies. In larger firms, sales managers supervise local and regional sales managers and their employees, and they keep contact with dealers and distributors. Sales managers analyze statistics presented to them by their employees to monitor clients' preferences, determine revenue potential, and monitor inventory needs since this information is essential for product development and the maximization of profits.

Work Environment
Sales, public relations, promotions, marketing, and advertising managers work in close proximity to the offices of upper management. Managers will not be able avoid stress since deadlines must be met while schedules will change and difficulties will arise.

Managers might have to travel extensively since attending sponsored meetings by industries or associations is often required. Sales managers travel to local, regional, and national offices and a variety of distributors and dealers. Promotions and advertising managers could travel to visit media representatives. Sometimes, public relations managers travel to visit government representatives or lobbyist groups. Also, sales managers often transfer between regional offices and headquarters.

Managers often work long hours including evenings and weekends. Nearly two thirds of public relations, marketing, and advertising managers spent more than 40 hours a week working.

Training, Qualifications and Advancement
Sales, public relations, promotions, marketing, and advertising managers come from a variety of educational backgrounds, but a majority of firms prefer managers with experience in related fields.

Education and training. Certain employers prefer marketing, sales, and promotions managers to hold a bachelors or master's degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis, while taking courses in statistics, mathematics, finance, accounting, economics, management and business law can be advantageous to potential candidates. Moreover, candidates are encouraged to complete an internship while in school. Potential candidates in highly technical industries, for example, computers and electronics, should earn a bachelor's degree in science or engineering in conjunction with a master's degree in business administration.

Employers seeking advertising managers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in journalism or advertising while taking courses in photography, art history, visual arts, communication, technology, sales, market research, consumer behavior, and marketing is recommended.

Certain employers seeking public relations managers prefer candidates with bachelor or master's degrees in journalism or public relations while taking courses in creative and technical writing, political science, public speaking, public affairs, business administration, and advertising is recommended.

Firms fill most advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales management positions by promoting experienced and skilled employees or related professional individuals. Many current managers worked as former sales representatives, public relations, promotions, buyers, product, or advertising specialists, and purchasing agents. At smaller firms with limited positions, promotion to management takes longer; whereas, larger firms promote managers more frequently.

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Other qualifications. Candidates should be familiar with word-processing and database applications. Because marketing, advertising, and promotions on the internet is so prevalent, candidates should understand how to use computers. Candidates who speak a foreign language will increase their employment opportunities, especially in large urban areas with large Spanish speaking populations.

Individuals wanting to work as sales, public relations, promotions, marketing, and advertising managers need to be decisive, resistant to stress and pressure, flexible, highly motivated, mature, and creative with the ability to persuasively communicate, both written and verbally with co-workers, the public, and other managers. Managers should have good judgment and tact, with the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with employees, clients, and supervisors.

Certification and advancement. Certain associations offer certification programs, so managers taking advantage of these programs can obtain an edge in a competitive job market. Although few marketing, promotions, public relations, sales, and advertising managers are certified, demand for certification among managers is projected to increase.

Currently, numerous management certification programs are based on education and job performance. Likewise, the Public Relations Society of America offers a certification program for public relation specialists based upon job performance, a test taken by candidates, and years of experience. Senior management at larger firms take into account experience, ability, and leadership skills while making decisions about promotions, but participating in management training programs can increase a candidate's opportunities for promotion. Many organizations provide their staff with continuing educational opportunities at local colleges and universities and seminars presented by professional organizations. Marketing and related organizations cooperating with colleges and universities sponsor national or local management training programs. These programs offer the following courses: data-processing systems procedures and management, organizational communication, market research and communication, promotion and interactive marketing, direct sales and telemarketing, sales management evaluation, international marketing, and brand and product management. Many organizations pay the entire or a portion of the costs for continuing education for staff members who successfully complete training.

Advertising, promotions, marketing, public relations, and sales managers are ideal candidates for advancement because their work is noticeable and important. Skilled, experienced, and well-trained managers can earn promotion to high positions, even upper management, in their current or another organization. Managers with enough experience and money can start their own company.

In 2012, there were about 583,000 sales, public relations, promotions, marketing, and advertising managers. The following chart provides a breakdown according to specialty:

  • Advertising and promotions managers - 47,000
  • Public relations managers - 50,000
  • Marketing managers - 167,000
  • Sales managers - 318,000

These managers worked in nearly every industry. Sales managers held more than 50 percent of the jobs in insurance, finance, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade. Marketing managers constituted over 25 percent of the market with a third working in insurance and finance, professional, scientific, and technical industries. Nearly 25 percent of promotions and advertising managers were employed in wholesale trade, technical, scientific, and professional industries, and the majority of public relations managers worked in the service providing sector namely social assistance, health care, finance and insurance, professional, scientific, technical services, and public and private education.

Job Outlook
Job growth is expected to be average, but intense competition will exist for these desirable managerial positions.

Employment change. Projected job growth for sales, public relations, promotions, and marketing managers is expected to increase nearly 12 percent, about the average expected job growth for all occupations through 2016. This growth will be spearheaded by global and domestic competition to provide consumer products and services with accompanying increases in radio, television, and outdoor advertising.

Expected job growth varies by industry. Accelerated job growth in scientific, professional, computer systems design, and advertising industries is expected to be greater than average as organizations outsource these services instead of adding additional employees. However, job growth in manufacturing industries is expected to decline.

Job prospects. Sales, advertising, public relations, promotions, and marketing manager positions are highly desirable and will be sought after by experienced professionals, so individuals intending to pursue one of these managerial positions should expect intense competition. Creative managers with good communication skills, a college degree, and related experience will have better opportunities. For example, employers using the internet to promote their products and services will seek candidates with computer skills to conduct marketing and public relations.

In May of 2012, annual median salaries were as follows: advertising and promotions managers, $73,060; marketing managers, $98,720; sales managers, $91,560; and public relations managers, $82,180; and managers working in advertising and promotions, $97,540.

Median yearly salaries in the following industries employing marketing managers were:

  • Depository credit intermediation - $91,420
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services - $92,480
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting - $100,200
  • Management of companies and enterprises - $103,070
  • Computer systems design and related services - $119,540

Median yearly salaries in the following industries employing sales managers were:

  • Machinery, equipment, and supplies wholesalers - $93,450
  • Management of companies and enterprises - $98,240
  • Automobile dealers - $101,110
  • Wholesale electronic, agents, and brokers - $107,420
  • Professional and commercial equipment and Supplies merchant wholesalers - $112,810

Managers' salaries vary and are dependent upon job responsibility, education level, their firm's size and location, and the industry the firm specializes in. Usually managers working for manufacturing firms earn more money than managers working in non-manufacturing industries. Salaries for sales managers, on the other hand, are determined by sales territory size, but many sales managers can earn bonuses of up to 10 percent or more of their annual salaries. The National Association of Colleges and Employers discovered in a 2012 survey that graduating marketing majors earned an average salary of $40,161, compared to advertising majors earning an average of $33,831.

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