Marketing executives develop and oversee marketing campaigns to promote products and services. The role of a marketing executive can encompass creative, analytical, digital, commercial and administrative responsibilities. The details of the role will vary depending on the type and size of employer, as well as the industry. Executives are likely to work closely with other employees in areas such as advertising, market research, production, sales and distribution.
Marketing executives oversee many aspects of a campaign throughout the entire lifespan of a product, service or idea. As such executives are likely to have a great deal of responsibility early on and will be required to manage their time and duties themselves. These responsibilities can include:
- overseeing and developing marketing campaigns
- conducting research and analysing data to identify and define audiences
- devising and presenting ideas and strategies
- promotional activities
- compiling and distributing financial and statistical information
- writing and proofreading creative copy
- maintaining websites and looking at data analytics
- organising events and product exhibitions
- updating databases and using a customer relationship management (CRM) system
- coordinating internal marketing and an organisation’s culture
- monitoring performance
- managing campaigns on social media.
Depending on the size and type of employer, a marketing executive may or may not be an entry-level or graduate role. Graduates are likely to join a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) as an executive. At larger organisations, executives may work closely with more junior marketing assistants and marketing coordinators. The majority of marketing-specific graduate schemes will also hire graduates into an executive role.
Digital and online marketing
The role will typically also involve a great deal of digital and online marketing work, as employers will typically operate a website and social media accounts. As such, executives may need to look at analytics and come up with appropriate courses of action, produce written and multimedia content and manage pay-per-click (PPC) and programmatic advertising. As such having a familiarity with and knowledge of digital and online marketing methods is beneficial.
Salaries, working life and promotion
Opportunities for promotion are excellent – normally into senior marketing roles, such as senior marketing executive, marketing manager or marketing director. Executives can also move to more specialised roles such as SEO manager, PPC (pay-per-click) manager or digital content manager. More job descriptions for other marketing job roles can be found here.
Marketing executives typically work a standard ‘nine-to-five’ day, although they may occasionally be required to work out of hours on larger projects or to attend events. Starting salaries can range from around £17,000–£21,000 and, on average, senior marketing executives earn salaries in the range of £31,343–£41,957. Private sector employers are likely to offer higher salaries than public sector organisations, with the highest salaries being found in the gaming/gambling, utilities, telecommunications/IT, consumer electronics and FMCG sectors. (Statistics according to the 2017 Marketing Week Careers and Salary Survey).
Typical employers of marketing executives
- Governments and local authorities
There are many industries in which organisations will need to promote their products or services to an audiences. These can be in either the public or private sectors, or for charities. Marketing executives can work at dedicated marketing agencies, where work will be done for external clients, or at in-house marketing departments within larger organisations.
Vacancies are advertised by TARGETjobs, careers services, national newspapers and relevant publications such as Campaign, Marketing and Marketing Week and their respective websites.
Speculative applications can be effective as some opportunities may not be advertised. Find out more about speculative applications here.
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into marketing for both university graduates and school leavers.
Typically marketing opportunities are open to graduates from any degree discipline. However, a degree or postgraduate qualification in a subject such as marketing, economics, business, statistics or sociology may be beneficial or preferred by employers. Some jobs, particularly those in industrial marketing, require a scientific or technical background. Membership and professional qualifications offered by professional bodies, such as The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) or The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), may also be useful in securing a graduate job. Read more about the training and qualification offered by professional bodies here.
Relevant paid or voluntary work experience can be beneficial. This can be gained in any commercial area which requires contact with customers or the general public. Larger employers also run vacation courses and placements which can give a useful insight into the profession.
Employers will also be looking for experience from part-time work or extracurricular activities that demonstrate customer interaction and communication skills. Examples of include being a student ambassador during a university open day, ‘street teaming’ or other promotions work, telesales work and working in retail. Read more about the part-time jobs that can give you marketing-relevant skills here.
To find out how to get into marketing via a school leaver route, visit the business section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.
Key skills for marketing executives
- Good teamwork skills
- Communication skills and networking ability
- Strong attention to detail
- Good organisation and planning skills
- Creativity and writing skills
- Commercial awareness
- Numerical skills
- IT skills