Posted on: March 30, 2016
A guide to career paths in ‘Marketing’ for Business School students
Prof. Anand Narasimha
Anand Narasimha is a Professor of Marketing & Strategy, with close to 3 decades of global experience spanning Marketing, Advertising, Consulting and Academics, he is currently Faculty at KIAMS.You can connect with him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing is among the most sought after ‘specializations’ for students in Business Schools. While most students have clarity on this, very few are clear on ‘what specific area of Marketing’ they wish to focus on for building their careers.
Marketing being a diverse field with a large scope, it helps if students are able to define a more specific area of Marketing, from the perspective of tailoring their learning and career options in a targeted manner.
In fact, some premier B-Schools in the U.S. have moved out of offering ‘generic’ Specializations like Marketing, Finance, HR and Operations and are focusing instead on offering ‘Concentrations’- more sharply defined areas of study, within the broad functional areas of Management.
In order to understand the specific opportunities for learning and career development in the Marketing area, I have put together a table which can serve as a ready reckoner for B-School students.
But first, let us understand what Marketing is all about, at its simplest. Marketing in any form requires 2 basic things:
1. Understanding and managing ‘perceptions’ in the consumers’ minds.
2. Using these perceptions to drive‘action’ to purchase in the market.
This ‘mind to market’ approach is the basis of Marketing, no matter which specific ‘concentration’ one may choose.
The Ready Reckoner for ‘Marketing Career Paths’
|Concentration||Opportunity Areas||Learning Focus|
| Consumer Marketing: Mass marketing to
|FMCG (fast moving
(consumer packaged goods),
|Sales & Distribution,
Marketing & Sales
Analytics, Digital Marketing
|Business to Business (B2B) Marketing: Targeted marketing to enterprise customers||Technology products &services, Industrial products, ITES, Infrastructure Development, Energy, Defence, Core Sectors||Selling Skills, Negotiation Skills, Product Development, Pricing Strategies, CRM/Customer Solutions Marketing, Customer Research, E-Business and E-Commerce|
|Marketing Communication (MARCOM): Service providers to companies, for outsourcing their MARCOM activities||Advertising Agencies, Media Agencies, Digital Agencies, Event Management Agencies, Activation & Promotion Agencies, Design Agencies, PR Agencies||Marketing Communication, Brand Management, Digital Marketing, Consumer Insights, Consumer Culture, Media Management, Media Planning & Buying, Experiential Marketing|
|Retailing & E-Tailing: Brick & Mortar Retail and Online Shopping||Large Format Multi-Brand Retailers, Exclusive Brand Outlets, Online Shopping Companies,||Retail Management, In-store & Shopper Marketing, Category Management, Merchandising, Supply Chain, Digital Marketing, CRM, E-Commerce|
|Marketing Research & Analytics: Quantitative &Qualitative analysis of for Marketing decision making||Marketing Research Agencies, Marketing/Business Analytics Companies, Small/Medium Consulting Companies, Business Intelligence in companies across sectors||Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Research, Consumer Insights, Business Analytics, Customer & Market Analytics, Web & Social Media Analytics, CRM, Strategic Marketing|
|Luxury Brand Marketing:Marketing of exclusive, niche brands to high net-worth customers||Ultra-premium categories like, watches, designer apparel & accessories, vacations, cars & bikes, real-estate, hotels& resorts and other lifestyle products/services||Understanding ‘Luxury Business’ with respect to: Brand Management, Marketing Communication, Retailing, Experiential Marketing, Relationship Marketing|
Note: The details given in the table are indicative and not exhaustive
All the ‘concentrations’ discussed here, represent lucrative career opportunities and range from broad to niche areas. In order to make the right choice, it is important that you find out more about the areas that interest you, by speaking to your faculty, alumni and industry professionals.
While each ‘concentration’ requires focus on specific learning areas in Marketing, there are some common traits that any marketing professional worth her/his salt needs to possess:
The last tip I can give you is, that after analysing all the rational criteria for guiding your decision making using your ‘head’, make the final choice with your ‘heart’. After all, as one of the world’s top behavioural psychologist said, “Reasons lead to conclusions. Emotion leads to action.”