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Those in marketing...

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Those in marketing... [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2008, 10:49
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Stupid question...what's it like?

i'm interested in pursuing a career in marketing...although i have little experience in the field. For those in marketing, what's it really like? do you enjoy it? what do you specialize in (online media, cpg, luxury)? how is the lifestyle and is now a good time to try and break into this type of career?

i'm trying to get an insider's view. thanks.
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Re: Those in marketing... [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2008, 18:43
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I love it. I knew I wanted to be in CPG marketing but started in CPG Sales at a top food company out of undergrad because most top companies require MBA's. After a couple years experience, I moved over to a smaller CPG food company as an associate marketing manager. So far, I'm really happy with the career choice. I like food marketing because I love food and grocery stores.

Below is a normal day for me:
8:00 - Weekly meeting with marketing team to discuss projects for the week and talk about marketing team initiatives
9:00 - Business analysis - Using syndicated data (IRI, AC Nielsen) to see what the competitors have done in the past month. Examine how our portfolio is performing with the recent price increase.
11:00 - Meeting with R&D developer on project X. Cutting (tasting) on 5 versions of a products he's developed. Give feedback, further guidance, and timeline for next revisions.
12:00 - Lunch meeting with MarCom (Marketing Communications) to discuss upcomming FSI (newspaper coupon insert) drop and IRC coupons at select customers
1:00 - Project work - Review financials for new item projects that I have to present to the executive team next month. Make sure costing is coming in on budget.
2:00 - Meeting with design services to review concepts for packaging design of new product we're launching next year.
3:00 - New product team meeting - Cross-functional meeting with R&D, operations, purchasing, engineering, and sales to discuss new products for next year.
4:00 - Meeting with purchasing, operations and packaging engineer to see if we can utilize a new type of packaging that will enhance shelf presence.
5:00 - Catch up on emails you missed throughout the day

As you can see, lots of meetings. Some days are better than others. As an AMM, I am more focused on project management and data analysis while my boss (Marketing Manager) oversees the AMM's projects and is focused on portfolio strategy. The more you move up, the less you work on projects and data analysis. Work-life balance is not too bad. I've worked 90 hours once and a few 70-80 hour weeks but for the most part its in the 50 range. I've heard some larger companies are a bit more demanding though.

It's a great career and the nice thing about CPG marketing is that its very insular. Once you get into CPG marketing, it's easy to move around and work your way up. If you ever don't like your job, just wait for the next headhunter to call (MM's get multiple calls a week).
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Re: Those in marketing... [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2008, 03:10
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Re: Those in marketing... [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2008, 17:08
This is a pretty broad question.

Overall, I like being in tech marketing (communications and direct marketing for software). You get to be creative, travel a lot, and work very closely with executives and the sales team (which I find much more interesting than development). However, it is often difficult to measure results, things can be pretty vague, and sometimes people don't understand the value of marketing.

Many companies cut marketing budgets during economic downturns, but if you choose a market not affected by this current market, you should be fine. PM me if you have other questions. I've been in tech marketing for the last 7 years.
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Re: Those in marketing... [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2008, 19:42
Thank you for sharing a typical work day with us. Your work day sounds ideal to me. I love sharing ideas and turning hard data into usable information. I applied to business school this year but I didn't get into my target schools because my GMAT score was so low. I'm studying to re-take the exam now.

In the meantime, I'd like to move into a position with a consumer packaged goods company. I believe I would actually enjoy it (it would help me make a more compelling case to the admissions committees).

How would you suggest I go about pursuing this? What kinds of positions should I look for i.e. Brand Assistant??

Many Thanks in advance.

cpgmba wrote:
I love it. I knew I wanted to be in CPG marketing but started in CPG Sales at a top food company out of undergrad because most top companies require MBA's. After a couple years experience, I moved over to a smaller CPG food company as an associate marketing manager. So far, I'm really happy with the career choice. I like food marketing because I love food and grocery stores.

Below is a normal day for me:
8:00 - Weekly meeting with marketing team to discuss projects for the week and talk about marketing team initiatives
9:00 - Business analysis - Using syndicated data (IRI, AC Nielsen) to see what the competitors have done in the past month. Examine how our portfolio is performing with the recent price increase.
11:00 - Meeting with R&D developer on project X. Cutting (tasting) on 5 versions of a products he's developed. Give feedback, further guidance, and timeline for next revisions.
12:00 - Lunch meeting with MarCom (Marketing Communications) to discuss upcomming FSI (newspaper coupon insert) drop and IRC coupons at select customers
1:00 - Project work - Review financials for new item projects that I have to present to the executive team next month. Make sure costing is coming in on budget.
2:00 - Meeting with design services to review concepts for packaging design of new product we're launching next year.
3:00 - New product team meeting - Cross-functional meeting with R&D, operations, purchasing, engineering, and sales to discuss new products for next year.
4:00 - Meeting with purchasing, operations and packaging engineer to see if we can utilize a new type of packaging that will enhance shelf presence.
5:00 - Catch up on emails you missed throughout the day

As you can see, lots of meetings. Some days are better than others. As an AMM, I am more focused on project management and data analysis while my boss (Marketing Manager) oversees the AMM's projects and is focused on portfolio strategy. The more you move up, the less you work on projects and data analysis. Work-life balance is not too bad. I've worked 90 hours once and a few 70-80 hour weeks but for the most part its in the 50 range. I've heard some larger companies are a bit more demanding though.

It's a great career and the nice thing about CPG marketing is that its very insular. Once you get into CPG marketing, it's easy to move around and work your way up. If you ever don't like your job, just wait for the next headhunter to call (MM's get multiple calls a week).
Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Posts: 248
Schools: R1: HBS(A), Kellogg(A), Michigan(A), Duke(A), Wharton(D)
Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: Those in marketing... [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2008, 11:14
You probably have two options to get into CPG right now.

#1 - Get into sales with a top CPG company. Companies like Kraft, General Mills, P&G, etc. have excellent sales divisions that provide a great opportunity to get into the industry without an MBA. Most recruit out of undergrad but I know you can still get in as an experienced hire as well.
Pros - This would really help build your understanding of the industry as well as be a good resume builder. A lot of these sales positions are not your typical sales roles. It usually involves cateogry management which is a great introduction into marketing data analysis.
Cons - It's very rare to move from sales to marketing within these companies. However if you are planning to leave to get your MBA that wouldn't be much of a problem.

#2 - Find a smaller CPG company and look for a marketing assistant / assistant marketing manager position. Look for regional companies (a lot of times in the food industry - meat, dairy, candy, confections, etc...) that have a CPG marketing department. One key to find out is if they have a stage-gate process for New Product Development.
Pros - Actual marketing experience. Let's you know before you invest in an MBA if marketing is right for you.
Cons - Usually a lack of training. Company name on resume is not very strong.

I would vote for #1 if you can. The top companies provide outstanding training that will build a really strong foundation that you can leverage before and after your MBA.

Good luck!
Re: Those in marketing...   [#permalink] 08 Jun 2008, 11:14
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