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Intern
Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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14 Mar 2010, 21:05
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone can help me out with careers in marketing. Recently, I've been interested in getting into brand management or for working in the marketing arm of a big consulting firm, and I was wondering about a few things:

1. First and most importantly, I'm wondering if marketing is good for people that are more "numbers" oriented as opposed to "creative". I know that marketing isn't just advertising and I'm more interested in the strategic aspects such as deciding what price to sell things at, deciding who to target the product towards, where to place the ads for the product as opposed to creating the advertisement if you know what I mean. So I was wondering if marketing is a good area for someone who has interest in those areas as opposed to pure advertising.

2. Everyone seems to only like finance, but I was wondering if marketing is still a good field to get into in terms of demand and if you can earn a decent living from marketing (decent living does NOT mean Gordon Gekko 10k a day high roller, but at least the potential to earn 6 figures).

3. How much will coming from an undergrad that isn't Wharton hurt me in terms of getting into a good job and consequently a good MBA? What are the top MBAs for marketing besides Kellogg?

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Manager
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14 Mar 2010, 21:53
Good thread. I am very interested in the field as well.

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Intern
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Schools: Kellogg (R2-WL), Stanford (R2), Consortium: Wisconsin (R2), Ross (R2), & Darden (R2-WL)
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22 Mar 2010, 07:54
1
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Hey, I'm an applicant that will be entering school this fall, but I've done a fair amount of research on marketing careers, so I'll try to answer your questions (remember I'm not in brand mgmt yet, so please take my answers with a grain of salt). Those that are in the field and can confirm/refute, please do.

1. That's exactly what brand management is about. Advertising is a different function altogether and often doesn't require an MBA to get into.

2. IMO, marketing is a pretty good field to get into as it was not hit as hard by the recession as finance and, to an extent, consulting. Companies are always trying to figure out ways to move products and thus need marketing folks. In the case of many CPGs, the demand for food/drinks/household products can only decline so much, as many of those types of products are essential to daily living. A marketing MBA generally earns in the 90s-low100s coming out of school, which is a pretty good living. Not really in the same compensation ballpark as IB/MC, but still pretty good and with a work-life balance to boot. For verification on the numbers, check the employment reports of the schools you are applying to.

3. As a whole, and again this is just what I've heard, marketing is much less about prestige than finance and consulting, so it's much easier field to get into career wise. I'm not an admissions consultant so I couldn't really tell you how any of this would affect you getting into school, but I've been told that they look at applications holistically, so I don't have much of a choice but to take that at face value. Reputation-wise, Kellogg is obviously the best school as far as marketing is concerned, but Indiana and Wisconsin also have very strong brand management programs and ties to many companies for that function. I also believe that Michigan is pretty strong in this area as well.

Hope this helps!

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22 Mar 2010, 12:55
From the informational interviews I've done with Tuck alumni concerning marketing, it was basically summed up for me as "project management".

Your role in marketing will be to ensure the timely collection, analysis and implementation of marketing research in order to facilitate sales. Jumpshot summed it up well.

RF
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22 Mar 2010, 15:41
JumpShot wrote:

3. As a whole, and again this is just what I've heard, marketing is much less about prestige than finance and consulting, so it's much easier field to get into career wise. I'm not an admissions consultant so I couldn't really tell you how any of this would affect you getting into school, but I've been told that they look at applications holistically, so I don't have much of a choice but to take that at face value. Reputation-wise, Kellogg is obviously the best school as far as marketing is concerned, but Indiana and Wisconsin also have very strong brand management programs and ties to many companies for that function. I also believe that Michigan is pretty strong in this area as well.

Hope this helps!

I'd say the recruiting for marketing is different than banking/consulting, but not necessarily easier. Recruiting with the top companies for marketing, like P&G in CPG or Apple in Tech, can be just as competitive as in banking/consulting. Plus, no company looking for brand managers will hire the dozens of interns/full-time hires that a consulting firm or bank would, so the students need to pursue more companies which takes time.
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24 Mar 2010, 11:20
JumpShot wrote:
2. IMO, marketing is a pretty good field to get into as it was not hit as hard by the recession as finance and, to an extent, consulting. Companies are always trying to figure out ways to move products and thus need marketing folks. In the case of many CPGs, the demand for food/drinks/household products can only decline so much, as many of those types of products are essential to daily living. A marketing MBA generally earns in the 90s-low100s coming out of school, which is a pretty good living. Not really in the same compensation ballpark as IB/MC, but still pretty good and with a work-life balance to boot. For verification on the numbers, check the employment reports of the schools you are applying to.

i'd say marketing was hit much harder than you think. i'm in the industry now, and to be honest, when the shit hits the fan, the first thing companies do is slash their marketing/advertising budgets. the general idea is, we're the first once to get cut and the last ones to get the increased budget when times start to look up.

it's true that the demand will be there for cpg's, etc. but the way the companies restructure during a downturn hurts marketing much more than its core business budgets and staffing.

also, for your 3rd point, you don't need an mba for advertising/marketing, but having one fast tracks your career by a lot. and whoever said that marketing is like project mgmt is pretty much dead on. you don't need to be a quant genius from wharton to do this and be good at it. and at a post-mba level, you'll be making good money...just on the cusp of 6 figures usually, and you'll likely top out at the half million range if you' get to the very top. otherwise, probably closer to the 200-400k range. however, life is good here...can't think of many other careers that are this easy and still pays this well.
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Intern
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25 Mar 2010, 23:24
Hello,

Nice thread i got here. Great information i got here. I also got my answers about the marketing. Thanks for sharing such a great things here.

Regards,

jimclemmer

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26 Mar 2010, 10:06
DrSatisfaction wrote:
JumpShot wrote:
2. IMO, marketing is a pretty good field to get into as it was not hit as hard by the recession as finance and, to an extent, consulting. Companies are always trying to figure out ways to move products and thus need marketing folks. In the case of many CPGs, the demand for food/drinks/household products can only decline so much, as many of those types of products are essential to daily living. A marketing MBA generally earns in the 90s-low100s coming out of school, which is a pretty good living. Not really in the same compensation ballpark as IB/MC, but still pretty good and with a work-life balance to boot. For verification on the numbers, check the employment reports of the schools you are applying to.

i'd say marketing was hit much harder than you think. i'm in the industry now, and to be honest, when the shit hits the fan, the first thing companies do is slash their marketing/advertising budgets. the general idea is, we're the first once to get cut and the last ones to get the increased budget when times start to look up.

it's true that the demand will be there for cpg's, etc. but the way the companies restructure during a downturn hurts marketing much more than its core business budgets and staffing.

also, for your 3rd point, you don't need an mba for advertising/marketing, but having one fast tracks your career by a lot. and whoever said that marketing is like project mgmt is pretty much dead on. you don't need to be a quant genius from wharton to do this and be good at it. and at a post-mba level, you'll be making good money...just on the cusp of 6 figures usually, and you'll likely top out at the half million range if you' get to the very top. otherwise, probably closer to the 200-400k range. however, life is good here...can't think of many other careers that are this easy and still pays this well.

DrSatisfaction is pretty much right on. I've worked in marketing for 10 years in all types of roles. Currently, I'm sort of internal consultant on various direct marketing campaigns. This means my work is pretty technology/quant heavy. I do use intermediate-level statistics on a frequent basis and also use databases daily. The nice thing about the field is you can do a wide variety of things, all in the same project. In a single day, I will work in teams, then by myself. I'll analyze the psychological affect of an offer, then make a quantitative model off of it. And the hours are pretty great, too. Pay is decent...6 figures is very doable either directly out of your MBA or a year later.

And as was previously mentioned, you don't need an MBA to do the work, but you do need the MBA to get paid well and move up. I think status and brands are more important to marketers than most since we deal with so much uncertainty. Having that seal of approval - especially from a good school - usually makes a big difference.

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26 Mar 2010, 18:26
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A lot of good points here.

A couple more:

It's arguably the most women-friendly post-MBA career. A greater proportion of women in senior positions, which certainly helps with balancing career progression and maternity leave (not just once... but maybe twice or three times depending haha). A male-dominated environment will certainly follow the letter of the law, but a more male-heavy culture may not be as appreciative or even fully understanding of women having to readjust and work around maternity leave issues.

As such, it's not surprise that it attracts a greater proportion of women into these jobs.

For what it's worth, I've been out of school for 9 years now, and the folks who have remained with the same employer the entire time since graduation have almost all been brand mktg folks at consumer products companies - not because they don't have options, but that the culture of these firms tends to value stability, and they treat their people very well (the maternity leave is just one example). This is just from my sense and subjective point of view, but the folks in brand mktg seem to be the most stable with an easy going sort of "happiness" if you know what I mean - seems to provide enough career/job satisfaction, but gives people enough space outside of it to have a life (raise a family, take on other interests outside of work, etc). But then again, it's self-selecting - the finance types have, well, let's say a "different" set of priorities or perspectives on career/life than those who pursue marketing post-MBA.
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