Fashion Marketing Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career in fashion marketing? Get real job duties and education requirements to see if a career in fashion marketing is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a Career in Fashion Marketing

It's the role of marketing professionals within the fashion industry to ensure that accessories, footwear and apparel make the necessary impact on consumers to drive sales and profits. Job prospects are good; however, competition is fierce. Some of the best known roles are marketing manager, market research analyst and sales manager. Use the chart below to compare these professions:

Marketing Manager Market Research Analyst Sales Manager
Career Overview Marketing managers work with staff to develop strong marketing strategies that generate interest in products. Market research analysts study market conditions, forecast trends and make recommendations for effective marketing strategies. Sales managers direct sales teams and work with dealers and distributors.
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree, but a master's degree is preferred Bachelor's degree
Program Length 4 years full-time 4-6 years, including the master's degree 4 years full-time
Certification None Voluntary None
Experience Requirement 1-2 years of experience in sales, advertising or marketing 1-2 years of experience in sales, business or marketing 1-5 years of experience as a sales representative or purchasing agent
Job Outlook for 2012-2022* 22,900 additional jobs expected (13% increase) 131,500 additional jobs expected (faster-than-average 32% growth) 29,800 additional jobs expected (8% increase)
Mean Salary (2014)* $137,400 $68,700 $126,040

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers collaborate with department heads and staff to plan advertising campaigns, negotiate contracts, analyze market research, develop pricing strategies and oversee the daily activities of the marketing department. Key responsibilities include identifying potential markets and forecasting demand for a product within the fashion industry. Most professionals work in offices full-time, but travel may be necessary to meet with clients. You can anticipate good job security in this profession since companies need marketing managers to maintain consumer demand for products.

Requirements

Marketing managers need at least a bachelor's degree in marketing, business or a related field. Courses in accounting, finance, statistics and business law can be beneficial. You can find schools offering fashion marketing majors where you learn fundamentals of the fashion industry as well as forecasting fashion trends, fashion merchandising, promotion and other business principles with a fashion focus.

You typically won't start out in a management position and will need to first acquire professional experience in the field. Obtaining a position as a sales agent, buyer, public relations specialist or advertising representative can help you gain experience and give you the opportunity to prove your abilities.

In November 2012, some employers of fashion marketing managers were looking for the following:

  • A fashion company based in California wants to hire a marketing campaign manager with at least 1 year of experience dealing with marketing campaigns. Responsibilities include using online marketing initiatives and managing web development. Candidates should have knowledge of Microsoft Office and DoubleClick.
  • A Los Angeles-based women's fashion company seeks a vice president of marketing to develop strong marketing strategies, conduct email marketing campaigns and work with social media. Candidates need bachelor's degrees in marketing, work experience with a fashion company and strong acquisition and retention experience.
  • An online corporation seeks a marketing manager to focus on planning and promotions for its fashion division based in Seattle. Duties include identifying customers, managing promotions, overseeing seasonal trends, developing an email messaging plan and analyzing merchandising efforts. Candidates must have bachelor's degrees in business, communications or marketing with at least 5-7 years of experience. In addition, the ideal candidate should have a passion for and experience in the fashion industry.

Standing Out

To stand out as a marketing manager within the fashion industry, you should have a background in fashion merchandising, retail management, global sourcing and product development. Knowledge of the history of fashion and current trends would also be advantageous. An understanding of the fashion industry's erratic consumer demands and short product life cycles could also be beneficial.

The BLS recommended participating in an internship while completing your degree program. Your school may help you find potential companies that are seeking interns or you can check with your local chapter of the American Marketing Association. Additionally, you can become a member of the organization and receive benefits, such as access to the latest research, educational resources and networking opportunities.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts collect data, forecast trends, analyze marketing programs, draft reports and present findings to clients. Some professionals perform in-house research for companies, while others work as consultants and handle cases on a per-client basis. It's typical for professionals to work alone at their computers while collecting and studying data. This can be a stressful profession, especially as deadlines approach. This field is growing at a faster-than-average rate as the importance of data and market research gains prominence in most industries.

Requirements

A bachelor's degree in market research, business, statistics or computer science is an entry-level requirement to this field. Advanced potions typically require a master's degree in business administration, marketing or market research. When evaluating degree programs, look for those offering coursework in statistics, research methods, communications and marketing principles.

In November 2012, some employers of fashion market research analysts were looking for the following:

  • A publication company in New York with a focus on fashion, entertainment, travel and design wants to hire a consumer marketing modeling analyst to join the full-time staff. Duties would include supporting customer acquisition and retention, preparing data, maintaining statistical models and providing recommendations to campaign managers. Candidates must have a master's degree in statistics or a related field. Experience in data mining, logistic modeling, experimental design and Microsoft Office is required.
  • An apparel company in Wisconsin wants to hire a senior quantitative analyst with at least 3 years of experience with quantitative analysis and either a bachelor's or master's degree in statistics or business. Experience with predictive models and SAS Enterprise Miner is required as well as excellent communication and problem-solving skills. Duties would include making strategic business decisions based on data analysis and interpretation found through statistical testing.
  • A fashion company in Los Angeles wants to hire a global promotions marketing assistant to research new marketing promotional initiatives, update marketing signage checklists and coordinate global promotions. Candidates must have bachelor's degrees with at least 1 year of corporate marketing experience. Strong organizational skills and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment are essential.

Standing Out

To stand out as a market research analyst, an internship or work experience in sales, business or marketing could give you an edge. There is strong competition for jobs in this field; the higher your level of education and the better your skills with computer science, statistics and mathematics, the better your chances of gaining entry.

Voluntary certification is available through the Marketing Research Association (MRA). You can earn the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) once you have completed at least 3 years of relevant work experience. You must also be a member of the association and pass a qualifying examination. To maintain the credential, you must participate in continuing education courses and renew every 2 years.

Sales Manager

Sales managers oversee the sales staff of an organization and work to maintain customer satisfaction. Professionals also analyze sales data, project sales, prepare budgets and set goals. Some also train new hires on the sales team. Many work full-time and long hours are common. This profession requires a great deal of responsibility and can bring with it high levels of stress. Travel is sometimes required. Growth in this field is expected for business-to-business sales, rather than those directly involving consumers. Sales managers are predicted to experience some job security as they're among the most important personnel within an organization's sales team.

Requirements

A bachelor's degree is an entry-level requirement for a career as a sales manager; although, some professionals have master's degrees. Several colleges and universities offer degree programs in sales where you can learn selling techniques, marketing fundamentals and sales management methods. You may also find schools that offer fashion marketing or merchandising bachelor's programs that teach relevant concepts to a sales career. Courses in these programs also teach you about the fashion industry so you can gain industry expertise. Additionally, some schools offer 5-year programs that combine a Master of Business Administration degree.

Work experience is necessary in this field. You should have 1-5 years of experience as either a sales representative or purchasing agent before pursuing this advanced position.

In November 2012, some employers of fashion sales managers were looking for the following:

  • A department store in Los Angeles wants to hire a sales manager with at least 5 years of retail management experience and excellent communication, organization and leadership skills. Responsibilities would include recruiting and training sales professionals, overseeing customer service efforts, ensuring standards and executing merchandise placement.
  • An apparel company wants to hire a regional sales manager for its Chicago location. Candidates must have at least 5 years of retail sales leadership experience as well experience with wholesale distribution of fashion-related products. In addition, candidates must have strong communication, training, organizational and computer skills and be willing to travel.
  • A retail company in New York is looking to hire a sales manager with at least 2 years of retail management experience and a bachelor's degree. Prior to gaining permanent employment, candidates complete a 6-week development program featuring on-the-job training, classroom training and mentoring. Duties of the sales manager include executing sales initiatives, coaching associates, analyzing business trends, maintaining high customer service standards and communicating advertising and sales information to staff.

Standing Out

To stand out as a sales manager within the fashion industry, you should try to obtain work experience with fashion companies and retailers. Knowledge of apparel advertising, promotion and retailing may be beneficial. As a sales professional, you will most likely be in contact with a variety of people, such as dealers, distributors, department managers and sales representatives, so enhancing your communication and interpersonal skills may work to your benefit.

Several professional associations exist for sales professionals, including the Sales Management Association and the National Association of Sales Professionals. Through these associations, you may gain access to various resources and credentials, which can help validate your education and experience.

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master : Business Admin
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Louisiana State University Shreveport

  • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing Specialization

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American National University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Business Administration Management - Associate
  • Business Administration - Diploma

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Saint Leo University

  • BA: Business Administration - Management
  • BA: Business Administration - Logistics
  • AA: Business Administration

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The Art Institutes

  • Fashion Merchandising (BS)
  • Fashion Merchandising (AAS)
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  • Fashion Retailing (D)

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Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
  • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Business

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South College

  • Bachelor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

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George Mason University

  • Master of Business Administration

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