International Marketing Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

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Learn about careers in international marketing. Get job description, salary and education requirement information. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of an international marketing career.
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Pros and Cons of a Career in International Marketing

The key role of a marketing professional is to identify potential markets and future trends in order to better sell a product or service. There are many specializations within the field of marketing. A few options include positions as a market research analyst, marketing manager and public relations manager. Here they are, at a glance:

Market Research Analyst Marketing Manager Public Relations Manager
Career Overview Market research analysts work with companies to understand customer behavior through data research and analysis. Marketing managers oversee a company's marketing activities and develop strategies for products and services entering the market. Public relations managers work with an organization's marketing staff to clarify the correct image and point of view designed for their target audience.
Education Requirement Bachelor's degree required for entry-level, but master's degree preferred for top positions Bachelor's degree required for most positions Bachelor's degree required for entry-level, but master's degree preferred for top positions
Program Length 4-6 years, including the master's degree 4-6 years, including the master's degree 4-6 years, including the master's degree
Certification Certification is not required, but employers may prefer Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) None Certification is not required, but employers may prefer the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation
Experience Requirement None; entry level Varies None; entry level
Job Outlook for 2012-2022* 131,500 additional jobs expected (32% increase) 22,900 additional jobs expected (13% increase) 8,000 additional jobs expected (13% increase)
Median Annual Salary (2014)* $61,290 $127,130 $101,510

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts help companies understand the behavior of their customers by performing extensive data collection and analysis. Professionals gather data, prepare reports, devise marketing strategies and forecast trends, which will enable a company or organization to operate in the most effective and efficient way possible. Data is collected through surveys, polls, questionnaires, consumer demographics and focus groups. Market research analysts convert this complex data through software and statistical techniques to explain a company's position within the marketplace. Those working in international marketing will have to factor differing cultures, languages and preferences into data analysis. Many international market research analysts focus on a particular region, such as Eastern Europe or Latin America.

Many market research analysts are employed as consultants, although some companies hire these professionals to work in research. You can expect to work full-time, although longer hours may be expected when deadlines are approaching. You may be expected to travel.

Requirements

A bachelor's degree is the entry-level requirement for a career in market research; however, if you want to compete for top positions, you may need a master's degree. Relevant bachelor's degree programs are in market research, business administration, mathematics, computer science or statistics. A master's degree in marketing research or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on international business or international marketing will help you contend for the best jobs. You should also be fluent in one or more foreign languages.

Certification in this field is voluntary, although the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) offered through the Marketing Research Association is recommended. You can earn this designation by passing an examination after becoming a member of the association and completing at least three years of work experience in the field. You must renew this designation every two years, and continued education courses are required.

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

  • An international market research firm in Michigan is looking for a full-time market research analyst to focus on the automotive parts industry. Candidates are required to have a bachelor's degree and at least one year of experience in the field.
  • A California-based luggage design company wants to hire a market research analyst to determine international and domestic market trends, generate business plans and work on a marketing database. Applicants are required to have a graduate degree in business administration, marketing or management.
  • A research and development firm in Maryland wants to hire a senior market research analyst to support several product categories. Duties include consulting clients, conducting market research and managing projects. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in marketing, psychology or business, although a master's degree is preferred. In addition, candidates must have five to seven years of work experience with strong project management, data gathering and analytical skills. A willingness to travel both internationally and domestically is necessary for this position.

Standing Out

To stand out as an international market research analyst, you may want to consider a dual major in marketing and international relations. In addition, you may want to study multiple foreign languages. Develop strong math, analytical and communication skills. Studying abroad is also highly recommended. A graduate degree with a focus on a particular region, such as Southeast Asia or Latin America, could also help you gain employment in this field.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers work with other department heads within an organization to develop marketing strategies for products and services. Duties include initiating marketing research, developing pricing strategies, advising clients and directing other members of the marketing staff. The technical services, manufacturing, management, finance and information industries employ marketing managers. Most work in offices and may travel. This job can be stressful, especially as deadlines approach. Work experience and advanced degrees are key to advancement. Being that marketing managers play a vital role in generating revenue for an organization, there is strong competition for jobs in this field.

Requirements

To become a marketing manager, a bachelor's degree is an entry-level requirement. Courses in statistics, business law, management and economics may be particularly helpful. Internships are highly recommended. Still, a master's degree can prepare you for international positions. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on international business, economics or marketing would prepare you for the best job prospects. Formal training in multiple foreign languages would also be highly beneficial.

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

  • A publishing company in Pennsylvania wants to hire an international marketing coordinator to generate revenue for healthcare products in the United States and United Kingdom. Responsibilities include implementing marketing strategies, overseeing marketing communications within the company and establishing strong relationships with desired contacts. Candidates must have strong communication skills, as well as the ability to work with Microsoft Office and Adobe Suites. A bachelor's degree and two to five years of work experience are required.
  • A California-based website and application developer is looking to hire a senior web marketing manager to focus on international markets. Job duties include developing the company's international web presence and working closely with its international offices. Candidates are required to have a bachelor's degree in marketing, business or computer science as well as at least seven years of relevant work experience.
  • A banking and financial services firm in Michigan wants to hire a marketing manager to develop marketing programs and meet strategic goals. Duties include overseeing staff, analyzing marketing data, managing the budget of the marketing department and executing plans for public relations, online marketing, promotions and advertising. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in advertising, business administration or marketing. Seven to 10 years of experience in marketing is required, with three to five years spent in a managerial role.

Standing Out

To stand out as an international marketing manager, you should consider earning a bachelor's degree in both international relations and marketing or management. You will need to understand not only the principles of international trade, but also how target markets abroad function in order to succeed. Strong communication skills and knowledge of multiple foreign languages would also be beneficial. You may also want to consider earning a master's degree in either business administration or international relations.

Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers are responsible for influencing how customers perceive a company or product. Professionals must understand the political, economic and social trends that might affect the attitudes and buying habits of consumers. As a result, public relations managers work with advertising and marketing staff to ensure that marketing plans and media interactions are aligned with a specific image for the organization to ensure growth and revenue.

Specific industries actively hiring these professionals include civic organizations, educational services, healthcare, technical services and government. Duties include writing press releases and speeches, facilitating communication between clients and their desired audience, evaluating advertising programs and maintaining the appropriate image for clients. Most public relations managers work full-time with long hours.

Requirements

Public relations managers are expected to have a bachelor's degree in communication, journalism or business administration. Courses in technical writing, advertising and business are particularly helpful. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have earned a master's degree in public relations or journalism. Most public relations managers are trained on the job, with training lasting anywhere from a month to a year.

Certification in this field is voluntary. One option is to earn the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation offered through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). You must pass an examination to earn this certification. You could also earn the Accredited Business Communicator credential through the International Association of Business Communicators.

In November 2012, some employers of public relations managers were looking for the following:

  • A computer software firm in California is looking for a director of public relations to oversee all media relations. Duties include promoting and managing the company's global reputation, developing a communication strategy, managing marketing staff, generating press releases and supporting marketing campaigns. Candidates must have 10 to 15 years of experience in public relations with excellent writing and communication skills. A bachelor's degree in public relations, marketing or communication is essential.
  • A software company in San Francisco, California, is looking to hire a public relations manager to oversee its international PR initiatives. Key job responsibilities include drafting press releases, developing public relations strategies and maintaining industry relationships. Candidates are required to have at least four years of experience working in public relations for the tech industry.
  • A chain of gasoline service stations wants to hire a public relations manager for their store support center based in Georgia. Responsibilities would include creating press releases and media kits, developing media materials, drafting speeches, managing events and monitoring media interactions. In addition, the public relations manager would be expected to collaborate with the marketing program. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree with at least six years of work experience in public relations.

Standing Out

To stand out as an international public relations manager, you should consider a dual major in both public relations and international relations or international business. In addition, you should study a foreign language. A master's degree would also help you improve job prospects. Earning voluntary certifications in this field would also prove your professional competence. In addition, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) offers training courses and webinars online that can help give you an edge.

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