Pros and Cons of a Marketing Assistant Career
Marketing assistants are often responsible for mailing and tracking fliers, brochures and other tools that draw customers in. Read about the pros and cons of this job to decide if being a marketing assistant is a good fit for you.
|Pros of a Marketing Assistant Career|
|A bachelor's degree is sufficient for most jobs*|
|Average to above average growth for marketing careers (13-32% between 2012-2022)*|
|Plenty of opportunities to be creative*|
|Often work with others (clients, co-workers, superiors and other professionals)*|
|Cons of a Marketing Assistant Career|
|Can be stressful*|
|Most growth is a result of retirement or people leaving the field*|
|Need to monitor sales data and statistics**|
|May need to continue studies to keep up-to-date on marketing principles and techniques*|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*NET OnLine
Essential Career Information
Job Description and Duties
Marketing assistants have many responsibilities, including mailing brochures and other product information to customers. You may need to use sales results gathered by market researchers to determine which marketing techniques work best and how to put them to the greatest use. Other responsibilities include applying sales and marketing trends to target the customers who are most likely to purchase the product, such as a pet owner or an expectant mother. You may work long hours and be responsible for completing multiple projects simultaneously, such as writing newsletters or brochures, organizing products for a trade show and developing a marketing campaign.
Employment and Salary Info
While the job outlook for marketing assistants isn't available, other marketing professionals expected to see average to above average growth. For instance, the BLS projected that employment of marketing managers would increase by about 13%, while employment of market research analysts would increase by 32% between 2012 and 2022. The O*NET OnLine projected that the employment of market research consultants and market analysts would increase by 22% or more (www.onetonline.org). However, the field is very competitive and people with years of experience are often competing for the same jobs as newcomers.
According to PayScale.com marketing assistants made an annual salary ranging from $26,000 to $46,000 as of July 2015. As of March 2015, Salary.com reported a median average salary of around $38,000 for marketing assistants with up to two years of experience. According to the most recent data available, employment opportunities exist in professional, scientific and technical services, and in insurance and financial companies.
Education and Training Requirements
According to the BLS, you must have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing. This 4-year degree includes studies in consumer behavior, financial management, marketing communications, sales and advertising. Other courses may prepare you for interacting with customers or clients and developing marketing plans. You'll also study market research to learn how to use and apply data. The following are necessary for a career as a marketing assistant and can be acquired through a degree program:
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Basic computer skills
- Knowledge of product branding
- Familiarity with using the Internet for marketing
What Employers Are Looking for
Below are some examples of job postings for marketing assistants from March 2012. They include the skills employers wanted and some of the responsibilities for the job:
- A furniture retail company in Bristol, PA, was looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in marketing, merchandising or business, who had basic computer skills, interpersonal skills and who was able to work as part of a team and multitask.
- A Santa Rosa, CA, company was searching for a marketing assistant to create marketing campaigns, handle office work and oversee customer service. The employer wanted someone who had skills with Photoshop, InDesign, and other computer programs, including Microsoft Office and QuickBooks, and experience using social media.
- A California lighting company advertised for a sales and marketing assistant who had a bachelor's degree and 2-5 years of experience in the field. The right person would be able to communicate with all of the company's sales representatives, create power point presentations and newsletters. The employer wanted someone who could use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, multitask, follow directions and who had organizational skills.
- A Chicago, IL, organization was looking for a marketing assistant with 1-3 years of experience and a bachelor's degree to develop marketing and sales campaigns. The desired candidate was organized and able to manage time effectively.
How to Stand Out in the Field
While a bachelor's degree is required, you can do many things to stand out, short of earning a master's degree. For instance, you can complete an internship to get real-world experience and a reference. As the job postings indicated, the ability to launch and direct an Internet or social media campaign is necessary for today's market. It can also get you ahead of individuals with more job experience who don't have up-to-date Internet skills. Experience with product branding can also help, particularly if you can show a portfolio or samples of your work. This may be part of a senior project or available through some advertising courses.
Develop Related Skills
Classes not included in a marketing degree program that can help you get ahead include studying Spanish or another foreign language. According to the BLS, this can prepare you to reach an additional group of people. Additional writing classes can prepare you to craft compelling sales letters, newsletters, brochures and ads. Taking art classes in Photoshop and InDesign can train you to incorporate advertising techniques in your marketing campaigns.
Other Careers to Consider
Market Research Analyst
If you're not sure becoming a marketing assistant is right for you, you can consider related alternatives, such as becoming a market research analyst. Analysts gather data about the products people purchase and the prices they pay. This can help other marketing specialists create a better marketing plan. Employers may require that applicants have a master's degree, especially for technical positions. These professionals usually work alone, compiling data and analyzing the results to turn into handy charts and graphs. The BLS reported that market research analysts could expect a salary around $60,000 as of May 2011.
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists can work for individuals, government organizations, hospitals, universities or other businesses. They're responsible for creating and maintaining a positive public image. Many of them travel frequently, attend community events, organize meetings, make speeches and craft press releases. A bachelor's degree in public relations, marketing or journalism can lead to a career as a public relations specialist. The BLS projected that employment would increase by 24% between 2008 and 2018 for public relations specialists and that as of May 2011 they could expect a median annual salary of around $53,000.
With a salary of around $116,000 as of May 2011, marketing managers bring a marketing campaign to life. They may work with promotions managers, public relations managers, sales managers and advertising managers to create and implement the campaign. Becoming a marketing manager typically requires only a bachelor's degree, but employers may want someone who has a master's degree and several years of experience in marketing or management.